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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,380

    Default Would you wait or buy airfare now??

    Our trip isn't until next April and according to Kayak, the best price and good flight times are running 592.00 . That's more than 100.00 dollars pp than I paid last year. I hate to pay that but the flight times are good . We'd get into mbj at 140 and leave at 230 on departure day. I sure don't want it to get more expensive, I know we don't have a crystal ball but any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    328

    Default

    I booked our trip to CN for this November (2013) back in February (2013). Went ahead and booked flights as well as we are going Thanksgiving week and I figured seats would go fast. We paid about $300 more for our tickets (for both of us) compared to our trip to CSS this past March (2013) which I booked last December (2012). Figured it was because of the holiday week. Hubby was okay with it so we booked it.

    I just checked our flights. They are mostly full but still have some seats left. Checked the price if I were to book them now.... they were double the price! Holy smokes!!!! We paid $1600 and now they are $3200. That's almost as much as the resort cost. So $100 more per person? I'd book them. JMO
    Linda & Nick
    CSA - Oct 2004 (for our wedding!!!)
    CN - March 2006, Nov 2013
    CSS - March 2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default

    What I typically do is; find some flights I like and save them in an itinerary (I use Expedia) and watch them… I will book 5-3 months out once I think the price if fair.
    If you book to early they seem to juggle flights around, change flight times etc. Then I get mad because I want the one I paid for not the one the will just give you! LOL. I would hold off unless you think the deal is worth grabbing and risk the chance the flight could change.
    (Expedia is good with working with you if things do get changed but they are limited to what available. I have not used Kayak so I don’t know their policy.)
    I have noticed prices this year are higher, sigh…. Good luck and have a wonderful trip!

  4. #4

    Default

    Airfare has been going up every time I book. I've already got our tickets for this October and will probably book next April before the end of this week. Book early and save. Book early and you don't have to think about it later.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  5. #5

    Default

    All the flights we saw were not very good times, and like 100-150 more pp than last year. We ended up searching for a multicity flight, one that took us to miami, and then to jamaica the next morning. By doing that we found a FANTASTIC flight (get into MBJ at 1040am!!) at a decent price. Flying from des moines it is $613 each, and we get in at 1040, and leave at 230. After we booked our flight, the prices jumped to $656 each for the same flight, SO glad we booked them when we did.

    From last years experience, we never found any super last minute deals. Our flights started off low, went up and down a little bit, but then just constantly went up and up. By the end, our flights that we paid $517 for were going for over $1000 each!

  6. #6

    Default

    Air Tran will refund difference if airfare drops from time of purchase to departure if you bring it to their attention before departure. We're about to purchase tickets for Dec. now. Air Tran only posts fares six months in advance. Not until 2014 will Airtran/Southwest merge into one airline.

  7. #7

    Default

    I booked our trip 8 months in advance thinking we were getting great arrival/departure times...I even chipped in a few extra and bumped us up to 1st class...my flights have been changed on us 2 times already...when I complained to the airlines, I felt as though they were blaming me for booking our flights so far in advance and I should have known they were going to change. Insult to injury...the guy then said I could pay the $200 each to change our flights to a more desirable time but that he would expect our flights to change a few more times before October. Very frustrating. Just because they are great flights doesn't mean the airlines have to stick to it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben and Sonja View Post
    I booked our trip 8 months in advance thinking we were getting great arrival/departure times...I even chipped in a few extra and bumped us up to 1st class...my flights have been changed on us 2 times already...when I complained to the airlines, I felt as though they were blaming me for booking our flights so far in advance and I should have known they were going to change. Insult to injury...the guy then said I could pay the $200 each to change our flights to a more desirable time but that he would expect our flights to change a few more times before October. Very frustrating. Just because they are great flights doesn't mean the airlines have to stick to it.
    Same thing has happened to us. Our morning direct to Barbados ended up leaving at noon, with a 2 hour layover in Miami arriving at BGI at 9:30 PM. We would have paid for and lost a whole day. Our TA got our flight changed to an early direct the day before so now we are adding a night. I watch our flights weekly. I know the games the airlines play! You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I'm not sure what's the best way to book anymore. LOL

    Carol and Dave. 108 days until Barbados.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,380

    Default

    Our flights this year in April changed by only a half hour thank goodness on AA. I found a flight that was much cheaper but had a 12 hour layover and I don't want that. I just bit the bullet snd booked. It was 140 more pp (yikes) but good times, hopefully won't change! Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    $592 per person, round trip? That sounds pretty good to me, though it depends where you are coming from. We are out of StL and I would consider that a decent price, I don't think you will do a lot better. We travel to CSA in June and I usually book our flights about six to eight months ahead. We are booked for CSA next summer, June again, and we are currently waiting for flight schedules to come out for next summer. If we can get a price of around $1200 R/T for both of us we will probably jump on it. We have been using US Air the last several years, Delta one year also, and they traditionally make some minor changes to schedules between the time we book and the time of travel. They have never made drastic changes, days or hours, so I have been pleased with the stability of the schedules considering how far out we have booked. It always seems to be a crap shoot for booking air. I watched prices drop slightly last year after I had booked and kicked myself for not waiting another month or so. Then again I also watched prices go way up over what we paid and patted myself on the back for booking when I did. There is no sure formula for getting the lowest price. If you see a price that is affordable and seems reasonable in your eyes, book it and leave regrets behind.

