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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default When is the best time to buy airline tickets

    Hello everyone! I've been looking for airline tickets for our upcoming trip to CSA in June. Does anyone have recommendations or secret tips they are willing to share on when to buy? Three weeks ago they were $692 SLC to MBJ on US Airways, then they jumped to $702, then $722 and now $782 today! Have we missed out on getting cheaper tickets? I figured 5 months was still a little early and they'd come down, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Suggestions?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    116

    Default

    I booked our May 2014 trip to CN last June to catch the room rates before the increase. I started checking airfare and within the first week after getting inside the 330 day window that airlines post their fares, I booked. The airfare tickets have not fallen below that since and my exact ticket now would be about $200 per person more than I paid last July.

    You can sometimes save by booking room and air together but with the room rate changes by Couples last June, I had to book separately.

    It is a gamble as to when you will see the best prices. Good Luck and Have Fun!

  3. #3

    Default

    I usually book about 5-6 months ahead of time. Then if the rate drops I call Jetblue and get a credit that I can use for next year's trip.

  4. #4

    Default

    We did the same, we booked our april 2014 trip in march 2013. As soon as the flights were available at the 11 month mark, i started looking, and had our flights booked within a few weeks of them being announced. We paid $613 each. The airline ended up cancelling one of the legs of our flight, so we had to choose a new flight time. The flight we are now on, is currently priced at $825 each. What really stinks is our trip in 2013, we only paid $516 each for. ... SOMETIMES you can find great last minute deals, but that is very risky.

    85 days 18 hours 3 minutes!!!
    Is this Love that I'm feelin'?

    CSS March 2013, April/May 2014
    CN April 2014

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

    Default

    There is no right time anymore. Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings are typically the lowest prices during the week but I've been watching my May trip since last June. In July, 10 months prior to the trip the best price I could find was $498. It hasn't dropped below $530 since then. So in December I found it for $540 and booked it because the flights were booking up and I didn't want to be stuck in the airport all day. Flight times are very important especially for international flights that are limited each day. Watch and book when you feel good about it. In all my trips I've never seen prices drop any lower within 5 months so I don't buy the wait and see rule people use. Usually the first month you can book is the cheapest I've found and all flights have plenty of room.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    We used to book package deals with a travel agent but for our last several trips we have booked flights on our own. We travel in June and book the year before for the lower rates at Couples. I have found the fares to be acceptable in October/November for our June trips and that is when we have booked our flights. I usually continue to check prices after we book just because I am curious and want to see what prices are doing. Generally the price we get is very close to the lowest price I will see available. Flight times and airports (we always have to make a transfer going down and coming back) are also important to us. We like flying through Charlotte as opposed to say Atlanta or Houston. The ITA site (ITAsoftware.com) is an excellent resource for finding flights times and prices; especially if you are booking on your own.
    Good luck, have a great trip!
    See you at the beach!
    dirtleg & sandyfoot

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    127

    Default

    I check daily when I'm ready to book. I can vary hundreds of dollars. My last trip in Dec 2013 to Montego Bay from Reno Nv. Coach was $850 First class was $1975 when I started checking. I ended up booking 2 First Class seats for $1125 each. Coach was still around $800. You add in free luggage for first class and the 50% extra skymiles for flying first class. I flew first class for what coach would have cost.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Paid $505 USD apiece from Philly booked as package with TA 2 weeks ago

  9. #9

    Default

    Here's a tip... if you live near the airport, go there to purchase your tickets. I'm not sure if this applies to all airlines but for Spirit, we save $70 (on two tickets) by purchasing at the airport. A couple dollars for short-term parking and it's well worth it! There is a "passenger usage fee" that you are charged when you purchase online. I'm sure you could call your airline and find out if you'd get that savings by purchasing at the airport. Every little bit helps!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Paid $503 pp including all fees. US Airways
    From PHILLY

    booked in January for a March trip

    Can't remember what day I booked

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Both flights are on a Wednesday

