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Need a primer on when to purchase.

Missouri
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Need a primer on when to purchase.

Back in July, I was thinking of booking my trip, St. Louis to Rome, Naples to Paris, Paris to St. Louis. Back then, I had found a $880 fare thru Expedia. For various reasons, I didn't book and now the same trip is closer to $1100.

We're now 7 months out from our trip date of April 7 to the 22nd. Our dates are firm and we've already booked our lodging. I've checked various airlines and using Delta directly and Easyjet, at this moment at least, is more expensive than the Expedia trip. The Delta flights alone between St. Louis and Rome and Paris to St. Louis are running $1050. An Easyjet flight from Naples to Paris is over $100. (The Expedia trip uses Delta and Airfrance.)

I guess the real question is: I know airfare changes often. But is it more likely to go up over the next seven months, or decrease? I'd like to get the most "bang for my buck" and it's kind of ticking me off I didn't buy back when it was $880. Between my husband and I we'd now spend $300 more, that we could have spent on a nice dinner out in Paris.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Missouri
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31. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

I did consider cutting Pompeii. But, my husband really wants to go and he pointed out the obvious, I've wanted to see Pompeii literally my whole life. I love history, I love ruins, and the chance of ever getting another chance is exceedingly slim. So, yes, it's pretty much a must-see. We're only spending one night in Naples. The plan is seven nights in Rome, one in Naples and six in Paris. Naples is just to save the long day trip.

Isle of Man, United...
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32. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

Understood. An overnight night there makes sense.

Dare I suggest Herculaneum too?

Missouri
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33. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

Oh, I'd LOVE to do Herculaneum too! That whole little side trip is still in the works. It just kind of depends on what time we have. We wanted to go to everything of course, but there is a limit. Our hope is to at least go to Pompeii. If there's time, we'd like to go to the archaeological museum. If we stay too long in Pompeii to get there, so be it. We originally were staying two nights in Naples, so as to have plenty of time for Pompeii, Herculaneum and the museum, but we shortened it up to get an extra day in Paris. So now we only have the 15th and whatever time before our plane leaves on the 16th. On the "package" through Expedia with the Air France flight, the flight leaves at noonish, so no real time to do anything that morning. If we go with Easy Jet we can get a 3 p.m. flight, and have time to see the museum on the 16th before the flight. Which also gives us time to see Herculaneum. This sort of thing is why I've wondered about airfare prices and if I should just book now. It's actually the trip to Pompeii that's messing with the airfare bookings. I know now we shouldn't really book airfare around the trip, but we planned the trip first, so that's how it's working out.

Ely, Minnesota
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34. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

Can I throw out a question here since I'm so impressed with everyone's travel knowledge? I, too, am planning a first-time trip to Italy for the spring. I have found an open-jaw flight from Chicago to Rome and then back from Venice to Chicago for only $710 through airfare.com. It is flying KLM. On KLM's website the same flight is about $850. It appears to me that fees and taxes are included in both prices. Am I missing something here? Has anyone used airfare.com?

Missouri
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35. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

NothernCindy, I have not used that flight, but because of your post I checked out my flights and then ran them again here on TA. FWIW, I found the same flights, and even some cheaper, on Expedia. But that Naples to Paris flight screws me up every time. Still, I can get the open jaw from STL to Rome and from Paris to STL for about $902 on American, with taxes. Or $1080 for the whole trip using Delta and AirFrance. Since Easyjet was about $130 for the Naples to Paris ($1032) it's about the same cost either way. No significant savings for me. But the one you found sounds good for you!

Moulton, Alabama
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36. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

I have always been told that airline tickets are the cheapest to buy on Tuesday's and Wednesday's. More specifically from 12 am Tuesday until 12 noon on Wednesday (18 hours). The reasoning is that most people are "trip planning", etc. on the weekends so the prices are higher. Just a thought.

Isle of Man, United...
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37. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

Cheaper still on 31st september next. About 20 after midnight. Wait til then.

Travelling The World
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38. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

> I have always been told that airline tickets are the cheapest to buy on Tuesday's and Wednesday's.

None of this really holds true anymore (if it ever did). Airlines flight yield calculations are so sophisticated that they can change minute by minute depending on a whole load of factors. One of the important factors in this case is the connecting flight from STL. As long as that flight is lightly loaded, fares from STL will stay down, as the airlines want to tempt people on to that flight, and one of the best ways of doing it is to offer good fares on connections. But the minute the STL-ATL flight (in th case of Delta) starts to fill, fares will creep up. That could be a Tuesday, a Wednesday or any other day of the week.

As has been said, there is no real way to predict what fares will do. Airlines try to maximise their revenue, and have very sophisticated systems for doing so, based on what they think people will pay. The computers then adjust the fares based on booking patterns, past trends and things like seasonality.

The only way you can "win" this game is either not to take the flight or buy when you are comfortable with the price and accept that you still got a good deal, even if maybe you could have got a better one a few weeks later. But then again, the offer may have been worse.

Welcome to airfare blackjack. Stand or draw? It's up to you.

Isle of Man, United...
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39. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

WV has just hit lucky 7,000 so the portents are good.

40. Re: Need a primer on when to purchase.

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