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AUSTRALIA
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When do I book the flight?

We will be in San Francisco in Dec 2013 and need to book a flight to LA for 5 people. Is it better to book the flight early or later for the best price? Also, is one airline better for luggage. We will have more than hand luggage only. Finally, is there a particular website you would recommend using to get a good price? Thanks

Thousand Oaks...
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1. Re: When do I book the flight?

Start with Southwest.com.

In addition to LAX search flights going into Burbank Airport (BUR). It's relatively easy to get to Hollywood from there, among other areas.

Dr. Z

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: When do I book the flight?

Southwest is likely your best bet...Alaska could possibly compete though...

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: When do I book the flight?

Southwest usually has among the best fares. They do not charge for the first checked piece of luggage. They do not reserve seats ahead of time. You call to confirm 24 hrs in advance and then are given a "priority" number.

Before boarding, passengers stand by their priority section number and are boarded in that order, choosing their own seats.

Southwest does not use third party Internet sites for booking. You will not find them there, so you need to do that on their own site. While you are there, look for the flights under the "wanna getaway" column. They are the cheapest.

We use them for short flights all the time and are very satisfied.

Bloomington, Indiana
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for Bloomington
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4. Re: When do I book the flight?

Also consider Oakland (OAK) as your Bay Area airport. No certainty that the fare will be lower, but it could be and other factors (such as departure/arrival time) could work out better for you.

In the big picture OAK is about as good as SFO on the SF side of the trip you're talking about.

hlo

NoCal
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5. Re: When do I book the flight?

Southwest dies not allow you to book more than six mobths in advance. Fly out of Oakland to avoid any weather delays.

San Francisco
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6. Re: When do I book the flight?

Southwest allows two free bags per person although they have a weight and size . limit on those bags and over bags are charged $75/per. Check the Southwest site for complete details. Everyone loves SW but it's a bit of a cattle car.

With 5 people have you considered driving? Even with an inexpensive fare, for five people it adds up. I'm sure that renting a car and driving would be less expensive.

AUSTRALIA
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7. Re: When do I book the flight?

Thanks but we are too time poor to be able to drive, also prefer to not have hassle with driving on other side road etc. We are flying out from LA that night on Qantas & they have an agreement to let you check your luggage all the way through from SFO with airlines except South west and Alaska!! So any other suggestions? We really want to get the luggage checked through to Australia then we can spend some time in LA between flights having a quick look.

San Francisco
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8. Re: When do I book the flight?

If you are locked into a legacy carrier that will allow check through luggage, then I suggest you check Expedia, etal.

Qantas is a One World Partner which would put you with American Airlines. They don't have as many flights out of SFO (by a long shot) as United.

If you can check through on United (Star Alliance) they have a lot of SFO-LAX flights. Book early. Their fares for off - hour flights match the cheaper carriers. Otherwise, they are much more expensive -- meaning you could be looking at $1000+ for 5 people.

Edited: 1:06 am, January 28, 2013
San Francisco...
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9. Re: When do I book the flight?

Best time to book advice: …usatoday.com/time-make-flight-reservations-…

Sounds like 1-3 months out is best.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: When do I book the flight?

Not all airlines have an interline agreement with Quantas but as Sal said, American does but they will want you to have one ticket to OZ and not separate tickets from SFO to your final destination It will also be a cheaper ticket

Check bing.com/travel or kayak.com for fare guidance Christmas fares are higher except on Christmas Day so I would book in Summer but keep an eye on airfares and sign up for email alerts