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Does $1051 plus $34 credit card fee for Dulles-Florence on 9/8, return 9/29 Naples-Dulles on Air France sound fair? Or wait for better specials?

Does $1051 plus $34 credit card fee for Dulles-Florence on 9/8, return 9/29 Naples-Dulles on Air France sound fair? Or wait for better specials?

May 24th, 2006, 06:13 PM
  #1  
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Does $1051 plus $34 credit card fee for Dulles-Florence on 9/8, return 9/29 Naples-Dulles on Air France sound fair? Or wait for better specials?

Hi folks. We almost forgot about plane fair for our Italy trip this Sept and just called a travel agent instead of doing it alone. He gave us the above pricing on Air France so I called Air France and they charge $245 MORE than what our travel agent offered us for the same dates and times.

We can still get airline points if we use these consolidator priced tix from our trusty travel agent guy. He found us cheaper flights but they include an extra stopover for $200 less, something we would never do just to save money, ya know?

Our travel agent claims that no summer sales would be cheaper than these ticket prices. Do you think this is the time to buy? Do we just scoop them up and be happy, or hold out for something better and risk higher prices? They said that these tix are $150 more than last year at this time as fuel costs are up and other reasons I just forgot.

So psyched... Florence 4 nights, Orvieto 3 nights, Rome 4 nights, Capri 3 nights, and Positano 6 nights.

Cheers,
Steve R
Silver Spring MD
stever is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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ok, is the price for just one person?

If so, I think that is a bit high. Yes, florence is a bit expensive to travel to. But your trip is still far away, and I would say you should be able to get a flight below 700 bucks since you are coming in at the end of the travel season.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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That's about what tickets to Europs have been running the last month. They are not going to get cheaper. The flights are FULL!
Athena39 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 07:24 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the quick responses... Yes, the price is per person, $1051 EACH ticket plus $34 credit card fee. I'd hate to keep waiting for a fare sale, and then find out it's actually more expensive or we can't get a good flight with just that 1 stopover. Anyone else???

Regards,
Steve R
Silver Spring MD
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May 24th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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ilovetotravel: Are you sure about $700?
This isn't round trip, it's open jaw, and Friday/Friday at that. On either count, I would think it would beget a fare > $700
tomboy is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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I often fly out of Dulles and I think that is about the going rate this year, and it's pretty good, actually. September is basically still high season nowadays, and such fares have been running a lot more than that this year. I'm surprised your travel agent got you a discount on a regular carrier this year when flights are very full. For example, I get regular emails from Air France, and they just sent one about a "summer sale" and fares just to Paris from Dulles RT were around $1100. I don't know the cutoff date of those "summer sales", whether it was end of August or September, but I do know Sept. hasn't been lower than August in recent years. Especially the 9/8 date. After all, AF confirmed that this was a discount from what they sell to the public.

I would say there isn't any way in the world you are going to get such a flight for less than $700 per person this year. At least, not on a regular carrier with minimal stops.
Christina is online now  
May 24th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Sorry, I didn't know ticket was open jaw.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 08:35 PM
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Hi stever, I recently checked out airfares to Europe, I would say if you want to go to Italy take those tickets.

September is not low season for Italy as it once was. If you could fly the middle of the week perhaps the fare might be a bit lower..I don't know. I sure wouldn't anticipate to seeing $700 per person in September.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Fodor is such a great place due to people like you guys. I really appreciate this information. Sometimes you know when something's a great deal, other times, like this time, I just wasn't sure. I will buy the tix tomorrow based on your suggestions.

I will be sure to post a "Just Back Trip Report" when I return.

Thanks again!!!
Steve R Italy bound, again.
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May 24th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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Hi stever, I sure look forward to your trip report regarding Italy, I always love your trip reports.

Because I do need to go to Italy next spring I do not think I will be going to Europe this September as much as I want to. But if I felt like I could afford it I sure would buy the tickets.

Have a wonderful time!!
LoveItaly is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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You wouldn't get that fare at less than $700 even if it wasn't open-jaw (say if it were RT IAD-Florence). That isn't going to affect that fare that much, it's just high season and fares are expensive this year, and Italy is more expensive than places like Paris or London from IAD.
Christina is online now  
May 25th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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I think the best fares are three months before you fly, unless an airline has a big sale.
wally34949 is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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Just paid for the tix, so I'm committed! Can't wait to get the heck out of Dodge. I'm blessed to have 6.5 weeks of vacation time each year. This will burn up 3 of those weeks. We decided to come back on Thursday eve so we have Fri-Sun to do laundry, play with our kitties, and enjoy our weekend home before starting the grind again.

Cheers,
Steve R
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May 26th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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That is great Steve, and I agree, it is soooo good to have a few days to unpack, go through the mail, do the laundry (and yes play with the cats) before going back to work. Do have a wonderful trip!! And after you are settled in don't forget the trip report.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 12:43 AM
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Am I missing something? What's with the credit card fee?
Carrybean is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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It is apparently a vendor that passes the fee directly to the customer, which tends to encourage cash or checks for payment instead. (I don't think card companies are fond of this and it may even violate the terms and conditions of the agreements they have with vendors, but it happens.)
Flyboy is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 02:37 AM
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One other place I've seen this is when there is a third party involved, such as accepting tax payments by credit cards. There is no margin involved on the "purchase" and the third party is providing the service to the customer (taxpayer) of allowing payment via credit card. The fee to the card company (and a small margin) is therefore an add-on.
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May 27th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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Thanks, Flyboy. I assumed that wasn't allowed in the US by the cc company but thought maybe other countries permitted it.

Was the fee charged by the travel agent or the consolidator?
Carrybean is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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I never thought about that darn credit card fee of $34. What the hay? Maybe I should call this guy. He saved me a ton over what Air France charges so "it ain't no thing but a chicken wing" in the end.

Peace out, bros and and sista's

Steve R
stever is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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It seems high to me (we often fly out of Dulles, too). I just read that planes aren't quite as full this year as last, but according to the airlines fuel prices are forcing high prices (though for some reason we could get tickets for less money to Japan than to Europe right now--even though it's a LOT longer distance; and flights to Alaska were recently a lot cheaper than to Europe, even though Alaska is a bit farther, too).

Anyway, a few months ago we were following prices at various web sites and reading postings here. Prices were in the $850-$1,000 range and many were saying "buy, buy, buy--prices are going to go nowhere but up, up, up." It was just too much for us to pay, so we waited (our backup plan was Alaska for around $550-$600).

Ended up paying $650 each into Amsterdam and out of Frankfurt instead of $850-$1000.

There was no guarantee that prices would drop, or that they wouldn't rise. But we just made a decision that the earlier prices were just more than we were willing to pay, especially as there were interesting alternative destinations that cost less.

What we have done for years is look at our travel budget, determine what we would consider a fair price within our budget, and then buy if we can find tickets at that price or below. Otherwise you drive yourself nuts trying to "time the market."

If you can afford what they're charging now and you won't lose sleep if prices go down $100-$200, I'd say go ahead and buy. No one can say for certain what will happen with ticket prices.

We're waiting out prices to Germany in November right now (we have an invitation from old friends in Bamberg for the Christmas market season). We'll see what prices are like when we get back from our Benelux trip in early July.
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