View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:35 am



Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
It's never too early 
Author Message
Member

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Well, even though it's only mid-February, I've started looking at air fares etc. Especially with all the cancellations this winter. I'm sure the airlines are going to hike up the cost of summer travel. Anyone else booked or are considering booking their flights this early ??


Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:27 pm
Profile WWW
Member

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Portland, OR
Just saw this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/0 ... 75266.html

Interesting. It is currently 153 days until August 4th (the Monday before Fest, when I fly). June 11th is 54 days before, and the best day to buy according to the article above. The window they give of 104 to 29 days translates to April 22nd – July 6th.

Made me look at my past history (I make a file in my email for my MI tickets, etc. makes it easy to look back). I fly round trip Portland, OR to Grand Rapids, getting in on Monday before Fest to get on the first noon shuttle to the Land. I book flights with only one connection (I pay slightly more but in over 20 years, my luggage has always made it with me to the Land.) and often take the red-eye overnight from Portland Sunday night. I leave from Grand Rapids Sunday or Monday, depending what is going on that year. Date is when ticket was purchased, fare includes fees and taxes but no luggage:

5/25/09 - $579
4/23/10 - $691
4/29/11 - $614
4/12/12 - $513
6/14/13 - $676

Now, PDX (Portland’s airport) is not known for great fares…and all of these tickets were purchased in the window mentioned above in the article. Last year was damn close to the sweet spot of 54 days (Monday before Fest was 8/5 last year, a day before this year)…and as you can see, it is one of the more expensive tickets I have purchased ijn the last 5 years. In fact, leading up to Fest, it went up about another $15 (I put in a Kayak alert to track it – highly recommended.)

So take the article above with a grain of salt…who knows what mysterious forces are at work in regard to plane fare increases and decreases…

FYI - just checked fares and my lowest possible fare is now at $730...more than $50 more than lastyear's fare...sigh.

P.S. - As you can see, I do not usually wait until June to buy my plane tickets. I waited so long to buy a ticket last year because work was sending me to a conference in Chicago right after Fest and I was hopeful that they would buy my ticket for me. They ended up waiting too long, so I booked it - and then my employer had to pay fees to change my ticket and delay my return from Chicago to Portland. But they did end up paying for my plane fare last year.


Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:09 pm
Profile
Member

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:01 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Vancouver, BC CANADA
I just bought my ticket: only $607 US from Vancouver, Canada, which is a pretty good deal, at good flight times. So I thought, heck, why wait? I got this price through travelocity which seemed to give me a lower overall price by combining 2 different airlines for the incoming and outgoing legs. Well my sisters, one way or another, get your booties there :-)
Aradia


Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:02 am
Profile
Member

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:28 pm
Posts: 352
Location: Windy City
Some info/tips a friend who flies often shared.

suji

- use kayak (or travelocity) to get daily fare tracking of flights you want/need. Daily is important because sometimes fares fall for just one day. Last year I got tpa - grand rapids for 200. I saw this fare 2 days only, would have missed it if I wasn't getting daily notices.

- it seems the best fares these days happen often around 4-6 weeks out

- remember that SWA, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines and others are not included in Orbitiz/Travelocity/Kayak searches. Often airports list all flights in and out. Use that to see all airlines that fly the route you need.

- book directly with the airlines no matter where you find the fare. They have the same or cheaper fares these days, the consolidators only show their fares, they don't have any discounts (the exception being bidding for a fare on priceline). Often booking with the airline will help you find better schedules than those shown on other sites. Booking with the airline is also better if anything goes wrong. You have more leverage if you've dealt directly with them.

- if you have flight issues when you are at the airport, call the airline rather than waiting in line to get an agent. Often, while you are waiting in line, the flights options are quickly going away. Ask for flights on another airline if your flight is cancelled or very late. They don't want to do it, but will/should.

- SWA (and now airtrans as they merged) don't always have the best fares, but with the 2 free checked bags they often are the best deal if you're checking bags.

- having an airlines' credit card often gives you a free checked bag these days. You don't even have to had used the card when buying the ticket to get the free checked bag, just show it at check in. The cards are almost always free for the first year and give you bonus miles too. I cancel them after a year. The threat 'we'll take the miles back if you cancel' is just a threat. I've never had it happen and have cancelled cards often. Hell, I cancel them and then take them up on the offer of 'get our card and lots of free bonus miles' again in just a few months. The worry about cancelling cards hurting your credit score is overrated. As soon as I get a bill showing the annual fee, I call and cancel it. As an aside, if you normally pay cc's on time and make a late payment, they'll often waive the fees/interest once a year if you call and ask. I also ask for the billing due date to be what is convenient for me. I only pay bills at the beginning of the month, so ask for it to be due mid-month so I have it at the beginning of the month.

