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Best Prices on Flights

I am researching a trip from Nashville to London in June 2020. I am trying to find the best deals on flights. Need some input on what travel sites you recommend for this. Have looked at Expedia, Priceline, Google flights. Not finding any great deals. Is it too early? I read that we should travel T, W, or Sa...and that flight prices are the cheapest on Tuesdays around 3:00 p.m. Just looked again. Not seeing anything any different. Advice?

Posted by
7187 posts

Well June is always peak travel season and more people than ever each year are going to Europe. Try Expedia, I have had a only good experiences using them. I am not traveling in June but got two direct roundtrip tickets on British Airways Chicago to Paris Madrid to Chicago for $1200.

Posted by
3304 posts

June is one of the most expensive months of year to travel to London.

I recommend you go to Skyscanner and set up a price alert between Nashville and London. Nobody has a crystal ball in terms of knowing exactly when the cheap fares will appear if at all.

Whatever you do, do not buy your airline tickets from a third-party website. Buy directly from the airline.

Your best bet is if there are at least two airlines competing between Nashville and London.

Posted by
6869 posts

We caught BNA to Berlin on British Airways for the end of March into April for $437 round trip. My wife subscribes to a couple of websites for deep discounted flights. This one left the internet after about 2 hrs.
What's nice is that it's nonstop from Nashville to Heathrow--and the price. That flight's usually pretty expensive most other times.
If you can possibly leave the last few days of May, you might get a lower price than leaving June 1st or after.

Posted by
21045 posts

I use Google Flights, but there are other good options. Unfortunately, there is no magic strategy. You are originating in a small airport that I assume is non-competitive. If driving a few hundred miles isn't out of the question, check flights from Atlanta and St. Louis. (I doubt that Memphis or Louisville would be much better than Nashville, but you never know.) It wouldn't hurt to check Charlotte and Indianapolis, either. Sometimes you can save so much money flying from a larger airport that you will still have a lot left over after paying for gas and parking--especially if you are not traveling alone. If you're a solo traveler, the economics are not as encouraging.

There are hotels near Dulles Airport outside Washington DC that have in the past allowed customers to leave their cars parked during their vacations after spending one night at the hotel. I wouldn't be surprised if that is possible at some hotels near other airports as well.

Or do you have relatives you could crash with for one night in one of the major East Coast cities: Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC?

Departing mid-week or on Saturday often does save some money. I don't think there is any predictable pattern related to when you actually buy the ticket. The airlines use very complex computer algorithms, and fares can be adjusted multiple times per day. What I do--once I've figure out my two European gateways and the approximate timing--is try to remember to check fares every day. Do not check only once a week on Tuesday afternoon!

Many of the airfare website allow you to set up a price alert, but I don't like to depend totally on those. If I look every day (sometimes I remember to check twice a day), there's a good chance that if a short-term fare reduction occurs, I'll get a shot at it. I've seen fares on a route I had just purchased increase by $500, then drop $500, then increase again, then drop again. My #1 goal is to avoid buying on one of those fare spikes. It's impossible to know when you're looking at the rock-bottom minimum fare, but anyone who is awake and looking can see a $500 fare increase and strive to avoid it. It's really important to monitor fares so you know what the typical range is. If you don't do that, how will you know when a great deal comes along? Or you might keep waiting for a pie-in-the-sky / ain't-gonna-happen fare and end up paying a lot more because you waited so long for a unicorn.

One other thing to keep in mind is that, based on my (limited) experience, the fare gap between good routings (minimum number of changes, reasonable layover times) and less-good routings (extra changes, scarily-tight transfer times, grotesquely long layovers, etc.) tends to expand as you get closer to your travel date. The difference might be $150 in the fall and rise to $400 or more over time. So if you are not going to be happy with taking a convoluted routing and being in transit longer than absolutely necessary, you need to be cautious about waiting a long time to buy your ticket. Since you're flying to London, that may not be an issue on this trip (there are non-stops to London from lots of places in the US and Canada), but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

Posted by
13062 posts

It is a myth that buying a ticket at 3:00 pm (or other time) on Tuesdays will get you the lowest price. Prices can fluctuate at any time, depending on demand, competitors' fares, and other factors.

On the other hand, it may be true that flying is cheaper on certain days of the week, but the actual,day may vary depending on the route and direction of travel. When we used to book British Airways as revenue tickets ( instead f miles), I often found that flying eastbound was cheapest on Wednesday and Friday. But for westbound flights, there were different days.

