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Reckoning Sep 23rd, 2005 09:16 AM

Booking airline tickets to italy.
IS there anyway to be notified of rate drops? Im lookign to go in march as a suprise for the wife.
The way im doing it now is go to each carrier every week and checking prices.

Also what in your travels was the best fare rates for a carrier (from orlando).

And lastly when should i Book I am thinking in the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for any and all help!!

francophile03 Sep 23rd, 2005 09:25 AM

If you sign up with airlines they notify you of sales. I don't know of any other way but maybe some others do. There is no way to tell if or when airfares will drop. So there's no way to say now if buying tickets in two weeks will make any difference. Air France has a sale ending today, Sept. 23rd. They had a super sale that ended yesterday.

Gardyloo Sep 23rd, 2005 10:16 AM

Yahoo, Travelocity and other sites offer "fare watcher" (or similar title) features, that post daily "best prices" for your choice of city pairs.

Timing is everything - if you buy now, you'll get the prices that they quote today for your travel dates. If you wait until later in the year, you may hit some winter sales, or, you may get hit with increases due to higher fuel prices.

As you probably know, Orlando is a huge destination for Europeans during that time of year, so the prices the airlines set are aimed at that market, rather than people originating their trips in Florida. To keep your costs down, you might look at starting the trip in some other city, maybe Atlanta, where the European tourists aren't the main market.

Also, look at flights to a major hub in Europe (especially London) from which you can fly on one of the many budget airlines on to Italy (where in Italy?). For example, British Airways flies from MCO to London Gatwick, from which easyJet runs zillions of cheap flights to all sorts of places on the continent. Added together, it's likely cheaper than booking straight through to Venice or Rome or where ever.

WallyKringen Sep 23rd, 2005 11:33 AM

I've used these consolidators many times over the years. Call them now, if it sounds good, book it. If it's too high or if they have nothing, call again in a month or so. You may not get ff miles, so work out ahead of time what that's worth to you - then ask, it's very straightforward.

Flight Coordinators, 2950 31st Street, #140, Santa Monica, CA 90405. (310) 581-5600


Leely Sep 23rd, 2005 11:37 AM

This upcoming March? The rates are low right now; please someone correct me if I'm wrong.

They're low enough to get me seriously thinking "Can I squeeze in a Feb/March trip to Rome for a week or so...?

By the way, I was just grazing Orbitz and itasoftware.

Good luck!

emmas Sep 23rd, 2005 12:57 PM

It's impossible to tell when airlines' fares are changing. Generally, however, new fares are posted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you find one airline having a sale, check with the others to see if they will match. If you go to a service such as, you can check the fare of the route you want for several different airlines. You can also do that with the discount websites. Otherwise, the best thing is to sign up with the airlines you are interested in, and they will e-mail you when they have special fares.

Lincolndave Sep 23rd, 2005 01:36 PM

Just last week, I booked 3 round-trip tickets between Omaha, NE and Rome for $475 (includeing all fees) by using just 5000 frequent flyer miles. If you have Northwest miles, it's a great deal.

A free ticket requires 100,000 miles, but I got 60% off by using only 5000 miles.

Note, this would have been even cheaper from a major hub (ie. I think Chicago - Rome was $330.

Lincolndave Sep 23rd, 2005 01:37 PM

Forgot to mention... You can find these specials on the Northwest web site.

Huitres Sep 23rd, 2005 02:21 PM

There has never been an airline or means by which to find out ahead of time of any specials, sales, etc. As the others have stated, you can be informed when a promotion begins, but never anything way ahead of time in terms of fares dropping, etc.

I find a terrific website. They list all the international carriers at discounted prices with no other fees built in for services (like Expedia and other sites do). I have consistently saved $200-$400 off the price of my international ticket that was quoted much higher when dealing directly with United Airlines. I would recommend booking at least 30+ days in advance to get the best options and fare class available.

kcsqueeze Sep 25th, 2005 02:16 PM

As you're already received good advice regarding getting on e-mails lists for prices, here are some comments regarding our personal experience from Orlando.

We've traveled to France and Italy five times in as many years from Orlando, usually in off peaks times (earlier this year in March).

As we like to firm up our travel plans in advance, we have always made our flight arrangements in advance vs. waiting for sales to pop up.

That being said, we've paid between $575 and $650 (2000-2005). In March this year we paid $620. The lowest I saw it go (I checked usually once a week) was about $100 less but not on the days we had already booked. If you're flexible, you may want to wait but fuel prices could play a factor in fares going higher as well. You never know.

Some good advice I took from these boards is to decide a price you're comfortable paying and when you get there, go for it.

There's a roundtrip on Delta right now (3/14 - 3/29) for $628, Orlando-Rome. Delta also has a good connection to/from Venice. Note: They are in Chapter 11 now. Several other airlines have been through this and come out of it but just something else to think about. I think eventually one of these airline giants will not make it.

I've seen some good fares on Air Canada as well although their connections are as good as Delta's.

Lots of UK tourist visit Orlando. We've found BA and Virgin have always been somewhat higher, maybe because of this. We've flown them over the years but now prefer to have our connecting flight in the US (price and convenience).

Hope this helps.

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