high season airfares

Old Nov 7th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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high season airfares

We are hoping to go to Europe in mid-May and return near the end of the month. Memorial Day 2012 is May 28th - when do you think high season fares kick in? Do you think if I call the airline they will tell me (Delta) but of course every day that I check the fares, they are a bit different, Just looking for the opinions of other posters here. Thanks!
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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It will vary by destination. I would get serious in Jan.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Keep checking the "master site" at http://matrix.itasoftware.com and sign up for price advisaries at hotwire.com and similar sites.
I am in the same situation--wanting to travel to Frankfurt on Thursday, May 24 and returning to the US on June 2.
9 weeks ago it was $900-- since then (I check 4-5 times per week)it has risen to $1600 for the same trip before settling in to about $1050 for the last two weeks-- with a terribly long layover in JFK! I'm still hoping to do better!
Of course you know that travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (with a Saturday night stay) is "generally" a bit cheaper, but no rules reign anymore... so various airlines will often say "high season' kicks in April 30th anymore!
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 08:43 AM
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sue: To get a somewhat reasonable estimate of when airfare for you specific trip will go up, use the above site and the option for "my travel dates are not fixed".
Enter your desired date of travel and it will show airfare prices for that date +30 days.
Enter a date 2 weeks prior to your 'dream' departure date and you will see a 30 day span of prices now available.
REMEMBER, you cannot purchase tickets THROUGH this site, but go to the airline presented (or hotwire or cheapoair, etc to purchase if the price is the same--it always has been within $5 IME).
WOW, IF I could just leave 2 two days earlier, my price goes down from $1037 to $880-- darn work schedule of my travel companion!
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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>>>Do you think if I call the airline they will tell me (Delta)
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 10:14 AM
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That is when I travel every year, and I pull the trigger if I find something in the $800 range that is perfect in terms of times, layovers, etc. I have done much better than that, but fares seem to be going up, with sales fewer each year.
I have purchased as late as April, but I start searching in earnest in January (kills the winter doldrums). I find May to be cheaper than summer, but without the great deals you can get for early spring.
Post where you are trying to go, and fodorites might have more specific tips.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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I am trying to book for the same time but in the reverse direction.

Prices from week to week are absolutely all over the place. Two weeks ago I missed out on £430. Now they are back up to £720. If this helps it would appear that prices seem to drop (for our flights) when booking on a Monday morning.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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You can find out when the high season fares kick-in, at least from current point of view, by just playing with the departure and return dates. If you push the dates later and see a spike, that is when the high season fares start.

The difficult part is finding out when/if lower fares are offered. You can use a service like www.kayak.com fare alert. Last weak, when the latest round of fare hike collapsed, there was a perturbation in offerings that lasted about a day with very attractive prices. Unfortunately, none of them was for an open-jaw flight I was looking for.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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We just booked for May 14 on Delta(from Atlanta) for just over $1,000 per tic( taxes incl). Flying into CDG and out of Barcelona direct both ways-and we leave on a Monday-jiggling days around seemed to make no difference. Cheaper would have been great but we can now proceed to plan our trip which is a complicated one.
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