- always look at adjacent days when booking flights. The T/W are cheapest isn't always true. Sometimes, weekends are cheaper. If you can be flexible, often you can save. For example, my SWA flight tomorrow was $100 cheaper on Thurs compared to Fri.

- kayak will track already booked flights to see if the fare goes lower. If it does, the airline will often give you a credit for the difference.

- I use carrentals.com for car rental rates checking but again, usually book with the rental agency directly. Sometimes, carrentals' rate is cheaper.

- the exception of booking directly is hotels, they do have discounts other places sometimes. I esp like hotels.com.

- I use tripadvisor lots to check hotel and restaurant reviews as well as to find attractions where I'm going.

- exit row seats are often not booked online and you can get one by asking when you check in. Also, ask if there is a chance the flight is overbooked when you check in if your schedule is flexible. It may get you on the top of the list if they need volunteers. Flying at busy times (holidays) is a good way to get bumped and get a free flight.


Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:43 am
Profile
Member

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
I also heard about booking 4-6 weeks ahead - but beware that Mercury is going to be retrograde June 7 to July 1 - not a good time to make travel plans as they usually get screwed up, misunderstood or totally lost.


Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:55 pm
Profile WWW
Member

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:00 pm
Posts: 438
and, buying tickets 4-6 weeks ahead of time applies to general travel planning, not necessarily to travel to a place where lots of people want to arrive and leave on certain days and to which there are not a lot of flights... My guess is that flights for prime time arrival and departures to fest will be sold out by the time it is 4-6 weeks ahead of time.


Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:07 pm
Profile
Member

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:52 pm
Posts: 824
Location: Exotic Brooklyn
I bit the bullet and purchased my airfare already as I think I am flying this year... if I end up driving, which I don't like doing anymore but its cheaper if I am traveling with others, I can cancel it and use the credit later.

I got a round trip/nonstop Newark to GGR for $508 for my preferred dates and times. Two years ago, it was around $300 for the same flight. I have been watching these fares since October. This is the best price so far, so I hedged my bet.

Its all over the news how airlines have jacked prices, and will continue to do so through the summer, to make up for the lost revenue from this bitter stormy winter.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:22 pm
Profile
Member

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
I've seen my Miami-Chicago flight already go up from just a few weeks ago - I'm also thinking about biting the bullet and going for it SOON.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:19 pm
Profile WWW
Member

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:01 pm
Posts: 101
Location: across the atlantic ocean
I have to confess, i've been searching for our tickets since late December. Flying from Germany is horribly expensive during the summer vacation periods. I usually troll the kayak, expedia sites to see if i come up with good deals, but when it comes to booking i only book direct with the airlines, because if there is a problem it's best to have no middle person. Kayak (Yapta) has the price tracking which is a great tool to use too, once the ticket has been purchased.

I recommend checking twice a day, or even three if you have the time. I've watched prices change over the course of day several times.

And, once you've got your ticket-don't forget to book your festival shuttle ;)


Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:10 am
Profile
Member

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Portland, OR
OK, I just bought my ticket. It dipped down to $536 on United and I pulled the trigger on it. That's about $200 less than it was 6 weeks ago. It is also $140 less than what I paid last year (though $23 more than 2012, and I bought that ticket at around the same time of year). Of course you have to add $120 for baggage both ways...and $90 for the shuttle to the Land.

...I never thought I'd be spending over $750 just to get to and from Fest in addition to the ticket price, but an Amazon has to do what an Amazon has to do to get home, right?

Have to wait until May to buy my Fest ticket, though...it's a 3 paycheck month for me and will hurt my budget less that way. Then I have to save up to make sure I can support the Craftswomyn and Goldenrod while still enjoying an occasional ice cream treat and supporting Festiwear.

It's not easy to afford for me, but I do not have to choose between eating/rent/Fest...I am so very grateful I can do this. I am so grateful that enough of us can do this to keep our collective homefires burning each year.

Thank you sisters for saving your pennies and making the effort...even though it takes those of us who fly more pennies and more effort to get Home.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:49 pm
Profile
Member

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 439
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
OK - I'm flying into Grand Rapids (Delta - $382) my ticket has already gone up more than $200 so that's good I bought it when I did. My car is rented and I'm booked with airbnb for the night ($35). Now for my ticket - I'm waiting to hear about my 'reduced rate' application. sooooo excited !


Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:38 pm
Profile WWW
Member

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:52 pm
Posts: 824
Location: Exotic Brooklyn
GOOD NEWS for NYC- Delta has added some LaGuardia nonstop flights to GRR (Grand Rapids) and these are currently hovering around @ $360

Bad news for me- LaGuardia is easier to get to and my ticket was $509.. :(


Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:16 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 12 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
INFORMATIONPERFORMANCESTICKETSCONTACT

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software.