I do like to use a booking site that displays prices for a whole week, with my target date right in the middle. That way, I can adjust our trip plans by a day or so in either direction to get a better price. British Airways does this, as well as Alaska Airlines for domestic flights. Condor Air shows prices for a whole month (but I wouldn't advise booking them right now). I am sure other airlines do as well. I haven't figured out how to make Kayak or ITA Matrix show prices for a range of dates, but maybe there is a way.

Posted by
3681 posts

No booking site covers all options. In my experience, matrix.itasoftware.com offers the best coverage. But it is strictly for information as it does not sell tickets. It's part of Google but my unscientific comparisons suggest it has more info than its cousin Google Flights. The website is fairly clunky to use. For ease, I like www.cheapoair.com despite the name, but I take what I learn and go directly to the airlines for purchase.

Posted by
17 posts

Also try Skyscanner. Momondo and Vayama. I have found in my limited experience that flying mid-week tends to be cheaper. I do think some airlines post special sales on Tuesday, I found round trip tickets from Charleston SC to Dublin for a May trip announced just before Christmas for $350 from Delta, on a Tuesday. We ended up purchasing on the Skyscanner site from CheapOAir.

Always check and compare hidden costs, baggage restrictions, set selection details, etc. before purchase. They can vary from airline to airline. We start searching for flights about 4 months out. Check this site for additional info on sites: https://upgradedpoints.com/best-websites-for-booking-cheap-flights.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
21045 posts

mjbower346 is a braver person than I am. There are a lot of complaints about CheapoAir. It definitely falls in the "wouldn't touch it" category for me.

Posted by
232 posts

First, in my opinion, booking a flight to London 9 months in advance is way too early, unless it is a good price. Hold tight and monitor fares over the next couple of months. I would supplement that with taking a look at the flights seating chart to get a rough idea as to how many seats are available. I would expect many of the seats are open which would indicate a price drop in the future. With that said, some folks feel that airlines manipulate their seating charts to their advantage, so don’t totally rely on that.

Also, don’t just price out fares to London. Try Sky Scanner and price out flights to any European city that peaks your interest. The price to fly within Europe is so cheap that you can hop over to London for $120 round trip and have a partial day/night in a city you wouldn’t otherwise venture to see and thoroughly enjoy it. We get to Europe 3 times a year and typically fly into Amsterdam as fares between MPLS and AMS are reasonable. If we plan on going to, say, Spain, we spend a night or two in Netherlands and hop over to Spain cheaply and have a great trip.

Posted by
5697 posts

Scott's Cheap Flights (free emails) can let you know about trends and sales -- you can check the specific airlines cited if the dates work for you. Keep an eye out for Black Friday sales, too.
And read the recent post about how the cheapest flights may not be the best for you.

Posted by
2933 posts

You should look at the website of British Airways.
Look for a nonstop BNA to Heathrow.
Know the dates you want, but be willing to be a bit flexible on those.
By that I mean be willing to travel a day earlier or later than planned if you spot a bargain fare for those dates.

Check BA website several times a week, be ready to pounce and buy immediately when you see a price you think is good.

You asked for what travel sites we recommend for your search. I recommend buying directly from the airline's website. That way, if you had to cancel or change your flight, you are dealing directly with them, and not through a third party.

I have found great deals on flights from Nashville to London on BA at all times of the year. You don't have to buy this far out. Keep looking and waiting. You might even see a good deal for next June posted in November or December 2019, January or February 2020.
But when you see a terrific deal, buy immediately. Those things usually go away immediately. Don't expect to go back the next day and find the deal still available.

Posted by
33 posts

I agree with Continental...shop prices and book direct with the airlines. I always seem to find a better deal going direct.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks to all of you for your input. I have flown the direct route from BNA to LHR on British Airways...really nice flight. Would like to find a great price on that one since my daughter and grandchildren will be with us. I will keep looking, and if anyone has anymore thoughts on any great deals, let me know.

Posted by
4657 posts

BA currently have a sale on but it appears only in the UK. I couldn't search for a flight departing from Nashville from their site as it claimed that it wasn't recognised however I know that BA fly a direct route there. It was only when I set my VPN to the US could I see Nashville as an option. I also didn't see any mention of a sale. The cheapest flight I found during June was a basic economy flight for $1340 which converts to £1090, not a good price in my opinion. The same dates but in reverse direction reveals a cost of £756 or $929.

