We have a rail trip planned to Switzerland in June 2022 Rescheduled from this year. We are hesitant to get tickets now yet we are worried about prices increasing over the next few months. When do you think a good time to get tickets would be? Heading from Seattle to Zürich.
There's no way airlines have a handle on pricing this far in advance. They don't even have a handle on it in the near-term because there are too many variables affecting demand. If you proceed now, be prepared to have your schedule changed multiple times and/or cancelled, causing a massive waste of time on the phone and related frustration. I would wait until this year is over to look into summer 2002 pricing (meaning, maybe start poking around and tracking rates starting in January 2022 or even 1-2 months later).
In my experience over the last year or so, there is no rhyme or reason to what is going on with airline tickets. I thought I had a great deal on tickets to Poland and just last night, the price dropped to $670/each. From MN! Last night, I was looking for tickets to take us to Europe in the spring. I found that anything after March, prices in both dollars and miles were high. I fly to and thru Seattle a fair amount. (I have a son in Seattle and a daughter in Honolulu) If you have a favored airline, you might start periodically checking mid November. If you have an idea what fares you consider are good and a nice itinerary pops up, and you are planning to buy Economy plus (changeable) you could buy tickets and then watch for fare decreases. Keep in mind that you would get a credit, not money back.
Last night, I got a really great deal for a multicity ticket, Minneapolis/Seattle/Honolulu for travel just 1 1/2 months away. Normally, I would think tickets would be inching up at this point.
I am in this same boat, BOEE for June 2022. Our international hub is Chicago O'Hare, and while the prices are more than I'd like to pay right now I'm worried they will just keep going up. So, I'm going to book changeable so that if the fare goes down I can get the credits. The credits are fine for us as we plan to travel internationally in summer of 2023 as well.
If you are fortunate enough to be booking with frequent flier miles (I realize this isn't the case with the OP) now would be the time.
You are even less likely to beat the airline price system (if system is an applicable word right now) than to hit it rich in the stock market. For my 2022 travels I will start shopping early in 2022.
We never buy this far out, especially with flights changing all the time as they are right now. If you buy now, expect there will be changes. On the other hand, we have friends that recently booked O’Hare to Madrid round trip tickets (TAP Portugal) for $475 per person for next May.
I am in a similar situation. My departure airport is Cleveland, which does not draw flash sales or good prices. I am planning a trip to Europe next May. I have already been watching fares for Delta comfort (or higher) and the prices are currently up $500/ticket. I will check prices and if they drop pull the trigger. I also am willing to carry a credit with Delta as I will be traveling again as soon as it is feasible after May, 2022.
I would recommend that folks who don't live in or right next to a major hub, consider flying to Europe directly FROM that hub. Just figure out a cheap way to get there, consider spending the night before at an airport hotel so you're not rushed. It's probably cheaper, plus you avoid transferring flights in Europe where different countries have different COVID rules for transit passengers.
Also use the price tracker function on Google Flights, and look at the historical charts and graphs they have for various routes. You'll see the pattern after a while, keeping in mind that old stock-market disclaimer about past performance etc.
You normally cannot buy until 10-11 months in advance. I have purchased tickets 10 months in advance, but usually wait until 6-7 months in advance.
Per a massive study a few years ago, "the cheapest airline tickets to Europe are, on average, found 99 days before departure."
I'm not sure any study done pre-Covid is still valid now nor will it be valid next year (if it indeed had any validity to start with). I did not click on the link as I'm not clicking on anything from a website called "cheapair", lol....
Pls use an app like Flight Aware to make sure the flights you intend to purchase are currently being flown. The airlines are selling tickets to flights that currently aren't flying. Check the dependability of the flight, if it has been flown everyday, Etc.
Price isn't the only factor anymore, sadly .
Set up Google Flights price alerts to track price trends.
We are in Europe now,. For this current trip, our flights were changed 7 times. We had to change destinations twice.
Until Europeans are allowed into the US, the airlines just don't have enough business to support their schedules .
IMHO, it's much too early to book airline tickets.
If you plan on using loyalty miles/points book as soon as you can to get the best options knowing full well that your flights will change. My experience is when I have used miles to book trips and the airlines change my flights they are super nice when I want to negotiate with them if the times are unacceptable. From Seattle we have pretty limited choices so I have booked out of YVR (Vancouver) to get better and usually cheaper flights. When using my Alaska Airlines miles I book the first day I can so I can limited how many layovers I get stuck with.
The latest that I currently hold airline tickets for is April of 2022, when we fly to France. I wasn’t planning on buying this far out, but we have a credit with Iceland Air ( for canceled trip in 2020) and they had a good sale on tickets. For the same trip in 2020, I got tickets this time for $500 less pp. It was too good to pass up and now we still have a $1,000 credit with Iceland Air!
I also have tickets for end of April to Italy. I purchased insurance for only the flight which was $490. As it gets closer to the travel dates I can add more insurance if need be. If the flight is canceled I will receive 100% of the ticket price. I belive the price for the insurance was $53. "insure my trip" 1-800 487-4722 Gail or Joann.....both gals were so helpful in finding the policies that would fit my needs. It's just a gamble, yes who knows the air could drop but thats just a chance I wanted to take. Really I don't think it's possible to book anything for June yet.
We bought our flights to Barbados for next June a week ago. From experience there's no way of determining when the "right" time will be, I don't think it exists. We just buy the tickets and forget about them, no point in going back and checking prices down the line. We're flying with BA so fully expect flight changes but that's the nature of travel in these current times.
Unlike Pat who went through h*ll with her airline (but was rewarded with a 1st-class upgrade), I have had only one cancellation (the week the countries locked down in March 2020) and one flight-time change during five transatlantic flights that consisted of 11 segments. This is since the pandemic began in March 2020. I've also had four domestic, with eight segments, and never a change. All have been on Delta or Air France.
This is to reassure you that it's not always so dicey or as crazy as what Pat and many others endured--knock on wood.
The tickets I was watching for May, came back down $500 so I purchased changeable/non-refundable tickets. If I find a less expensive ticket I will change my flight and accept an e-credit.
I just checked my flights and the price is back up the $500, so I am glad I purchased when I did.
Just jumped on a flash sale to Munich as suggested by vandabrud above -- changeable, but not refundable -- price bounced up $400 two days later. The sale did NOT include summer months, but who knows what will happen later. Since many airlines eliminated change fees, buy-now-change-later might be a reasonable strategy.