    Good luck! Have a great trip!
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    I wait until a couple months before to purchase tickets. I do, however, find the flights I like and then I check the seating chart so I can gage if there are lots of seats left. I like playing the airfare game though

  12. #12

    Default

    We book very early with Delta always. They have never charged us a fee if they are the ones who changed our times and we wanted something different.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

    Default

    Prices are higher this year due to always rising fees and fuel. It'll be hard to pay what you did before 2012 again without a direct flight. We usually pay between $450-500 and now our 2013 flights are all $550+.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    190

    Default

    I booked our November flight out of JFK in March. Price was 423/pp , it is now $592. It seems to me the prices go down after the Christmas/New Year holidays, but you are travelling peak season so I don't know about that. Sign up on Travelocity for "Trip Alerts" and they will let you know when prices go down.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    91

    Default

    We booked our flight for Dec 2013 last Dec. with American. Usually like to fly US Air but their prices are way up. Since they were merging I figured I'd better book early. Got our ticket's for 489.00 /person out of Denver thru Miami (not my favorite Airport). We leave Denver at around midnight and arrive in MTB at 11o AM. Sure enough flight's went up.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I just booked my air fare this past week. I booked CSS over 1 year ago and have been checking flights once the airlines started opening them up for our Sept trip. After reading all the above replies I think I got lucky. Last time we went was in Sept of 2011 and this year the fare was only $95 more total than 2011 and this is including adding $50 for luggage. Total for 2 with luggage is $969 for 2 from Cleveland. Two years ago I did not pay for luggage. However, I did have to book 2 one way flights on 2 airlines in order to get the times of arrival and departure for what I wanted. I could have gotten cheaper but did not want to arrive in late afternoon and leave resort in early morning.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,380

    Default

    In seven trips to ja, I've never paid more than 500 pp out of msp. Everything just keeps getting more expensive I guess. You gotta pay it and I don't like playing the airlines games.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,748

    Default

    You have to check the airfares often. Our favorite flights were available June 11 for $910 and not available on July 4. Then, in the afternoon of July 5, they were $823.69. That evening they were $766.69 and the next morning they were $830.67. Now, in the morning of July 7 they are $950.69. Same exact flight numbers and times!
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  19. #19

    Default

    Try kayak.com, they have an airfare predictor

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    366

    Default

    The number of available seats on a flight will drive the price. If you find an itinery to your likeing and there are few seats left then grab it. The opposite is true if there are many seats left. It's just the common supply and demand theory in process.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sublimebrad View Post
    Prices are higher this year due to always rising fees and fuel. It'll be hard to pay what you did before 2012 again without a direct flight. We usually pay between $450-500 and now our 2013 flights are all $550+.
    I understand inflation and such issues, but gas prices havent really gone up that much, at least for where i live. Last year when we booked, i was paying close to 4 bucks a gallon, now i am paying 3.32, but airfare still goes up year over year, regardless of the direction gas goes.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    Ben & Sonja, if your flight s have changed by more than two hours and you tell them it's not going to work for you, they should give you a refund. American screwed us over again this year. I got a refund and booked US air business with my airmiles and saved a ton of money. For once It worked out for us.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    916

    Default

    I would tend to have two pieces of input on this:

    1) No offense to anybody, but there are times of year when flights to places like North Dakota or northern Michigan or something are not in high demand, because the weather is crappy and there's nothing to do there. However, somebody is always going to MBJ, even if it's not a "busy" week. Due to the climate, and the fact that tropical storms aren't always easily predictable, there's never really a serious downtime in the Caribbean. That being said, the earlier is almost always the better. Case in point: For the third time in a row, I actually have been checking the prices almost weekly since I booked our trip and fares keep going up - same week, same flights.

    2) When it comes to the reasons why airline prices have been going up in a year-to-year comparison has less to do with the price of oil and more to do with airline efficiency improvements over the last five years. As the recession set in, airlines were forced to rethink their routes, reduce the number of flights and maximize the number of seats taken. Even after increasing the efficiencies, they still were not making enough money to stay afloat, so they had to start jacking prices, because the airline industry is not too big to fail, and as important as it is, failure would be detrimental to the business economy. This means directly detrimental in the airline business and indirectly to almost any other multi-location business. The reason I point this out is that with the new health care law, this could get even worse, so book now. PPACA is another major cost hike and even compliant businesses are looking at a 20%-40% increase in health care costs to the employer. Airlines are HUGE employers with big health plans, and these companies that are improving their cost efficiencies are not just going to eat that. It's trickling down to each and every one of us. Also, as the economy has been recovering, people are spending money on trips again, and by simple supply and demand, fewer flights mean an increase in demand per flight. As they sell seats early, the remaining seats become more and more of a premium commodity, and they know they can charge more.

    The moral of the story: BOOK NOW
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    434

    Default

    We almost always JetBlue. If there is a decrease in fare between the time we purchase tickets and the time we travel, I simply call and they issue a JetBlue credit good for one year. They are a great airline all the around but this policy makes them unique.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I just booked airfare today for our trip at the end of May. Delta direct flight out of JFK for $470pp round trip. I doubt if it will get much cheaper. We paid the same for our trip this past May. I spent all last year watching prices and it never fell below twenty dollars cheaper and most of the time it was more. Go ahead and book now. You will feel better when it's just done.

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