Airfare to Peru - when to buy tickets?

Old Sep 4th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Airfare to Peru - when to buy tickets?

Hello,

I'm planning a trip to Peru in February or March 2014 - our travel dates are flexible. How far in advance should I buy tickets?

This past weekend I was looking at prices to fly from Minneapolis to Cuzco and tickets were around $650 per person. Today I checked again and they jumped to $1150! Is there a chance I'll see that low of a fare again or should I purchase them for $1150 in case they go higher?

Thanks to any help/advice; I'm not a frequent traveler and this is my first time buying international plane tickets.
JessicaS is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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Most airlines these days use dynamic pricing programs to vary airfares in line with demand. i.e. as demand increases, they increase prices and vice versa. In your case this will mostlybapply to the international flight section as the Lima/ Cusco section, usually with Lan is nearly always ridiculously expensive (although there are some cheaper airlines that ply the route but I can't recall there names).

When booking tickeypts from London to Quito, I used www.kayak.com to set up email alerts to let me know when prices dropped. As a result I eventually bought tickets at £600 compared with the initial price of £900.

It is difficult to predict what will happen to prices fare but GENERALLY fares tend to increase the closer you get to departure. In your position, I think I would wait a couple of weeks to see what happens. If price, rather than time is the main issue you could always get a flight to Lima and an overnight bus to Cusco. It does take a long time but is much cheaper.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 05:42 AM
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The bus trip between Lima and Cusco takes 20 hours one way. If you are really on a budget, fine, but that's a long slog to do in a bus.

February is the rainiest month of the year in Cusco and the highlands. I'd go for as late as possible in March if your dates are flexible.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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I think you just missed a sale. You should have snapped up those tickets, that was an excellent fare all the way to Cusco. It seems to me that your next chance for an airfare sale will be around November. Often there are sales during holidays when no one is thinking about the next trip. That could be the dynamic pricing thing.

LAN had dropped their airfares Lima to Cusco, and the other airlines had for the most part raised them. So there is not much of a difference as there was a year ago. But no telling what Feb will be like.

I don't know if there is a reason to jump on that $1100 airfare. And really that timeframe is not the best for Cusco/Machu Picchu, as mentioned. It might be the leg from Minneapolis that is running up the cost, (escaping the winter?)

If cost is an issue, have you considered using airline miles?
A number of US airlines fly to Lima. I've used American, United, and I believe Delta also does it. From Los Angeles I can often get one-way tickets for 15,000 miles.

You can also set up fare alerts as suggested, although I have found that sometimes they arrive too late.
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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It's all about the dates. You can see a fare double depending on the time of year. So play with the dates a bit since you seem to have some flexibility. March, as late as possible, will probably be better as far as weather is concerned and schools will be back so local tourist traffic will decline.
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I've checked several different dates and am getting the same price for all dates, even as far out as next summer. I plan to keep checking and hope the prices drop.

Cost isn't a huge issue but if I can save on airfare and spend that money on other parts of the trip that'd be great.

I've heard both good and bad about taking the bus from Lima to Cusco. I think at this point I'd rather pay more to fly and save time.

If anyone sees any awesome airfare deals please let me know!
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Old Sep 10th, 2013, 03:22 PM
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Definitely wait. It may not drop as low as you saw before, but it will definitely go down from $1,100. You can set an alert with Kayak as mentioned, or Travelocity, where you set a certain price and say to send an e-mail alert when it goes below that.

Check Vayama too as they seem to show more multi-airline international options than the others. As in you might get to Lima on Lan but to Cusco on Taca or Star.
globetrots is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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There are a few good places to look. www.vayama.com has a good search engine for international fairs. www.allaroundtravel.net is also good and then there is matrix.itasoftware.com/the google matrix air search which is pretty nifty for looking at flights.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 11:01 AM
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I'd fly to Lima and then book airfare to Cusco. There are lots of flights to Cusco, and things generally cost less when bought in-country. Spend the first night in Lima,see a travel agent the next morning, and spend the rest of the day exploring the Plaza de Armas and the National Archaeological and Anthropological Museum.
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