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Thread: airfare--

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    16

    Default airfare--

    For those of you who travel to Jamaica every year....who is the most reliable airline? Who has decent rates? How far in advance should we book a flight? Thank you for your help!~

  2. #2
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    Jun 2013
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    Not sure where you are flying from but we have already booked our flights from JFK to Jamaica for our next trip on May 23. The airfare was $470 pp/roundtrip which is comparable to what we paid this year.

  3. #3

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    We live in Central PA and for us, US Air is the best flight. We leave from Philly and have a straight 3 1/2 hour flight. We've booked air 7 - 8 months ahead if the prices are good. I keep a check on the rates and if they start to go up, I get them right away.

    Duane & Mary

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    All these questions will have arguments for and against as far as what airlines, decent rates or how far in advance. We can only speak from personal experience.

    From our point of view: We have used US Air the last few years (flying from STL through Charlotte) and have had mostly acceptable service and fares. We typically book our flights for June sometime in the previous fall season (September to November) and usually get a decent rate. Not always the lowest we could have gotten, but usually pretty close.

    Depends on where you are flying from and what time of year. Watch the airline web sites closely, at least on a weekly basis if not daily and book when the price looks good to you. Then don't fret if prices dip some after that. You never know when it will be at its lowest so don't bother to cry over a few bucks. It will always be a crap shoot.

    A bit of advice I will offer is to beware of low cost flights from some of the "discount" airlines. These lower cost carriers tend to change schedules or even cancel flights all together with little or no warning.

    Good luck.
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  5. #5

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    As others have said, depending on where you are flying from, the rates and reliability are going to be different. I will give you two points to consider, regardless of airline. First, fly non-stop if at all possible. If not, then use Miami or Ft. Lauderdale as your Port of Entry. Second, book well in advance of your trip. I purchased our tickets for October 2013 in December 2012 for $597 round trip, total. We are now 60 days out from departure and the fare has held at $643, less than a $50 increase. American Airlines, for the same trip went up over $300 total.

    There are more daily flights from Jamaica (MBJ) to and from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale than any other US city. Plus, getting to either MIA or FLL is fairly simple and if you go midweek, not as expensive as most other routes.

    We flew American Airlines for over a dozen years, but we were forced to drive down to MIA in Friday morning rush hour traffic to make the 10am flight. And pay $60 to park for nine days. And have to wait for a shuttle bus. Caribbean Air flies out of FLL an hour later and I have plenty of friends to call on for a lift to and from the airport. This October flight will be our first with them and based on what I've already read, we've purchased tickets for April 2014, as well.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  6. #6
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    Jul 2013
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    Just want to put my 2 cents in here. I'm a newbie and fly in to CSA on September 6th. After looking at every possible travel website, I found cheapcaribbean.com to offer the most competitive rates because they offer AirTran flights in their packages. When I booked our trip in May, AirTran had RI to MBJ (1 stop in Baltimore) for around $350 and it arrives at 11am and departs at 3pm, great times! Although I have not flown this segment yet, I learned a little tip about flying AirTran/SW. If you book an "AirTran" flight but it has a Southwest segment (the 2 companies recently merged, and our flight RI to Baltimore is on SW) you get 2 free checked bags per person!!! I know everyone says pack light but I'm more worried about space for all the stuff I'm going to want to bring home with me!! Haha, plus it means we can bring all of our sunscreen needed and save $$$ not buying it at the resort. It just feels really good knowing we don't have to worry about bag fees at all, which is a major bonus!

  7. #7

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    We live in NW Arkansas. We have flown US Air via Charlotte and AA via Dallas. We compare prices and choose which suits us best... Currently AA has better pricing. We have not booked air for our Dec. trip yet
    CN, Oct 2012, CN May 2013, CN Dec 2013, Booked CN Dec 2014 2015,

  8. #8

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    As folks have already said, there are a lot of dependencies. That said, we've had good luck flying Delta. We're in Utah and fly through ATL. We actually just booked our flights tonight for our October 2013 trip (84 days - yay!). We got the flights we like and are paying about $300 less per ticket than our flights previous years. It's all about timing. Have fun!

