flights! are you booked?!

Apr 15th, 2013, 12:11 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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flights! are you booked?!

How far in advance do you usually book your US to Europe flights? I am looking at Oct. flights - OUCH! big bucks. Alot of the good fares seem to show up about a month and half out - I really don't like to wait that late and be flexible with my dates. Hotels booked, I want to nail down the flights! but shoulder season prices are $1300 plus! The only good thing, they don't seem to fluctuate much.
suec1 is online now  
Apr 15th, 2013, 12:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Take a look at SAS.. Just got an email re: lower fares from various US cities..If you can qualify from exit cities/city and time frame.
amer_can is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 12:15 PM
  #3  
 
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I rarely book more than a month or two in advance. I think the last two I've booked have been about 5 weeks out. No one can really predict fares now vs. in a few months, but I've not seen a recent case where I wish I'd booked months earlier due to higher fares later.
Andrew is online now  
Apr 15th, 2013, 12:23 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I go with the golden rule of flight booking. Book it when you think it looks good and then don't look again. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but once it is done, you can't do anything about it, so don't look again. There is always somebody who got a cheaper price to get your goat.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 03:24 PM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi S,

A lot depends on where you are going as well as the date.

I recently purchased 2 tickets for ATL->EDI/CDG->ATL in Sept because we were down to only 3 sets of seats on outgoing and inbound flights.

ira is offline  
Apr 15th, 2013, 04:31 PM
  #6  
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ira - and are you in sticker shock?
suec1 is online now  
Apr 16th, 2013, 07:58 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi Sue,

No. I'm not in sticker shock, because
A: I've been keeping track of prices for several years - they have been going up, and up, and up.
B: I leave out of ATL, and there is no competitive pricing
C: My Lady Wife and I are old enough to no longer want to take multi-stop cheap flights

ira is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 08:31 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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When I booked the flights for our upcoming trip to Europe in July last September I saved almost $2000 by using Air Canada instead of several US domestic airlines whose prices were that much higher THEN. I somehow doubt I would have saved that much money if I had waited until a few weeks out but perhaps prices have dropped...yeah, sure.
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 08:45 AM
  #9  
 
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>>>>I recently purchased 2 tickets for ATL->EDI/CDG->ATL in Sept because we were down to only 3 sets of seats on outgoing and inbound flights.<<<<

Seats seen on booking sites or even the own airlines' website are not at all accurate of how many seats are actually available/sold. To see how many seats there really are, you need an Expert Flyer account or something similar which tells you actual load.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 16th, 2013, 09:03 AM
  #10  
 
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I think it depends on where you are going and how popular the spot is. We are going in September/October and will be making the jump to book flights soon while we can get the hotel we want. If you have booked your hotel then you have narrowed your choice of days to fly. Those days might not be included in any sale offered closer to October.
lateinlifetraveler is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 09:41 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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i usually book about 4-5 months in advance so that I can get exit row seats. Yes, the prices are scary. I live in East Texas and fly out of Shreveport, LA. No bargains available for me!
scatcat is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 10:15 AM
  #12  
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Ira - yes, we fly out of Atlanta too and while we are thrilled that we can fly direct to many places, the competition is limited.

Well I'm thinking I may just have to bite the bullet and go for it. It seems we are not alone with having to get used to higher prices for our European holidays!
suec1 is online now  
Apr 16th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I bought my tickets many months ago..I don't live on the hub therefore Is impossible for me to get a non stop flight.

Therefore I try to get the best route available.I paid $1,225 dollars ..landing in CDG and departing from AMS.
kismetchimera is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 10:33 AM
  #14  
 
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Booked JFK - CDG, with a 1.5 hour stop in Reykjavik, on Icelandair for $798 pp a couple of weeks ago. I just checked Icelandair's site, and the same exact flights are now available for $768.

We will have to drive 2.5 hrs. from outside Philadelphia to JFK, but the fare was about $375 per person cheaper than flying direct from PHL on USAirways. I'd much rather have the $750 at my disposal while on vacation.

Our dates are September 10 - 26. Fares out of Boston were about $200 higher for the same dates, still a good buy at today's prices.
phillyboy is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:45 AM
  #15  
 
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Yeah, you never know when a fare will work out better! Funny you mention that, Phillyboy - I just booked USAir PHL-CDG (then a return to Portland from Brussels). I had looked at EWR and JFK, too, but USAir actually had the best fare when I booked. (Slightly cheaper fare from EWR to BRU with a stop in AMS, but then a train required to get to Paris.)

I would have preferred Delta instead of USAir - also direct PHL-CDG but much better flight back to Portland - but it was $300 more. For $300, I'll have a long layover in PHL and get home a little later. I'll survive.

That USAir fare had been much higher the previous week; I almost booked the Delta option instead. In that case, I'm glad I waited a few more days! It's always a gamble when booking airfares.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 02:30 PM
  #16  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Checked my flight on Friday. The price had gone up $150.
Just checked my flight. The price is back to what I paid.

Go figure.

ira is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 04:01 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Maybe it's just me, but I no longer think of airfares in terms of peak, shoulder or low seasons. That model went out the window several years ago and seems rather archaic now. I suppose that's because of less competition (mergers), higher/fluctuating fuel prices, fewer aircraft on routes & higher passenger loads, inflation and the ongoing state of the economy. These days I think of the fares more or less in terms of full retail (high/highest), reduced (medium/medium-high) or limited sale (lowest that can reasonably be expected). All three of the categories can be sprinkled anytime throughout the year but there certainly will be more of the limited sales fares available in the dead of winter. There used to be a fairly predictable schedule for the introduction of the lowest fares (e.g. around Jan 15 for cheapest travel thru ~ mid-March, late February for the cheapest travel thru mid May, October 15 for bargains in late autumn/early winter excluding holiday times). I don't generally see that these days. My modus operandi now is to continuously glean info by keeping an eye aggregate sites and reading various airlines' email newsletters, starting about 10 months out from travel dates, and then jumping on a fare I can live with. Once purchased I quit worrying that a lower price might pop up and try to be happy knowing I did the best I could. $749 for this summer, w/ one easy connection -- I'm quite happy with that. Those tix were purchased in mid February.
bluestar is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 06:22 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I fly out of DFW so there are several choices to get to Europe. In January I booked (through vayama.com) DFW-MUC/CDG-DFW, one stop each direction, decent connection, for $1324 for 5/29-7/02. I was comfortable with that fare at the time but for amusement and curiosity I kept looking here and there at airfares. As yet I've not found a lower fare with a 1-connection route. Also in January I booked a non-stop on Lufthansa DFW-FRA-DFW for travel next December for $1187. That may come down, but I'm happy with it and it's done.
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