WHEN TO BUY AIRLINE TICKET

Old Oct 27th, 2003, 09:19 PM
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WHEN TO BUY AIRLINE TICKET

IS THERE A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB AS TO WHEN TO BUY YOUR AIRLINE TICKET FOR BEST PRICE? WE ARE GOING TO COSTA RICA IN 5 MOS. SHOULD BE WE BOOKING NOW OR CLOSER TO DEPARTURE DATE?
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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It's a toss up, really. Fares can drop or go up. I have personally learned that when I see a good fare, buy it, whether it's months away for not.

You might want to post this question on the Latin American board since others there would have been in the same situation as you at some point. You'd probably get better advice, as well as more traffic, for your question.
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Old Oct 28th, 2003, 03:00 PM
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I agree with Statia's advice above. By letting people who are familiar with your destination know what you're looking for, you may be able to determine the range in which it will make sense to purchase. You need to know what a good deal looks like or you will risk missing it.

In addition, you could set up a "Fare Watcher" on www.travelocity.com to alert you to changes in fares. You can choose up to five different itineraries.

There is no rule of thumb on when to buy because fares respond to ever-changing competitive influences in the market. I've picked up good fares to certain destination as far as eight months out because I knew what I was looking for, but 90-120 days out has been more typical.

When you see what you want, pounce on it. It's very easy to lose a lot of dollars trying to save a few nickles when it comes to airfare.
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Old Oct 29th, 2003, 02:11 AM
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Ticket pricing is a funny game the airlines play with us so we can have the excitement of gambling without going to Las Vegas. The best advice I can offer is decide what would be a reasonable price to you, shop around for a while, and when you see it, pounce on it. I have shopped on line for tickets late at night, found a good price, and when I went to buy it in the AM, price had changed.

Try to tell yourself that the actual dollars you would have saved when you see the ticket for $30 cheaper in a month is a relatively low percentage of the cost of the whole trip. Or congratulate yourself on your intelligence when you see it for $30 more in a month.

Only consistent disadvantage to purchasing real early is that flight schedules have a way of changing these days - so if you have a deadline when you really need to be someplace, plan accordingly.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 08:41 PM
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THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE REPLY. I'M GOING TO TRY TRAVELOCITY, FARE WATCHER, JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT. I THINK ALL YOUR IDEAS WERE OF IMPORT. THANKS AGAIN. FOUND FARES 100$ LOWER ON A SITE CALLED QIXO.COM. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF IT?
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Old Oct 31st, 2003, 05:00 AM
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No, I haven't heard of it. Maybe someone else has.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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HAVEN'T HEARD OF IT EITHER-- BUT JUST CURIOUS: ARE YOU TRAPPED IN A WESTERN UNION OFFICE, OR USING VOICE RECOGNITION SOFTWARE AND SHOUTING INTO THE MIC?!
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Airline prices go up and down, day by day almost, and for reason! If you know when you are going and you know which airline you want to use, just keep checking on line everyday until you see a price you can live with. I always fly United and I start checking their prices about 4 or 5 months before a trip. When I see a good price, I jump on it! If they happen to go lower than what I paid, I try not to feel too bad about it. LOL
Right now I'm watching nearly everyday for lower prices for Las Vegas in January and my spring break trip to Rome. Wish me luck!
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 07:48 AM
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try using http://www.sidestep.com (download program to browser...)
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 04:29 PM
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One thing to consider - credit cards only protect you for 3 months from the date of purchase. For example, if you purchase your ticket 6 months in advance and 2 months before your trip your airline goes bankrupt, don't bother going to the credit card company for help. We found this out when we booked 7 months in advance on Swiss Airlines. We were lucky that American Express decided to help us because legally that had no obligation. I wouldn't risk it again though.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 05:54 PM
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Our experience with a credit card company was different and quite positive.

In January, 2001 we booked (and paid for on Visa) a cruise on Renaissance for 9/29/01. Four days before the trip, Renaissance went bankrupt. We wrote to Visa, and received a full refund within three weeks.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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Our experience with a credit card company was different and quite positive.

In January, 2001 we booked (and paid for on Visa) a cruise on Renaissance for 9/29/01. Four days before the trip, Renaissance went bankrupt.

We wrote to Visa, and received a full refund within three weeks.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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worldexplorer makes a valid point, but if you limit yourself to only purchasing tickets within the three-month window, you will risk missing out on a lot of exceptional deals. I purchased three r/t tickets in early November that I couldn't have touched for anywhere near the same price later on.
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