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splash
05-16-2007, 03:05 PM
Who has found a good price on airfare and what sites do you use? I am looking for airfare from PDX (Portland, OR) to MCO (Orlando, FL) I've been checking with kayak and travelocity, as well as airline sites. Please share your ideas with me.

anniedg
05-16-2007, 03:12 PM
No special trick -- I pretty much find the lowest fare on Travelocity, Expedia, etc. and then go to that airline's site. I've found the airlines' sites tends to be lower. It can also be helpful to be on an airline's e-mail list. They often send out deals by e-mail.
Remember, not all airlines (i.e. Southwest) are on Expedia etc. so you have to check them individually.

Lani
05-16-2007, 03:16 PM
I subscribe to the email alerts from Farecompare.com to let me know if a really good deal comes up.

If you travel from an airport that Southwest or some of the other "value" airlines use, prices should be relatively competitive. The key is to wait until Southwest releases its fares (usually 3 months out, but sometimes longer, I believe); that's when the regular airlines also oftentimes publish lower fares.

I just secured round trip tickets from Oakland (CA) to Orlando for $239 per person on United. Up until a few weeks ago, prices were over $300 per person.

topmouse
05-16-2007, 03:16 PM
farecompare.com

Lani
05-16-2007, 03:17 PM
No special trick -- I pretty much find the lowest fare on Travelocity, Expedia, etc. and then go to that airline's site.
That's a really good strategy, since you should still be able to get a comparable fare, but you won't have to deal with additional hassles if something goes awry and you need your tickets exchanged or something. It's easier to deal directly with the airlines.

GusMan
05-16-2007, 03:37 PM
After seeing that some third-party sites charge fees, and sometimes large ones at that, I tend to go right to the airlines web sites and do some manual comparison. Also, since I fly AA a lot for work, I have their fare alerts turned on and at times can get very cheap flights to MCO.

But remember... low fares are 1/2 the battle. If the schedule doesnt work for you, then its not worth it. For example, if getting the lowest fare means that you arrive at MCO at 11:30PM and would have to leave at 7AM, then is it worth it? Only you can make that call. Sometimes paying $50 more per ticket may mean a better schedule that will maximize your time at the parks. That may mean $200 for a family of 4, but that may be a small price to pay for another full day.

ForeverPrincess
05-16-2007, 03:56 PM
I live in huntington wv and found a discount airline called alligent air who sells one ways direct flight to orlando from 59 each way. If you go to the ticket counter at the airpot it saves a lot of surcharges. Mabe your local airport has a discount airline. Our whole family is flying both ways for 674 dollars. A great deal. Check your local airports web site and you might find a discount airline that is how I found my great deal.

ourtrip
05-16-2007, 04:02 PM
this time around i found something i thought was pretty interesting...
i was checking travelocity, expedia and orbitz for a few days just "pretend" planning when i noticed that over a week the price for fares really varied from day to day and site to site. i have a few ideas why this might happen, but i was able to spot a very good deal on a trip from our small local airport to orlando with one connection. maybe it was luck or an oddity in the price, but i am very happy.

try checking over several days and see if you notice any trends in the price.

mom22gls
05-16-2007, 05:02 PM
But remember... low fares are 1/2 the battle. If the schedule doesnt work for you, then its not worth it.

That also applies to getting a non-stop flight. The discount airlines often have a limited number of non-stop flights, particularly at desirable travel times. I recently booked our flights home from Orlando on Southwest, going on-line literally within 60 seconds of the date release. For the cheaper internet fares, there were only two non-stop flights for that Sunday travel time. Fortunately, I don't have to go to work early on that Monday, so I booked the later evening flight. We won't get home till nearly midnight, but at least we will be spending the extra time at the parks, instead of hanging around an airport, hoping our checked luggage makes it to our final flight home. For us, Southwest and AirTran are our default airlines, to get to Orlando.

Merman
05-17-2007, 05:22 AM
Hi all ... how far in advance do you book your flights ... and do flights tend to come down after the summer (like the gas prices)? We're leaving in December for WDW ... been checking JetBlue but was only able to book through October. If you fly on a Tues or Thursday flights were $59 one-way. Today I check and you can now book December, however the flights for Tues and Thurs are now $99. Does it pay to wait and see if the prices come down or is it best to book now? Thanks!
-Mike

ForeverPrincess
05-17-2007, 05:47 AM
The main problem I am having with our alligent air flight is that it si flying into orlando/stanford airport and will cost us round trip at least 200.00 plus tip to get to our gotel at disney. I wish we were able to get the magical express but oh well. We still end up saving money.That is something to consider when looking for an airline.

anniedg
05-17-2007, 07:48 AM
Ourtrip -- I've found the same thing, it can vary day to day and even am to pm on the same day.
As far as when to book -- as soon as our dates are firm I start checking, a lot. It's a guessing game after that for me. I end up booking when the fares seem like they're about as low as they're going to get. This trip I booked seats at 3 different times because my older sons weren't sure of their dates when the rest of us were. When I booked them later we got lower airfare on one of them, much higher on the other. It is nuts how 2 people on the same flights pay completely different fares. Another thing to keep an eye on is how full the flights are (you can usually see available seats online). We knew we wanted specific flights for my sons and as the plane filled up toward the end the fares climbed up too.

