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Ticket Purchasing

NJ
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5 posts
42 reviews
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Ticket Purchasing

How far in advance is it wise to purchase airfare tickets? Do you really save any money if you book over 3 months in advance?

Thanks,

Matt

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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54,416 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Ticket Purchasing

The short, concise and definitive answer is ..... it depends.

Major airlines have teams of yield managers studying numbers and working with (what I suspect are) complex equations involving past pax numbers, current costs, info gathered from numbers of visits to an airline's website and the volume of calls to the airline's telephone agents.

It's either that or else the yield managers throw darts at a board and say 'right then, that's the fare from AAA to BBB, DDD to HHH and QQQ to YYY - let's go have lunch', after which they go back to work, heave more darts at a board and decide on fares for ten more journeys.

When to book depends on where you wish to go and when, in a great many cases. If you're flying to and from a city with limited departures, then an airline can charge what it wishes for that destination. If you're flying from, say, NYC to LON, then there are a great many options for airlines and fares, so early booking may not be as critical.

So - where and when?

NJ
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5 posts
42 reviews
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2. Re: Ticket Purchasing

Thanks, Interesting. My wife and I were going to fly to Phoenix, AZ from Newark, NJ in Oct. The price was $355 last week, and up to $378 this week. I just wonder if it will come down again. Continental and US Air are the only real carriers that fly from Newark to Phoenix.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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54,416 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Ticket Purchasing

$US378 from EWR to PHX sounds like a reasonable deal for October, as that month will see the start of winter visitors season.

There's not much available into PHX for less than $US340 for much of October, so if your dates are firm, book the tickets.

Of the two airlines you've mentioned, I would probably go with CO before US, but others' views may vary.

NJ
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5 posts
42 reviews
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4. Re: Ticket Purchasing

Thanks, Continental is definitely better than US Air

Isle of Man, United...
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36,612 posts
342 reviews
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5. Re: Ticket Purchasing

TP.

<the yield managers throw darts at a board and say 'right then, that's the fare from AAA to BBB, DDD to HHH and QQQ to YYY - let's go have lunch', after which they go back to work, heave more darts at a board and decide on fares for ten more journeys.>

that is what I think too. Except they don't always come back from Lunch which is why prices change over night!!

New England
Destination Expert
for Ogunquit
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6. Re: Ticket Purchasing

interestingly enough, I was looking for a flight from MHT-PDX in October, just this morning , through Expedia. As I hemmed and hawed to accept the quoted price, I foolishly waited, then went back into Expedia, only to find that the price had risen $20 on the same flight!! I went back in a bit later and had risen another $20...so $40 difference in the same flight on same day in over just 2-3 hours. I just don't get that!

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Ticket Purchasing

You are right on one point, you did not get it!

8. Re: Ticket Purchasing

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