In terms of buying an airline ticket

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2012 1:52 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    Im planning to do some travel in the next coming months and wanted to know, in terms of buying an airline ticket, is it better to buy it closer or earlier to the travel date to get the best price?

    Im pretty flexible in terms of when I leave but I do need to plan in advanced, if someone has advice I would love it.

    Thanks!
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 23, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    if you're still in montana, check out allegiant. Their prices can vacillate daily, but if you catch them at the right time, you score big. i got a direct flight out of missoula to la for 20 dollars.
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    Oct 23, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    Every time you check the prices, delete the cookies from that website. Some travel websites will raise the price of a ticket if you keep checking on it (showing interest). This isn't always the case, but its worth doing.
  • tckrguys

    Posts: 133

    Oct 23, 2012 4:45 PM GMT
    While Allegient, Spirit and any other discount airline may fit your need just be aware you will be charged for everything. Checked luggage, cha-ching, carry on luggage, cha-ching, want a paper ticket, cha-ching, want to check-in at the airport, cha-ching. Not saying this is a bad thing, just figure these fees into the cost of your ticket to determine if it is still a deal.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Oct 23, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    I heard you get the best deals 2 weeks ahead of your departure, although I'm not sure if that's always true.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2012 7:12 PM GMT
    If it's around the holidays, then you would do better to book soon. If the flights fill up, then you want to nab the discount seats while they exist.
    If you think the flight won't sell out then you might get a cheap ticket closer to the departure date.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2012 7:15 PM GMT
    send me a PM - I work in the industry and, while I'm not a Travel Agent, I do have access to "net" fares - fares not published for the general public. Sometimes they're a lot cheaper.
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    Oct 23, 2012 7:27 PM GMT
    A guy I used to date traveled all the time for work. He always bought his tickets early and on specific times of certain days. As much as I can tell you from memory. Good luck, and I hope you develop good ticket buying habits for the rest of life's budgetary. icon_biggrin.gificon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    Momondo.com is my favorite site to use. Give it a go
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    Midnight on Tuesday (tonight) is when airlines enter new pricing into the systems. Best time to shop for deals that might sell out fast is afterwards. (Don't ask me what time zone)
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    Oct 24, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    I book flights for myself about 4 times a year. I use the following information that I gleaned from travel sites/agents:

    ●Best day to buy an airline ticket: Tuesday after 3pm
    ●Cheapest days to fly : Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
    ●Most expensive days to fly: Friday, Sunday
    ●Cheapest time to fly: After 5pm and before 6am
    ●Purchasing Tickets in Advance: Hard to predict. 3-4 months before departure (if possible)


    I begin using a “price alert” about 6 months before my flight. I set the parameters for cost/airport/time/day/etc. I receive an email for a ticket if it falls within my parameters.

    Bing Travel
    Kayak
    Google Flights

    Good Luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 2:21 AM GMT
    calibro saidif you're still in montana, check out allegiant. Their prices can vacillate daily, but if you catch them at the right time, you score big. i got a direct flight out of missoula to la for 20 dollars.

    missoula? .... jesus! icon_eek.gif

    Dont travel Delta....they are unreliable...as in

    Don't Expect to Leave The Airport ...and...

    Dont Expect Luggage To Arrive!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 2:25 AM GMT
    I fly at least 4 times a year.

    Best time to book is 3 weeks before your travel date. However Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to book and to fly.

    As far as the holidays like Thanksgiving, you won't get any deals or lower prices. The prices only increase for thanksgiving.

    Also look into baggage fees if you plan on checking.

    Free Bags:
    Jetblue: 1 free bag
    Southwest: 2 free bags

    Cheapest months to travel are usually October, January, February - I think...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 2:26 AM GMT
    I'm a loyal member of Delta and United Airlines. Luckily I'm a card members for both so I don't have to pay for checked bags.
  • aznduderocks

    Posts: 67

    Oct 24, 2012 2:56 AM GMT
    One month prior - check out farecompare.com - it compare major travel agents such as priceline, expedia, orbitz, but once you find the cheapest one, go to the airline site directly, it can save you a few bucks ;-)

    Also, returning on Wednesday seems to be cheap for some reasons based of my experience.
  • mrblue

    Posts: 27

    Oct 24, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    I use price predictors (Bing Travel, Fly.com) to gauge when to buy, but I'm usually looking at least 2 months in advance.

    Agreed with some of the useful info posted above.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    I'm sitting in HNL right now awaiting my flight home icon_sad.gif

    I've found usually 2-3 months out is your best bet. However if your dates need to be firm you may want to book earlier. Also bear in mind that the better seats fill up faster.

    See WWW.seatguru.com

    I use Yapta.com for tracking prices

    If you're using miles book as soon as possible. And check alternate airports if available. Sometimes a short drive can save a lot of $$$.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    I heard that buying your ticket to frequently traveled cities like paris or london is 3-4 months before to save some money. If the flight is to a less frequently traveled city that might sell out because of cruises leaving that city that weekend, I would buy early. I tend to but my tickets as soon as I decide on a place. I don't like the thought of getting sold out slots and bad seats by the time you pick them. So the few hundred you might save may not be worth it. And the prices of gas, etc. may even be higher in a few months.
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    Oct 24, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    Use FareCompare.com in conjunction with ITASoftware.com to find the cheapest itineraries. Then use the airlines' website, Kayak, or Orbitz to do the booking.

    Tuesday is the best day to look for flights.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 5:47 AM GMT
    If you plan on travelling in december, any fly after December 7, price will go up almost $200. Blame the holiday season.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 8:28 AM GMT
    Prices go up as you get closer to Hoildays. Most deep discounted tickets require 2 or 3 week advance purchase.

    For non-holiday periods, prices tend to be higher months in advance, decline to lowest about 3-4 weeks in advance, and climb as the day of travel gets closer.

    Most big airlines (United/American) offer a credit card (free for 1 year) that gets you all the privileges of being a frequent flyer on that air line princially - 1 bag free. US Air has the same deal, except there is an $89 fee for the credit card for the first year. Worth invistigating if you may fly the same carrier ore than once in a year.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Oct 24, 2012 9:01 AM GMT
    Try skyscanner.com you can type in your location and then for destination you can type in everywhere. It's really cool actually.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 26, 2012 2:45 AM GMT
    It's best to buy tickets on Tuesday's and Wednesday's since that is when airlines, supposedly, "post" their lowest fares. Traveling on "off" days, such as Tuesday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's will also yield lower ticket prices. I personally recommend buying no less than two weeks out. You may be able to snag a last minute deal, but that doesn't happen often unless you are willing to pay for Premium Economy and above.

    Finally, when it comes to buying the ticket, try to buy it directly from the airline's website. Although websites like farecompare.com, orbitz.com, and their ilk are helpful for price comparisons, it is, in my opinion, best to buy directly from the airline.

    PS-If you find a cheap price, buy the ticket as soon as possible. If you don't, there is a good chance that the price will go up within a matter of hours or minutes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 28, 2012 5:11 AM GMT
    I just got a good deal. Booked a flight that usually costs $350-$400 today for this upcoming friday for a wknd trip! great deal there.