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Booking tickets

Hi everyone

We are planning a trip to Switzerland in October.
Is it a good idea to book tickets 8 months before?
Is there any chance that it may get cheaper

Posted by
1312 posts

For airline tickets, as soon as you find a price you are comfortable with I would book it.

I have two trips planned for this year—Switzerland in June and Austria and Switzerland in September—and have had both my airline tickets booked for months now.

My June tickets is $1200 including paid seat reservations and my Sept. ticket is $900 including paid seat reservations.

Posted by
3830 posts

If you use Google flights for your search, it tells you if the price is low, average, or high for your trip and dates. Very useful.

Posted by
388 posts

I used to always book flights 10 to 11 months out and would get great rates, but many swear that's way too early, and it's hard to say nowadays! We're traveling to Switzerland and France with a large group of friends in September. Flights out of Chicago. Half the group is flying into Milan for some days in Italy to start the trip, the other half is flying into Zurich a few days later. Everyone is flying home together from Paris. With Delta as our preferred airline, I began watching rates in December. Back then I was seeing rates around $1,100 for the group going to Milan and $1,200 for the group flying into Zurich, but on a date in January, alerted to a Delta sale by a post on this travel forum, I saw a drop to around $800 and $850, respectively. We made plans to get together the next night to choose and book our flights, but by then it was too late, the prices were right back up to what I'd been seeing.

Last week, thinking I was just checking too far out, I did some mock bookings of our desired flight itinerary 3 months out, 4 months out, etc., and the prices I saw were much higher. We've got them booked now, done just the other day, $968 for the ORD-MXP group and $1,035 ORD-ZRH. (And for one couple using Skymiles, 70,000 miles plus $106 in fees.) These rates are higher than what I've been spending on flights to Europe in the past few years, but I used to choose basic economy. I'm not doing that any more now that Delta has waived change fees for all flights except basic economy.

I do feel good about having gotten ourselves booked, to avoid the risk rates will go up and never come back down. If we continue to check now and then and see a price drop, we can contact an agent and re-book at the lower rates. I know this because I did it the other day for upcoming flights to Portugal. There's no refund of the difference, but the traveler is given an eCredit, and with Delta's generous new policy on the validity period for eCredits, they'll be valid through 12/31/23, useable for flights through 12/31/24. This takes away a lot of the risk of just going ahead with a booking when you first see a rate you know you can live with.

Posted by
2090 posts

We bought RT Business Class to Germany for $1800 [ included the 10% discount for using the British Airways visa] almost 10 months in advance, because that was one of the cheapest BC rates I'd seen. The cheapest BC fares I have ever purchased were $1600 RT on British Airways a few years ago for an August European trip. Once you've paid that, it's so hard to pay more.

I agree that tracking rates on Google Flights is a great strategy, along with setting up price alerts, and using the price history available. It's also nice to be able to check the prices across months on the calendar feature.

Good luck!

Posted by
3460 posts

Something to bear in mind - Various news items I have read are indicating a great deal of pent-up demand for upcoming travel ,and I am noticing this in the prices of airline tickets and hotels ( as well as declining availability ) I booked my Autumn 2022 trip back in mid November 2021 , and I'm glad I moved early ( I always do ) . My plane tickets have risen by $1500 dollars , and hotels in Paris and Montreux are now fully booked . ( my reservations )

Posted by
15 posts

Try the Hopper app. It notifies you when it thinks the prices will go lower or it's time to book. Very helpful.

Posted by
77 posts

Another layer to this question is that airlines are still running a pared down schedule, therefore limiting capacity. If airlines are able to add capacity, it may benefit a person to wait, but if not, it may only get worse. My philosophy has always been book when you are comfortable with the price.

Posted by
422 posts

I read years ago the airlines often decrease prices 55-65 days before the first date of the flight. The reason being that to maximize their profit they want to sell out all the seats. When they clear out, say, 90-95% of the seats, the prices rise precipitously as last-minute travelers pay the price. That said, it’s not likely we will see the airfares as low as what we saw pre-Covid. Last year airfares were depressed due to lack of demand.

Demand for air tickets will rise this year as the pandemic wanes along with travel restrictions. That will contribute to rising ticket prices, as will the steep price of jet fuel.
The decline in business travelers means the airlines will have to charge more for economy class to make up the loss. This could be a paradigm shift if business travel volume does not return to what it once was.
All these things make it anyone’s guess what a “good deal” on air tix to Europe and around the world is from now going forward.