I was getting ready to book my airfare from Los Angeles (LAX) and just got a huge sticker shock! The ticket price has almost doubled from when we went two years ago not including the additional fees the airlines charge now. I am hoping some savvy travelers can give me some advice or their experience with getting to Montego Bay without paying an arm or a leg.
Boy, do I miss Air Jamaica's non-stop service from LA.
I fly almost every week for work. I've noticed about a $50 increase in R/T ticket prices just since January. I've also been tracking several different airfares for the August timeframe. Most of those fares have gone up $40 R/T in the space of one week!! And they were high to begin with.
We flew to Grand Cayman two years ago for $350 total R/T PP including taxes and fees. That same flight is double now.
It's a combination of oil going over $100/barrel (along with unrest in the Middle East and other oil producing countries), together with a recovering economy. Most of the travel websites are predicting fares will only increase.
When is your trip scheduled?
We were fortunate enough to have booked our flight in October for our trip in June and got a decent price, just a bit more than we paid last year. The economy and current upheaval in the mid east has spiked fuel prices and airlines are jumping on the chance to boost airfares. Not to mention projections for air travel are also up for the foreseeable future. Keep a vigilant watch on prices and hope for a drop. I can't offer much more than that.
We are at the mercy of circumstances way beyond our control when it comes to purchasing air travel these days. It's a crap shoot most of the time.
I'm flying from SFO and each way is 264pp, one stop on US Airways. This is in November. SFO to Charlotte to MJB and back again. This is about the same price we paid 5 years ago, though then we flew United.
We do too, I hope someone picks up that route and offers a redeye! It was great to get to the resort in time for breakfast! We usually go AA and pay no baggage fees for two bags each. We get to MBJ at about 10:40am and leave at 3-4 pm so its not too bad. One time we had a bunch of AJ miles built up that we couldn't use directly and ended up taking Jet Blue to Fort Lauderdale then AJ to MBJ first class through Kingston in one direction. It was kind of fun but a real short 1st class trip! We did enjoy the AJ lounge though.
Ok... so it really didn't double then... you have been booking on a government subsidized airline. But that gravy train (I mean plane) is no more. I feel sorry for you, but not that much, since we don't live all that close to an airport that was serviced by AJ (Chicago being the closest at about 225 miles).
We booked our air for October in mid-January. I seem to have gotten lucky and booked at the low point ($475pp), as my fare checker has shown that fare steadily going up ever since.
I used to consider $400 pp a "normal" fare from MSP to MBJ with one stop "normal." Just praying that they won't skyrocket before the airlines open the window to book Dec.! yikes.
Just booked a direct flight from MKE to SEA in October and it was reasonable, IMO, at $317 each.
The oil situation is bound to make or break us!
The prices on the tickets we bought in January, nonstop from Baltimore to MBJ, have gone from $400 round trip/pp to $680. I usually buy tickets 3-6 months before our trip. First, sign up to be on the email list for the airlines that service your route so you can be the first to know when a sale is on. Second, track flight prices - I use Kayak.com. Buy as soon as the price drops or when you feel the time is right.
I, too, miss Air Jamaica.:(
I hear you about the government subsidized airline. We only got to fly AJ once and it was by far the cheapest since it was being subsidized. However, we took AA & Delta for our last two trips and haven't paid more than $450 or so. That same flight on Delta is now nearly $700 a person.
Originally Posted by Chris
Thanks to everyone for your feedback, at least I know everyone is in the same boat and I will just to have to grin and bear it when I but the tickets. The flight I am trying to book is a red eye on May 30th arriving in the morning of May 31st and leaving on June 7th. I tried to plan in advance by leaving on a Monday night and returning on a Tuesday to avoid weekend prices. Oh, well nothing is going to keep me away from CSA!
88 Days and counting...
I wish I could offer some sort of advice, but I can see the same things happening from up in the Midwest, just on a greater scale. We were originally booked for non-stop flights to and from Jamaica in June. We have been called by our travel agent TWICE with schedule changes. Now we have stops both ways and one of our options was a 3 hours layover in Atlanta! I also see that the price of the airfare has gone up to $850 per person round trip. I am happy that I booked the airfare with our hotel when we booked about 6 months ago.
I can only see airfare increasing....I would book soon.
RaeDave, my travel agent just emailed me today about flights. We too fly out of MSP, they were running about 576/pp. Last week they were about $20 cheaper. They have been going up pretty steady, especially with the rise in gas prices. I told her to go ahead and book them. I have been watching fly.com and have seen them steadily rise, so I suggest you don't wait to long.
I am dreading my tickets for June 2012. I hope I can afford them, lol!
Yeah we booked our flights from STL to MBJ back in October for our honeymoon in July, and I just looked the other day and they have already jumped $400 (R/T for both FI and I) in just those 5 months. I'm realizing how great of a deal we got!!
You should be able to book that Dec. now... they book 333 days out, so you're inside of that now... good luck!
Our experience was the same with Delta in January, when we booked. It was around $750 or so... so we went with USAir out of our furthest comfortable airport (MKE) ... only $476/pp, and we used CC miles on one of them. My bride's NOT going to be too very fond of a 3:30 wakeup call, though....
We booked August of last year for May of this year at $438.32 per person (including tax). We will be flying nonstop out of Charlotte. I looked today after reading this post and the fares are up to $636.00 per person (including tax). I am glad we booked at the earlier rate as we considered waiting to see if the fares would drop but decided against it since there is a group of six going. We wanted to be sure we all got on the same flight, etc. I would caution against waiting much longer as everything I am hearing says the rates will only rise........