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Airfare to Europe, lower prices?

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Jul 17th, 2012, 10:30 AM
  #1
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Airfare to Europe, lower prices?

Has anyone noticed a signifigant downturn in the prices?

We travel to Europe yearly. We watched the fares and booked the exact time that the Wall Street Journal said was the best prices. We booked through Expedia on Air France 2 months ago for Sept. I know WE SHOULDN'T GO BACK AND LOOK AGAIN, but Air France continues to send us emails with lower fall prices so MDH couldn't resist. The fare was $500 ($250 each) less for the same flights! My guess though is that it was a few leftover middle seats

Expedia only guarantees price for 24 hours but we chose them because in the past they helped us when we had a problem out of the country.

How about Orbitz? We've never used them but their website says that they guarantee the price until you get on the plane. Is that true?

That's all water under the bridge at this point. I'm just venting my frustration!
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Jul 17th, 2012, 10:49 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I feel your pain. We booked to France in March, when the prices were starting to look like they were going to go up - gas prices etc. Well, as of last week, they are almost $400 less per ticket. Non-refundable, so we too have water over the dam, DAMN.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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HOw does the WSJ know the "exact time to book". What do you mean by guarantee the price (lowest?) until you get on the plane? Just curious--not understanding quite.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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We booked in April for Lisbon traveling in August. The price has never gone down and it has gone up. Besides the flights we are on are no longer even offered. I started looking in January or February.

We booked on Orbitz. I prefer to book with the airline directly but we were unable to get the routing we wanted through the airline.

Orbitz promises that if you book a trip and someone pays for the exact same trip at a lower price after you do they will refund the difference.

I don't see a significant lowering of prices.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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I would stick with expedia rather than Orbitz. Orbitz pulled a bait and switch on me once. I, personally, think WSJ is a waste of good paper.

One way to book a cheaper flights is to sign up for alerts on www.matrix.itasoftware.com or www.kayak.com. And I would set up alerts more than 6 months in advance-if that is possible to price compare.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Using the Air France sale prices that showed up in my mailbox yesterday, looks like I'll be able to save $500 from what I was seeing last week. I don't usually get that lucky!

When are you going to be in the Dordogne, TPAYT?
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:14 AM
  #7
 
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I hear you, just went through this myself.

After monitoring the trends for sometime, I eventually bought, what I thought was the best possible price.
Then, I receive this email from some website last weekend, and the direct flight (Air France) was for $300 less.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Buying tickets is always like a "crap shoot". I just checked and our Oct/Nov tickets to Lisbon are significantly less than when purchased in April....darn!
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:41 AM
  #9
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Gretchen--the WSJ had an article based on past performance. It was suggesting how many weeks out to book for the best price. Along with that article and watching the fares daily, we made our choice.

Last year we waited until July for Sept. and found a much lower price on American to Paris. Well, we got what we paid for. Was it direct and on time? Yes. Was it the most uncomfortable, horrible flight we ever took to Europe? Yes again. Old equipment, seats that felt like they were made of thin cardboard, a few drop down TV sets in the middle row with 1 movie, so no individual TV's in the back of your seat---UGH! This year we decided to pay more for a airline with newer, updated equipment.

Sher--thanks for the explanation on Orbitz. What are the chances that someone would book the same odd flight that we are taking? Not much.

So, what's with AF lowering the prices? Anyone know why?

StCirq---lucky you! I want to thank you for all the help you've given us. You are such a good source of info on France. Here's our itinerary:
9/11--Chicago to Toulouse
9/14--Drive to Sarlat for 1 week
9/21--Train to Paris
9/25--Paris to Chicagp
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:45 AM
  #10
 
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These so called "when to book" is relevant when the observation was made. However, I think the airline industry uses analytics to continuously changing the name of the game to maximize the revenue. I have been looking at fares using kayak and this year, the industry seem to be adopting a different strategy this year. They seem to set price high until much closer to the departure dates than previous years hoping passengers to believe that the high price would continue, then about 2 month before, they start lower the price to fill the seats. This is not true across the board. They seem know much better which routes fetch more revenue by pricing high early and which route are better by setting prices high later.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:46 AM
  #11
 
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Well, rats, we'll probably miss you by just a few days.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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A sale started last Thursday on Delta and BA. Quite a few people reported getting fares in the $700-$800 range for Sept/Oct. Prices have jumped about $100 since the weekend.

http://www.fodors.com/community/fodo...on-airfare.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...mpulsively.cfm
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Jul 17th, 2012, 12:00 PM
  #13
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StCirq---too bad, we could have had a GTG.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 12:10 PM
  #14
 
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I bought my ticket IAD-CDG and MAD-IAD several weeks ago as I was really getting nervous when it hadn't changed or had gone up a bit while I was watching it for at least a month. I paid around $1200 and really wanted a nonstop both ways, which I got. But at that time, AF was also around $1200 for that trip, with a nonstop only one way. Now AF is around $800 for that ticket, but the UAL flight I bought, both nonstops, hasn't really changed much, at least. Still, I would have preferred the $400 savings and a stop one way.

oh, well, I had a lot of plans to make for that trip, including an apt rental, so that's why I booked it and didn't wait. If I just wanted a simple RT trip to one city and a hotel, waiting would have paid off.
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Jul 17th, 2012, 05:31 PM
  #15
 
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TPAYT. I don't think the chance is very high although they claim to have paid people money back.

I am always glad for everyone who is able to snag a low fare. I am invited to a house party and do not have to pay for lodgings so while I would like to have gotten a really good fare I am glad of what I got.

The original flight was one stop each way. But since then the gods have rained on my parade and the return is a double connect since US Airways cancelled the flight from BOS-PIT that would take us home after we land.

On top of that it is a killer connect between CLT-PIT and if I make it home that night it will be a miracle.
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