  9. #9

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    we always fly from Philly to MOBAY via us air. all direct flights rates are reasonable if that's what you call it.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2009
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    Aaly, I am so excited to hear that SW and AirTrans merged. We are on the same flight times but different days out of RI and were planning on only checking one bag and doing the Carry Ons instead. We will still take 1 carry-on because as last time we went to Jamaica with another airline our luggage went to Guatemala for 2 and a half days. We missed the repeaters dinner because all of our cloths except for what was in our carry-on were in the lost luggage. Thank god I packed our bathing suits in the carry-on. Great news and yes I found AirTrans to have the best prices and times out of RI....See you in Jamaica

  11. #11
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    Jul 2009
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    We've had USair out of Philly the last couple of years. Honestly, hard for me to make a favorable comparison, as our first 10+ trips to the island were air jamaica, then Carribean air... Gone now, at least from the Philly hub. I really do not look at the flight as an enjoyable part of the trip. All the airlines treat you like cattle now. One thing you can do to make the trip a smidge better is to book club mobay.

  12. #12

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    We used to fly Air Jamaica, out of our hometown in Philly, it was always like adding an extra two days at the resort because of flight times. This year we decided to fly out of JFK and take Caribbean Air, because we land in Mobay at 8:30 a.m. and don't take off from Mobay until 7:50 p.m. Priceless, as far as times go! Again, it's like having two extra days at the resort. Direct flights too!
    There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage ~Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    May 2013
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    One would have to be out of their minds to use Atlanta or Miami as ports of entry... Houston too for that matter... For my money, Charlotte is the best airport to clear customs and get on my way...

  14. #14
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    Apr 2013
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    We're flying JetBlue R/T out of PVD through Orlando. Consumer Reports rates JetBlue very high in ratings and the tix were only like 387 each - not bad - booked package through couples web site. We usually fly SW out of PVD and it's good to know they merged with Airtran for next time...

  15. #15
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnscr View Post
    One would have to be out of their minds to use Atlanta or Miami as ports of entry... Houston too for that matter... For my money, Charlotte is the best airport to clear customs and get on my way...
    Interesting.... I actually like ATL and have no issues there. Last time we landed from MBJ, we were at our domestic departure gate in about 20 minutes from walking off the arrival plane.
    Linda & Nick
    CSA - Oct 2004 (for our wedding!!!)
    CN - March 2006, Nov 2013
    CSS - March 2013

  16. #16
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    Jul 2009
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    Rikor, your flying out of PVD...thats in Warwick..Are you from RI? When are you going to Coupes and which one are you at? We are arriving at CSA on 9/9 and departing on 9/18. We chose the Airtrans flights only 357 each. And now I hear my luggage will be free...Cant wait to be home again.

  17. #17
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    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulRic View Post
    Rikor, your flying out of PVD...thats in Warwick..Are you from RI? When are you going to Coupes and which one are you at? We are arriving at CSA on 9/9 and departing on 9/18. We chose the Airtrans flights only 357 each. And now I hear my luggage will be free...Cant wait to be home again.
    We are in CT but TF Green is closest to us (40 mins). We're going to CSA (1st time) but we are there 9/3 - 9/9, so we'll miss ya... We booked the package through couples and Airtran/SW wasn't an option at that time. Prices still ok on JetBlue and all seats have TVs! Not too crazy about going through Orlando on way back but it is what it is...

    Have a great trip!

  18. #18

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    I always get so jealous of peoples flight prices and times. We live in Iowa, and this March our flights were about $517 each round trip. That included leaving Minneapolis Wed night, staying overnight in Chicago, and flying from Chicago to Mobay, getting into mobay at about 12:50. We then left Mobay at 1:10 on Saturday, layover in Chicago, and got into Minneapolis at about 9:30. After that it was a short 3 hour drive home. I was so jealous reading about people who arrived at like 11 or 11:30, and didn't have to leave until 2 or 3.

    This year, for our April 2014 trip, our flights cost $613 each, BUT we leave from Des Moines Friday morning, and get to spend the afternoon and night in Miami, and then we get into Mobay at 10:40! We then don't have to leave until 2:30 at the end of our stay. After routing through Dallas with a 2 hour layover, we get back to Des Moines at 10:20, and it is only an hour and half drive home. It is SO worth the extra money! ...

    Then firegirlsheetboy says they have nonstop flights that land in Mobay at 8:30am and don't leave until 7:50pm. Wow... unbelievable. (Bubble has been burst) Even Colorado has direct flights to Mobay! When will it be Iowa's turn!?!?!

  19. #19

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    I just booked my flights for May 2014 at the end of July 2013. I monitored the prices a few times a week and was amazed at how much the prices fluctuated even from one day to the next. Google itself can be used to look for airfare or another nice site is Kayak. Kayak can even send out weekly notices of what the airfares are. The day of the week you choose to fly on makes a big difference too. It seems that if arrive and depart on Tuesdays, that generally gets you the best rates. In looking at the cost of airfare, also pay attention to the charges for checked bags. Airlines vary widely on those prices.

