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Tickets for next year!

Brick, New Jersey
posts: 1,048
reviews: 11
Tickets for next year!

We will be traveling May 2014 from Newark, NJ to Heathrow, London for our sons graduation from University. Treating the whole family as a nice surprise for him. Will need 11 or 12 tickets. Right now the fares are crazy high. Does anyone have an advise as to when to start seriously stalking the sites for May travel? I've set an alert already on Kayak.com. Thanks!!!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 47,407
reviews: 14
1. Re: Tickets for next year!

I think it's much too early to buy for travel in May 2014. In the past few years* there have been fare reductions offered in March for travel through mid June; fares have dropped by at least one third for travel at that time.

*Past performance is no indicator of future results, but these reductions have been offered for the last three years, and I certainly hope they'll continue in 2014. The lower fares haven't been marketed as a sale, at least not by BA, they've simply been a matter of lower fares available for those checking the website.

Start looking more closely from the end of January. Choose one or two airlines with which you would like to travel and keep an eye on the websites. Make a dummy booking once or twice a week to see what's available for your dates of travel. Once you decide with whom you'd like to fly, call the airline and ask if a group discount is available.

Join the airline's frequent traveller program (if you're not already a member) and form a household account. Those who wish to travel more often with the airline or any of its alliance members will benefit from Miles or Points given to a dozen tATL travellers.

Brick, New Jersey
posts: 1,048
reviews: 11
2. Re: Tickets for next year!

Thanks TravellorPlus...we have been traveling back and forth for the past 3 1/2 years (just hubs, me & the future graduate) so we have FF accounts with a few airlines already. Always go with the best fare so we are not airline specific although United (continental) was always a repeater. Use them a lot for the Caribbean also! Would hate to have to wait until March so i'll start the search January and see what happens...maybe we can get airline credit if they go down during that sale period. Great idea on the group rate. Worth a try. So far we are 7 adults, 2 kids under 5. Still waiting for the others to make up their minds - we are just paying for their airfare, room & food is on them :o) Oh and dates will vary among us so group rate might not work. As long as everyone is there for the ceremony on the Thursday I don't care when they arrive/leave!

Edited: 9:24 pm, July 15, 2013
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,068
reviews: 53
3. Re: Tickets for next year!

You mentioned the ceremony is on Thursday. Are you looking at fares that include a Saturday night? That typically brings the price down a fair amount as you remove yourself from the possible "business traveller" pool who will pay higher fares for midweek travel.

I wouldn't bother with the airline credit for the benefit of this if you're looking at economy class tickets. The taxes and fees that are still due when using miles make up the bulk of the fare.

Cardiff, United...
posts: 225
reviews: 13
4. Re: Tickets for next year!

I would also look at splitting the group up into 2, the airline may have say 4 tickets left at a cheaper cost, whereas trying to book say 6-7 tickets might have to give you a higher fare bracket.

Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 26,018
reviews: 18
5. Re: Tickets for next year!

I would not hold my breath for airline credit if prices go down. If you buy tickets and the prices go UP, you would not expect the airline to bill you for the difference!

posts: 6,713
reviews: 22
6. Re: Tickets for next year!

I know this is off topic, but have you checked that you can get 12 tickets for graduation? Any graduation ceremony I have known about in the UK has had a limited allocation of tickets ( between 2 & 4. ). I'd hate everyone to book flights and then be disappointed.

Brick, New Jersey
posts: 1,048
reviews: 11
7. Re: Tickets for next year!

Good Point Brittraveller31...guess I need to check into this. Thanks! As far as a credit...it was just a thought...not banking on it! Just really don't want to wait as late as March to book. The Hubs and I will travel Saturday to Saturday unless we decide to extend to the following week to travel outside London (Paris?). Kids (all in their mid twenties) will probably fly out Sunday, Monday or Tuesday just to get there in time for the actual graduation and the surprise reveal at our favorite local pub. They will most likely stay until Saturday or Sunday. Thank you all...very helpful info!!!

8. Re: Tickets for next year!

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