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When to purchase airline ticket for March 2008 trip...

When to purchase airline ticket for March 2008 trip...

Oct 31st, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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When to purchase airline ticket for March 2008 trip...

I'm trying to determine if I should go ahead and purchase a ticket from LAX to Madrid now for my trip over Semana Santa (Holy week).

Prior to this year I'd generally wait until 30-60 days prior to a trip to purchase a flight. However, when I went to Barcelona in September I monitored the flights for a few weeks and bought a ticket in May for $1,035. Thank goodness because I didn't see the prices come down and the specific flight I was on (in addition to other flights/airlines) just kept increasing.

I prefer Air France due to the long, yet direct flight from LAX to CDG. Last week the best price I could get was $1,007. The price has increased $150 over the last few days....ugh. However, this is comparable or less than the other airlines. My days are not flexible - leave on a Thursday and return on a Sunday (3/13 & 3/30).

Should I bite the bullet now and just buy the ticket to ensure the prices don't go up and I can still get this flight on the times I like? Or will prices likely go down?


CathyM is offline  
Oct 31st, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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With the dollar sinking and every day bringing a new high for oil prices, I'd buy the ticket now and save my energy for shopping for bargains in other aspects of the trip.

No guarantees but that's my take on it.
Gardyloo is online now  
Oct 31st, 2007, 05:35 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,163
That's my take on it too. Not being flexible AND traveling at what might be a popular time (it would be for other parts of the world, at least) is incentive to book now.

If you book a ticket on an airline and the price drops usually you can get a credit from the airline. Not a refund, but a voucher for the $ difference good for future travel on that carrier. If the price drops $200 you get a voucher for $200 to use in the future (good for one year but they probably will extend it).

It may be possible to get a refund, but you would have to pay the change penalty. If the price drops $200 you get a refund of $200 minus the change fee which might be $100 (or even $200), for a net refund of $100 (or less).

You could find out what the policies are if the price drops. Maybe you could get a Delta voucher if you booked the Air France flights as a codeshare.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2007, 06:17 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I've already booked our flights to Madrid in April.Fortunately I had enough FF miles for mine and from CLT thru Philadelphia my daughter's ticket was $730.00.
I always go ahead and book early.
maryanne1 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 10:35 AM
  #5  
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I actually just purchased my ticket yesterday!

I wanted to leave LA on the evening of March 13th so I'd arrive in Madrid the following afternoon. From there I'd have to take the AVE down to Sevilla so it basically meant arriving around 9pm. I also liked the return flight as it didn't leave Madrid until 1:30 pm and left me flexibility in the a.m. The Air France fare was $1148 round trip.

I ended up with a fare on Iberia for $932 that gets me from LAX to Sevilla with connections in JFK and Madrid. I'm not leaving until the morning of March 14th but I actually saved $300 (plus a hotel for a night) and am going to be in Sevilla just 12 hours later (9:30 a.m. Friday versus 9:30 pm Thursday). My return is from Madrid and leaves at 1:50 in the afternoon with a connection in Boston.

I've read differing opinions on Iberia but couldn't beat this fare. I've flown Iberia on intra-european flights and I didn't think they were any different from the other major carriers.

Thanks for your advice and happy traveling to all.



CathyM is offline  

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