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airline tickets

Do you have any advice as to how soon to get airline tickets and tips on getting the best price. We are planning on traveling from Houston-Dublin at the end of Sept into Oct.

Posted by
69 posts

You know I don't think there is any perfect time to do it. We were told by travel agent friends that the best time to get tickets was 5 to 7 months out. We had a general idea what our cost range should be and we knew what our budget could handle so we were going to be happy with what we thought was our best price. So saying all that I started watching prices in September and we are going in June. By the end of October prices looked really low and we bought our tickets. That was 8 months out. I was happy with the price. I have been watching them ever since and we are even happier now. They have steadily gone up since. Not saying that they could have gone down some but for the price we got them it would not have been much. On the other side of that coin they could have and did go up a lot more.
So track your prices and when you think they are fairly cheap and within the money you wanted to spend for tickets, I would say go for it. I would also say if you buy fairly out I would buy travel insurance. You just don't know what could happen that far down the road.

Good luck and have a great trip

Posted by
1172 posts

I like sites like kayak or google flights.... I usually have an amount in mind of what I am willing to pay and when I see it, I book.

Posted by
11275 posts

The best time to buy is when the price is lowest for the route you want. Unfortunately, none of us know when that is. The airlines use computers to change fares many times a day, and there simply is no rhyme or reason any more.

Concrete example: a month ago I was looking at airfares for mid-May from New York (so, two months out - in theory, too close to travel to get any real bargains). The cheapest flights to Europe I found were to Zurich, nonstop on American or Delta - $349 (not a typo - three hundred and forty-nine dollars!). As a friend pointed out, taxes alone on some flights are nearly that high. Then I looked at Geneva for the same dates. Nonstop flights were about $1200, and one-stop flights started at about $650; it was about $700 for flights that didn't have a very long layover in Casablanca (yes really - Royal Air Maroc was having a sale).

So, why was Geneva double to triple the price of Zurich? Why was Zurich so cheap for those days? Who knows?

So, start looking immediately to learn who flies from Houston to Dublin and the connections involved. Are you sure you want a round trip - many people start in Dublin and end in Shannon to avoid backtracking. To find these flights, use the "multi city" or multiple destinations" option of Kayak or Google Flights. Also check the websites of the airlines themselves.

Having done this research, you'll see what the current airfares are, and will figure out which routes you'd prefer. You'll then be able to spot a better fare on a route you want, and POUNCE; be ready to buy right away if you see a good deal, as these sometimes evaporate quickly.

Posted by
453 posts

I learned this when purchasing several months in advance. Most likely the airlines will change the flights a time or two before your actual departure. This has only been an issue in that I am somewhat compulsive about giving myself space for connection times and like a healthy cushion for missing a flight. My last three flights to Europe all changed flights during the 4 or 6 months prior to my departure. Now the upside is the airlines always delivered on getting me to my connection on time so I did not miss any flights, I only worried for no legit reason. One trip did place me on a connection that was totally undoable and I called the airline and they saw the ludicrous time for the connection (30 minutes in Heathrow!!) and moved me to a reasonable flight. I have always booked directly with the airlines so I don't really know what will happen if I had booked with a broker and then the airline changed flights and altered my connection bonus. So the bottom line is, keep an eye on your flights once you have them and don't get totally bent out of shape when they change, cause they probably will. But most likely you will be routed efficiently...just a heads up from a compulsive traveler.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for all your help! I have purchased my tickets and I am happy with the price. It is such a huge relief to get that out of the way. Thank you again. I will be posting more topics for advice . Thanks again!