July Airfares to Paris-wait or buy now?

Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 03:36 AM
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July Airfares to Paris-wait or buy now?

I was wondering if the intelligent people on this forum would know the historical cost of a July flight from O'Hare to Paris so that I might decide whether to wait for fares to go lower than the $1000 that they are currently at? I know that the general rule is to wait until January, but if they are not known to go much lower anyway, I might decide to buy now so that the other travel plans could proceed knowing exactly when I will be arriving.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 04:00 AM
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On a seasonal basis, July traditionally means the highest fares of the year. O'Hare has decent competition for international fares. Particularly if you are indifferent about which carrier you use, then it is reasonable to think you may be able to pick up something for under $800 for travel during that period. There are never any guarantees. If it was me, I would probably wait a bit longer for something lower. I believe I would want to be booked by April and if I saw something in the $800 or less area, I would pick it up. (Hopefully others who have specific experience can chime in here.)
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 05:04 AM
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I agree to wait a month or two. I can relate completely to the wish to book and get that part done, but as my friend tells me whenever I am being compulsive, "extend the deadline".
With the fare you are being quoted now, it's very unlikely that it will go higher than that.
Assume you will be booking the days and times you've looked into, and go ahead and reserve the hottls if you want--you'll still have more than enough time to make changes if need by. Just check cancellation policies.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 05:21 AM
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It is possible to get airfare ORD-CDG in summer around $800 as someone said. Keep in mind that airfare goes up and down so you need to be watching.
A suggestion is to look into consolidator airfare, however, consolidator fares contracts are signed approx 4-6 months before departure. For example, fares for summer will show up after new Year - Jan-Feb. These fares are usually better than regular "published fares" and also - a plus - cancellation penalties are better. Usually $200-250 per ticket to cancel. As opposed to sale airline - nonrefundable and $200 to change . Some people prefer for $200 to cancel, not change.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 06:42 AM
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I suggest you look at EVERY possible source to include aggregators such as Mobissimo, Kayak, Qixo, FareChase, etc., before making any decisions.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Also look at convenient intermediate connecting points. ORD-DUB, for example, is $300 less than ORD-CDG in July, and you can hop a cheap Aer Lingus or Ryanair flight from there to Paris for lots less than $150 each way.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 09:16 AM
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Now is definitely too early. There will be at least one summer sale, usuallty sometime early in the spring. The fare probably won't be all that great, but well under $1,000.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 11:16 AM
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AND you might check for packages closer to your departure time. This just might be the year that an airline package paid for in USD might be economical with the Euro so strong.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 02:58 PM
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Thanks so far for the tips! I do not know if I could wait until April, but I might wait until the beginning of 2005.
If I check all the possible combinations of Chicago-Paris flights (and none of them look horrible as far a times/connections) would another good strategy be to go to Priceline and or HotWire as long as I get the days that I want?
If so, what would be a price to set my goal at?

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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 03:52 PM
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You can use Hotwire as a means of checking the market - go as far as where you see the price, and assume that you can get fairly close through comparison shopping. Much will depend on what days of the week you put in, so using the fare-watcher services on the likes of Yahoo or Travelocity for "flexible" dates - they are effective ways of staying current with the pricing opportunities.

Also go visit the mother of all data bases at ITA - www.itasoftware.com. You can't book through ITA but it's the engine that powers many of the on-line services, like Orbitz et al. Learn the syntax and you're off to the races. If you see a fare on ITA, call the initial airline and see if they can book it over the phone. You may pay $10 more for not booking it online, but you can save major bux. Also look at www.whichbudget.com for comprehensive listings of low cost carriers within Europe. Leave no stone unturned.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 04:21 PM
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About two weeks ago, my husband and I bought our tickets to Paris for July 2005. I have Best Fare Tracker on my Yahoo home page. Using this site, we found business class tickets for $1600 dollars. This seems to be a fairly good price. It might be worth while trying this site.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 06:19 PM
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From the West Coast, I got fares (February purchase for summer travel) to Great Britain last year of about $450, and ended up with about $550 with taxes, duties, etc. Just a figure for you for comparison.

One source that almost no one mentions but which will give you great fares is Auto Europe. You don't have to rent a car from them to take advantage of their great, negotiated fares. Hope they will have something for you in 2005!
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 03:15 AM
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Thanks for all the tips! Fodors always comes through!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:47 PM
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topping
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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I paid almost 800 bucks for a flight to Paris (home from Zurich) in late May/mid June. This was from Dulles, which tends to be only a little more expensive than say NY, to Europe.

Given that, 1000 may be on par but it is still worth it to wait. I almost never buy my tickets until 3-4 weeks ahead of time (usually don't know I will take off on another trip, until then, either.)

I like your VT page, by the way! You should log in once in a while!
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