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Is there a "best" time window to book?

Australia
posts: 1,098
reviews: 24
Is there a "best" time window to book?

Hi,

We need to fly

LAX - LAS 7th Feb

LAS - MIA (or FTL) 11th Feb

MIA (FTL) - STL 24th Feb

STL - LIT 27th Feb

LIT - LAX 3rd March

I've checked Delta, United, Virgin America, Southwest ( dates not loaded ), Jetblue and possibly others!! I've used webjet, farecompare, priceline, kayak, expedia ... I've signed up for numerous email notifications... well you get the picture!!

I've got a pad covered in scribbles of times/dates/airlines/prices but it's a little hard when I can't get an accurate idea of South Wests prices.

I've got heaps of time to keep researching and ultimately booking but just wondered if there's some "magical" time frame that the best prices are available? I know prices fluctuate but is there any rhyme or reason to the price rises and falls?

Also if you know of any carrier that is traditionally the "best" for any of these legs I'd appreciate the inside info!

UK
posts: 43,958
reviews: 89
1. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

but just wondered if there's some "magical" time frame that the best prices are available?

------- No

I know prices fluctuate but is there any rhyme or reason to the price rises and falls

------yes, supply and demand but since you don't know what that is, effectively, no.

:-)

I'd be inclined to book these with Southwest (where routes permit) , because they have a good reputation,include one bag in prices, price for single fares, which can be very expensive with some of the carriers you mention, and also booking separate flights with them rather than one long itinerary with the others, means that should you miss one flight, it doesn't have any repercussions on subsequent flights.

Australia
posts: 1,098
reviews: 24
2. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Just as I suspected... but we live in hope!!

Will wait until SW bring out their prices for my dates and redo the whole exercise.

Thanks joeintheuk for the reply.

Naples, Florida
posts: 350
reviews: 6
3. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Here are a couple of sites on this issue that you can check out:

post-gazette.com/stories/…

chicagotribune.com/travel/…1983339.column

Australia
posts: 1,098
reviews: 24
4. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Thanks tep2, both interesting articles but unsurprisingly they end up saying "these are the facts, but who knows anything can happen"!!

Once SW bring out their prices for Feb ( any idea when that will be? ) I'll check it all out again and if I'm comfortable with the prices I'll book.

Naples, Florida
posts: 350
reviews: 6
5. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Here is what Southwest says about this:

Here is the way to find the next date that the flight schedule opens: Go to the home page, scroll to the bottom of the page, under customer service is travel tools. When you tap on travel tools you will get a page that lists the next date the schedule will open up.

Australia
posts: 1,098
reviews: 24
6. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Oh Wow... aren't you clever!! Thanks.. I'll keep an eye on that, awesome.

Netherlands
posts: 552
reviews: 149
7. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

just visit a travel agent

saves you a lot of time and sorrow

With regular scheduled airlines, you can book 11 months prior to your return flight

Internet sites will NOT always show you the cheapest possibility (believe me...i have beaten our own website!!)

Chihuahua, Mexico
posts: 9
8. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Try also using Yapta:

http://www.yapta.com

Pittsburgh...
posts: 316
reviews: 59
9. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

I never suggest using a travel agent or third-party website. A travel agent wont be necessary for a simple itinerary like yours. Book your flights with the airline directly. Most US airlines have a guarantee that you will always get their best price when you book directly with them.

Southwest is a great airline and their website is very easy to use.

You must be sure to book early enough to get the Wanna Get Away fares for all the members of your party.

My only advice on when to book is not to wait until 2 weeks prior. It seems like if you wait until 2 weeks before the date of the flight, prices go up. 2 weeks before is typically when all the business travelers book their flights so demand must go up.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7,218
reviews: 74
10. Re: Is there a "best" time window to book?

Follow for a whike and if you see someone offer a sale, book it. There's no best window.

Southwest is nothing special. On board service is no different than other USA airlines. There's no reserved seats, which I find inconvenient, especially if you need overhead space for a carry on. They don't fly to all major airports. They do have no checked bag fees, the only USA airline that does not charge. I'd book whichever airline has the price/ timing that you like best.