Ohthatjeff
05-17-2007, 07:56 AM
Also, most airlines release new tickets for existing flights (due to cancellations, changes, etc.) on Wednesdays.

splash
05-17-2007, 10:35 AM
I checked on travelocity the other day and found a fare that was $266, but when I tried to select the flight, it said that the fare had changed and it was a total of about $200 per ticket higher. Anyone had experience with this?

GusMan
05-17-2007, 10:59 AM
Yep... all the time. An example of something similar: I have seen on some travel sites where the fare was really low... but when I tried to see what the total costs were including taxes, there was like $150 added in fees.

And no... that is not an exaggeration.... It was $150 per ticket!
I cant remember the site as for obvious reasons, I did not return to that site.

stan4d_steph
05-18-2007, 09:07 PM
Southwest fares were not the lowest when they first released. I waited until this past week to book our October trip. One way to MCO was down to $69. It's possible that it may go down with Ding!, but not much more than $20 each way. Before that, the fare was about $100 more.

the4walls
05-19-2007, 05:18 AM
DH is a caricature artist and has begun trading his services to Southwest Airlines for tickets.

They hire him to work at various events and for every two hours that he draws, he receives one "green love ticket." It's a must-fly, no restrictions, no black-outs and good for either one round-trip or two one-way flights.

I know it's a long shot, but if you have some sort of entertainment skill, airlines love that kind of thing.

Also cruise ships. We can go on basically any cruise aboard Celebrity if he's just willing to spend a little time drawing. Hmmm.....maybe we should try to sell that idea to Disney Cruises....;)

jlagana
05-19-2007, 06:44 AM
I am nervous because I booked one way at a great rate of 79.00 for 7 of us on Southwest, but there are not any return flights available yet for the date I need in November. Does anyone know when they come out???? HMMM. Maybe we will just have to stay.....

Drince88
05-19-2007, 08:35 AM
I am nervous because I booked one way at a great rate of 79.00 for 7 of us on Southwest, but there are not any return flights available yet for the date I need in November. Does anyone know when they come out???? HMMM. Maybe we will just have to stay.....

I wouldn't be nervous about that, since SW hasn't released flights for most of November yet.

Ok, I think this might be new on Southwest's website:
We are currently accepting air reservations through November 2, 2007. On June 28, we plan to open the schedule for purchase through January 16, 2008. This date is subject to change! Please check back frequently. From this page (http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/travel_center.html) (I just clicked "travel tools" on their main navigation bar and it was there). I don't recall even hearing that they'd 'pre-announced' when they'd open flights up.

Is it my imagination, or are they releasing bigger blocks of time with bigger lead times? I mean, that would be 6 months out!

rentayenta
05-19-2007, 12:24 PM
Southwest DING and sidestep.com


My friends found me $203 RT from SLC to MCO on sidestep. :D

jlagana
05-19-2007, 03:23 PM
Thank you sooo much. That gives me an idea of when to start checking. Now I just have to hope that I get good rates...

stephaniesmithrn
06-08-2007, 07:17 AM
How do you guys book your flights and how far in advance? I usually use Expedia, and according to their calendar I could book my May 2008 flight next week. Would I be better off waiting to see if the prices go down? Is there a cheaper time of the year to book flights? Sites like Priceline make me nervous. I want to know what airline and what are my departure and arrival times before I book the flight.

GusMan
06-08-2007, 07:30 AM
Can you tell us which airport you will be flying out of? I ask that because in some cases where you fly out of (if you have a choice) is as important as which airline you fly.

Personally, I usually wait till about 8-9 months before my trip before I book my flight. If I am flying on miles, it is as soon as I possibly can.

I found that by booking directly with the airline, chances are you will get their best fare in most cases. In fact, I sometimes use expedia to do an overall scan between airlines then go to the specific airlines web page to get a more realistic price. Then I choose my carrier based on flights and cost.

In my opinion, once you decide you want to book and you see the flights you want, if it is within your price range, go for it. I say that because unless you fly Southwest, chances are you will not get a refund on the difference if fares go down. And even with SWA, its not really a refund, but a credit for the difference in fare that can be used for a future flight, good one year from the original booking date.

A good analogy is comparing buying airline tickets with gas prices... You always feel good when you fill up and then the price goes up but it ticks you off if you fill up then prices go down but there is not much you can do about it after you make the purchase. :)

cocoabeach
06-08-2007, 08:10 AM
But what is annoying is that the airline ticket price difference between a great deal and the average price accounts for half of the entire hotel bill. In my family there are 5 of us, and when we get a really good deal we'll pay $250 each (plus fees). The average though is closer to $350. That's $500 that can be saved if you get just the right tickets.


Anyone else have any ideas? I'm interested too.


I keep hearing this big deal about SouthWest but when I check their prices they seem the most expensive ($200 each way?!). What is up with SW and what am I missing?

GusMan
06-08-2007, 08:29 AM
I keep hearing this big deal about SouthWest but when I check their prices they seem the most expensive ($200 each way?!). What is up with SW and what am I missing?
The thing is about SWA is that in some markets, they really are one of the cheapest and most competitive carriers. For other markets, maybe not so much anymore. Example: From Chicago to MCO they used to be REAL cheap. However, now they are around the same price as American. However, the big thing is - SWA has a more flexible flight schedule. So, there is much more to consider than just low fares. If you do not get in till 10 PM on day one of your trip and you have to leave 6:30 AM on the last day of your trip, then is the cheaper fare worth it? Thats a good question that each will have to answer to see how it fits to your travel situation.