Posted by
2933 posts

Next spring, BA will add additional non-stop flights BNA to Heathrow.
(Announced on our local news station, and confirmed by a pilot friend of ours)
Last May we, on a whim, checked airfare for the first week of June 2019. We found a round trip for $545. But we did not book it. We had hoped one granddaughter and one grandson would be going with us. We called them (while we had the fare on the computer screen) and final decision was that they were not wanting to go.
So we did not buy.
But the fare was there available for about a 20 minute window.

Note: We check fares at odd times.
Such as at midnight.
Normally I would not wait that late to book.
But there it was.
Like I said, it was on a whim that we checked.

I do not advise waiting that close to your leave date to book.
But it just shows that you can never predict when you will see a good deal.

Posted by
1220 posts

I think a lot of the old advice really isn’t applicable these days. The airlines use some pretty sophisticated pricing algorithms. Most airline sites also have a way to see flexible dates to see if the fare is significantly less expensive by changing your date by a day or so.

I work some pretty weird shifts at work and I’ve checked airfares at pretty much every hour of the day, I haven’t noticed any pattern. Of course, this is just one person’s observation.

It is maddening with all the new basic economy seats, sometimes you see a good fare and it’s got insane restrictions on it. Makes it harder to fare shop.

Posted by
638 posts

I think a lot of the old advice really isn’t applicable these days.
The airlines use some pretty sophisticated pricing algorithms.

I think that's right. I've read that the old "Tuesday afternoon" fare thing goes way back in history, to a time when airlines released, or uploaded their fares to the computer system (whatever it was), just once a week. Now, as you said, they use sophisticated pricing algorithms, and pricing is very dynamic.

Posted by
712 posts

Last year, I was checking prices out of Nashville on the direct flight to London for July. It did not budge below $1200.00. We ended up taking a totally different route using Chicago to London for $501.00 through KLM (Delta and Virgin). Nashville to London is not really a competitive route and its non-stop, so you are paying for the convenience. I looked around April time as it was a last-minute decision to have another family member come on the trip. If you are willing to consider some alternative airports that may require a drive then you could get a cheaper deal. But St. Louis (my local airport) is not one of them. Also, by all means, search on other sites for deals but I would advise booking directly through the airline web sites. It is easier to deal with if flights get delayed, canceled, etc.

Posted by
618 posts

I pay for a subscription for cheap flight alerts from Scott’s Cheap Flights and it’s been worth every penny. We’ve saved hundreds. I highly recommend it. The deals are random and they come and go. Many last a couple days but sometimes they only last a few hours.

Posted by
115 posts

Ive gone to London quite a bit over the last 20 years and if I’m going for a late spring visit, I go before Memorial Day when fates are cheapest and I stay into mid June. If there’s something you want to see like the Proms or Military Tattoo, it will always be the height of the season and prices are high. I’m going to London soon and I bought a ticket on Expedia for $24.00 RT plus the taxes of $525. for a total of $545.00! There are 2 countries w exorbitant taxes: the UK and Germany. If you want to save money, always fly into and out of a nearby country and take the train. Its usually cheaper to fly into the major cities, but not always. I worked for 20 yrs as a reservation agent for an international airline and I was booking a customer into Denver, Co. where he was picking up a car and driving to Aspen. After finding out his plans, I checked both fares and it was $200.00 less to fly into Aspen with a stopover in Denver.

Posted by
4657 posts

I’m going to London soon and I bought a ticket on Expedia for $24.00 RT plus the taxes of $525. for a total of $545.00! There are 2 countries w exorbitant taxes: the UK and Germany.

Where did you save the $4? Anyway, those fare and tax figures aren't particularly representative of the cost reality. How much would it have cost to fly to Paris instead of the UK? I doubt very much that there would be much in it. Yes, the flight taxes are high in the UK but the airlines absorb some of it in order to remain competitive, in fact it can be very competitive. For example, I've checked Google flights for flights from New York JFK to Heathrow on April 4th next year, returning on the 11th, the cheapest direct flight was with Virgin Atlantic at £298. The same dates, flying from JFK to Paris CDG, the cheapest direct flight was with Air France at £878. So the recommendation to avoid flying into the UK because of the taxes is not always good advice, with some prior planning you could save some money by flying into London and either taking the train or another flight to Paris (albeit without the convenience of a direct flight to Paris).

Posted by
21045 posts

I agree with JC. It makes all the sense in the world to avoid flying out of the UK on frequent-flyer miles because of the horrendous taxes and fees, but if you're paying money for your airline tickets, London is often the cheapest destination for me (or perhaps second to Dublin). I believe that pattern is similar from many other origins. I look at the tax-and-fee breakout on my tickets and am puzzled about how the total fare can be so low.