  12. #12

    Default

    I bought our tickets for December 5-14, 2014 on January 25th - $332 pp FLL to MBJ. They've only gone up $10 each as of this morning, but they will move up consistently. Our April 19-28, 2014 tickets were purchased in July 2013 for $322 pp FLL to MBJ. As of this morning, those same tickets are now $402 and will probably be sold out in another 30 days. We only fly Caribbean Air out of Ft. Lauderdale. Spirit is a few bucks cheaper, but I wouldn't fly Spirit even if the tickets were free.
    Ricky Ginsburg
    Boca Raton, Florida
    (just a 75 minute plane flight from paradise)


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Well I have no experience flying out of the US but the flight prices out of ontario, canada have been shit! We have travelled from Toronto to Montego Bay in April for the last five years and have never paid more than $1200 for both of us, all in. Last two years we paid $850.00 for the two of yes, again taxes in. We started looking at flights for our upcoming April trip last fall. At that time price was about $1200 but thought it would drop as it had in past years. Wrong!!! We finally booked our flight a few weeks ago in mid January and paid $1215.00. Glad we did, price today is $1650!!! Granted we are travelling over Easter and Canadian dollar is low but we always travel over Easter so not sure that is really a factor? I really don't think there are many deals to be had this year. Travel seems to be in high demand this year!
    Kris

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    580

    Default

    My wife booked our April flights ages ago. $460 each, direct out of JFK. Over the years we have flown out of JFK, Phili & Newark - whichever one will get us to Jamaica the earliest. This April is 6:55 a.m. - 9:47 a.m. (great arrival time!). With the early flight, arriving on a Thursday morning (hopefully the airport will be quiet) and taking TimAir to Negril, we are hoping to be at the pool bar very early in the day (knocking on wood that everything goes smoothly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    14

    Default

    This year we fly to MBJ on Delta and then returning on AirTran/Southwest. Checking one way tickets on specific dates with different carriers can save money. During Easter weekend Delta is flying non stop Indy to MBJ, that's the first time I have ever seen a non stop from Indy to any Caribbean destination since ATA went out of business.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I think it has been mentioned before but check out http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ or https://www.google.ca/flights/ (same engine just different user interface). The first one will allow you to view a month at a time.

    Don't think it covers charters. Air Transat is on there but Sunwing only shows schedules and not prices (on google flights).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Hey Bert, nicely done!!!

    We have found that you book the trip when the price is in your budget. Don't get to greedy. It seems that strategy may bite you in the backside these days. Planes are full so there is not much of an incentive to put seats "on sale".
    We booked our May CSA trip (flying on Delta from Madison, WI through Atlanta) back in mid October. From that day, the total price (both resort and airfare) has only gone up. It seems that booking early may give you the best flight options.

  18. #18

    Default

    I booked in December 2013 for April trip, paid $515 per person. FLying out on Jetblue and returning on Delta since Jetblue discontinued the mid afternoon flight - at least that week they did. Jetblue at least gives you one bag for "free" will have to pay for Delta. Luckily hubby and I only take one bag -

  19. #19

    Default

    For us the best time is when the flights are cheapest kidding but for our May trip to CSA, which we booked months ago, we just got the flights this past weekend. From lax on US air less than $600 a ticket I was trying really hard to match our cost for flights last May and lo and behold I got them $12 cheaper. Yes, yes I'm tooting my own horn here.

    I use kayak and Expedia (although I hate expedia right now, they owe us $1100 that they won't refund so boo on them. Don't use them!). And just a tip to anyone reading this, before every "checking flights" session, clear your browsers cookies. Websites track to see how many times you visited and searched specific flights/dates/times. So if they see you've been checking incessantly for the past 3 weeks, they sure as heck aren't going to lower the prices for ya! And I try to check only once a week. HTH!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Correction, nicely done Bert's wife.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    125

    Default

    We got our tickets yesterday at 704 and today they were 786. I wish I could have gotten them a month and a half ago at 550 but no money to do it then. I will plan better next time. Last time we went we only paid 425 ,but that was in Sept. In the end it doesn't matter as long as we get there to regenerate and spend time alone without kids or anything else to worry about. 61 days until CSS!!!!!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    127

    Default

    You just have to watch the airfares. I missed firstclass tickets for $60 more than coach the other day on Delta. You just have to check daily and jump on the deals when you see them.

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