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schectec Feb 20th, 2013 07:18 AM

When should we purchase airfare to Rome for July?
When we booked our cruise for 7/29/13, we started looking at airfare. We keep waiting, hoping it will go down. It has not gone down - it went up. Some people have told me to wait, it will go down. Can someone who travels to Europe more than we do (it has been 8 years and the price has doubled), please advise. Thanks so much.

Michael Feb 20th, 2013 07:22 AM

To give you a bench mark. I just purchased an open jaw ticket SFO-FRA HRW-NYC non-refundable for $1050. I consider that a good price, in line with what I paid last year.

laurie_ann Feb 20th, 2013 07:25 AM

Where from? Where to in Italy? Have you checked out sites such as and Would you consider a cheap flight to a US gateway or from a Europe gateway (even though there is inconvenience and some risk if the flights are delayed, cancelled etc. and are not on the same ticket)? I would think with a set commitment like a cruise no but maybe your circumstances are more flexible.

Fares to Europe have been higher in recent years (mostly for fuel prices and taxes I think).

We did just under $1000 round trip pp last summer to central Europe from the Midwest USA and thought that a good value. But I know from looking at fares for different reasons this summer it is more like $1300 to $1500 pp.

Summer is of course peak season in Europe.

laurie_ann Feb 20th, 2013 07:31 AM

Also check whether any airfare specials are available through your cruise line. Not always the best value but sometimes (and sometimes extras like ground transfers are included and sometimes you get some protection if the flight is delayed or cancelled but be sure to check the fine print).

greg Feb 20th, 2013 07:37 AM

You did not state your market, but prices do go down, but in a market not relevant to your trip. For the price to go down, there needs to be business reasons benefiting the carriers. But I don't think there is little, if any, during the peak season. Based on what market did the people tell you the prices do down? For a trip to a cold destination in early December? For a trip on a competitive route?

ira Feb 20th, 2013 08:17 AM

Hi sc,

A. You are going in the height of the season.
B. Airlines have computer programs that predict the probability of selling seats on a minute-to-minute basis. Thus, any special fares will be fleeting.
C. Find something that looks good. Take it. Don't look back.

Also look at


ira Feb 20th, 2013 08:38 AM

Hi M,

> I just purchased an open jaw ticket SFO-FRA HRW-NYC non-refundable for $1050. I consider that a good price...<

So do I.

Mind telling us where you found it?
Non stop? 1 stop?


schectec Feb 20th, 2013 08:46 AM

thanks for all of the replies. We are flying from Washington, D.C./Baltimore and prefer the United non-stops. I have looked at every site, 4 or 5 times a day. On the two flights we are interested in on 7/25 and 8/9 return, almost no seats are sold. We are looking at United 42 on 7/25 and United 43 on 8/9 from IAD to FCO and return.

What is an open jaw ticket please?


fmpden Feb 20th, 2013 09:24 AM

Open jaw is into one airport and home from another. Also called multi-city tickets. If your cruise is round trip to Rome then you would have no need for an open jaw ticket unless you were interested in traveling before or after the cruise.

The longer you wait the less options you will have for seating and connections. The pricing of airline tickets is nearly impossible to predict. Fares could go down or up. The recent situation with the Pope could impact it. Some people who might be traveling in March/April might postpone to a late time. Hard to predict. If you find a schedule/price you like grab it.

nytraveler Feb 20th, 2013 09:25 AM

An open jaw ticket is a flight into your first city and returning from the last city you visit.

This is NOT 2 one-way fares. It is usually called a multi-destination tickets - and voids your having to return to the city you landed in for a Round trip fare. Open jaws tickets are not priced higher - they are 1/2 of the RT fare to each city.

ekc Feb 20th, 2013 09:25 AM

An "open jaw" ticket, also known as a "multi-city" ticket is where you fly into one city and out of another - Fly into Rome and out of Venice. They generally are no more expensive than flying into/out of the same city and can save valuable time backtracking, etc.

ira Feb 20th, 2013 09:26 AM

Hi sc,

>What is an open jaw ticket please?<

That is when you fly into one city and out another. For example, we took a cruise from Rome to Athens.

Our airline tickets were ATL--> FCO/ATH--> ATL. The price was almost the same as a RT from ATL to either of the other cities.

>On the two flights we are interested in on 7/25 and 8/9 return, almost no seats are sold.<

That's a good sign. Keep looking, you may find a day in March/April when the prices drop.


schectec Feb 20th, 2013 10:52 AM

Thanks again for all of the help. We really want this non-stop flight over and back on United. It went up $20.00 yesterday. As soon as it drops a little, I think we are just going to grab it and be done. It is so nerve-racking.

Ackislander Feb 20th, 2013 11:08 AM

What kind of price are you being quoted? If it is +/-$1000, you should probably grab it. There is just as much chance that it will continue to rise as there is that it will fall.

That is high season, they will sell those tickets without any need for an incentive, and you will be up the creek sans paddle if you don't have tickets.

My guess is that the only way to save money on this one is a one or two stop. Would you take the train to Philadelphia? Try that.

There used to be anecdotal days of the week when it was good and bad to book flights.

We are flying open jaw BOS-DUB-LGW-CDG-DUB-BOS in mid-late May for $850 if that helps set a range. It would be another couple of hundred a month later.

greg Feb 20th, 2013 11:51 AM

I presume you are looking at ~$1700 type of fare? You have many factors working against you.

1. It is a peak season.
2. UAL has a strong position on highly sought direct flights to FCO. Why would they try not to leverage the position to extract the maximum revenue since many people value such flights.
3. I suspect that route is frequented by those traveling on company or government expenses where they need to send people on schedule no matter what the cost.

I think about the only chance of significant drop is if there is an (highly unlikely) unforeseen drop in demand for that route at the last minutes. But you will not know if such thing takes place until about 3-4 weeks before the departure, if it happens at all. It would probably be a serendipity.

Michael Feb 20th, 2013 12:44 PM

<i>Mind telling us where you found it?</i>

Kayak. US Airways (one of my least favorite) so that each flight has one stop-over.

Dukey1 Feb 20th, 2013 01:38 PM

LAST I did for a trip in July 2013 to Rome, Verona, Vienna, Switzerland, Amsterdam and Barcelona and I saved about $2500 but you will NOT get that sort of savings now. So, when? YESTERDAY before the fares go up again.

schectec Feb 20th, 2013 03:05 PM

thanks everyone again. We are looking at 1745 today. Went up from 1725, where it has been for about two weeks. What is odd, if we drive 2 hours to Richmond, it is $175 less per person for the same flight from IAD after a shuttle from Richmond. With gas rising, I don't imagine prices will drop.

kmh7 Feb 20th, 2013 03:33 PM

I am flying at about the same time and I getting 1500$ish out of SFO to NAP home from VCE. Is that about as good as it is going to get? I paid 1000.00 just this past fall to Athens. I know summer is higher but eek !

Chinos4sons Feb 20th, 2013 04:02 PM

Wow! $1700 out of DC? Have you checked out Delta? Now granted, we are going to Italy this week - definitely NOT peak season, but we are also flying out of Fargo - which is most definitely NOT a hub... or a cheap place to fly out of...

We got our tickets for $1100 a piece on Delta. It might be worth a check.

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