    As others have said, find a rate that you feel comfortable with, then lock it in. It's true that the rates may drop, but I think there's a lot more risk that the rates will increase. I booked my flight from Minneapolis at $560. The next week, the same flight was $720. It's dropped again now, but is still higher than what I locked in at.

  20. #20
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    You lucky dogs. Paying less than $500 for your tickets! The cheapest I could find were $778 each (with the times I like). Could have paid a bit less ($708) to have really crappy times. My airplane tickets were almost the same price as the resort!
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  21. #21
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    Jun 2009
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    We prefer flying US air (from Kansas City) thru Charlotte ..... We have tried many different airlines but Charlotte is the best place for a connection from what we've found. Wish Kansas City had a non-stop but, in 15 years of flying back & forth to Mobay, doesn't look like that's going to happen. Still need to book our air for December trip ..... Hoping the prices drop right after Labor Day like they normally do ..... Otherwise, we're looking at $500 - $600 more than we've ever paid before.
    Julie

  22. #22
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    Jun 2009
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    We fly out of Denver on Us Air or American, When we heard they were going to merge We bought our tickets in late Dec for Dec 2013 trip. We got them for 498 /person with AA thru Miami. Not my favorite airport but oh well. We like flying US Air but their prices were already 650.00 . We got the redeye leaving Denver 11.50 PM and arriving MTB at 10.50. Feel like an extra day as we get to the resort around 1.00 pm, in time to have lunch and wait for our room to be ready. Cant wait.

  23. #23
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    Jun 2009
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    It'll be Iowa's turn when you get an airline to put a hub in Des Moines. So, probably......never?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    We've been flying AirTran for years and our flight to Jamaica is no exception. We live in PA but fly out of Baltimore...prices and flight times are great and the airport seems to run smoother and quicker than Philly. Plus-we leave a day early for vacation and stay overnight in Baltimore because the Sheraton offers free parking for the week with your stay. ;-) We paid $926 for both of us round trip and non stop flights for Oct 26-Nov2. That includes paying extra for picking our seats now and all of those taxes and fees...good grief take a look at those fees in the breakdown for Jamaica you will be surprised.

  25. #25
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradojuli View Post
    You lucky dogs. Paying less than $500 for your tickets! The cheapest I could find were $778 each (with the times I like). Could have paid a bit less ($708) to have really crappy times. My airplane tickets were almost the same price as the resort!
    This is pretty much what we deal with as well. This year, we went to CSS in March. We paid $1200 for both of us, round trip. We booked the trip in December so only 3 months prior to our trip. We had 1 stop in ATL each way and had decent times. Wonder if booking around the holidays in December, you get cheaper flights since the March trip was during peak time.

    For this November to CN, it's $1600. And we booked the tix back in February. It is Thanksgiving week so I'm sure it's a factor (not necessarily for those going to JA, but for our connection location). We have similar flights as we had in March. We do leave/arrive in JA a bit earlier. And leave a little later to head back to the US. So IMO, better flights though dreading that early departure from home. I looked the other day and our flights aren't available anymore (yet when I check seats, there are some... not a lot, but some). The price of tix near our time frame are over $1100 a piece! So would be about $2200 for the both of us. YIKES! So though we paid more this time, we still came out ahead booking them early.

    We haven't decided where we are going yet for Spring 2014 (might try Barbados) so we haven't booked anything yet (resort or airfare). Will try and go in April when it's not peak. I did look at CB for mid-April and it seems on Travelocity, resort and airfare are very reasonable and actually cheaper than the Couples website for the same room and flights (see my contribution to the other thread). They finally have a decent flight from where we are (earlier this year, they did not) on US Air. Booking the higher category room @ CB will cost us about the same as our trip to CSS this past March. So I'm leaning towards that... will have to see what hubby thinks. I can't pin dates down so can't book yet as I want to take advantage of the Travelocity deal that gives you a much bigger discount combining resort and airfare than Couples does. Waiting to hear what Randymon says on the other thread if they will match Travelocity's price that includes airfare. Resort price at both sites is about the same. It's the combo of airfare that brings it down on Travelocity for us.
    Last edited by lsm1212; August 13th, 2013 at 09:19 AM.
    Linda & Nick
    CSA - Oct 2004 (for our wedding!!!)
    CN - March 2006, Nov 2013
    CSS - March 2013

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