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Airfare Debate: Buy Now or Later

Lately, this topic has been popular on this board.

And now The New York Times is weighing in.

Posted by
135 posts

Lufthansa has a sale on fall flights to Munich from several US airports that ends April 28. They're advertising starting fares at a little over $200 for one-way. This would fall into the buy now category....

Posted by
15336 posts

BA and AA are also having sales...Continental is having a sale...everyone is having a sale......

Posted by
850 posts

Delta just recently offered a sky miles promotion with some destinations to Europe for as little as 75,000 miles for business class. Trips have to be concluded by June 21 or thereabouts. Two years ago it took 90,000 miles for B/Class and up until this promotion it took anywhere from over 100k to 250k. The promotion may have ended now but we could not pass up the opportunity. Direct fights both ways.
Just an indication of how slow international flight sales are going right now. It is a good time to keep an eye open for good summer rates.

Posted by
1003 posts

Interesting article. I think Rick's advice is good. If you are tracking fares and you see a fare that looks real good, snap it up. It might go down a little, but there's also the risk it could go up a lot. I did this last week when i'd been tracking fares from LA to either Bologna or Florence this October, they were upwards of $900-1400, but one night I checked and the exact flight I wanted (airline, and dates) was $579. Slept on it for 24 hours and snapped it up.... as of today, it's now $815 (I'm sure it will fluctuate a lot as it's 6 months away, but...). Deciding when to ultimately commit is definitely a conundrum.

Posted by
7588 posts

Yeah, my strategy has always been track fares, know what a good deal is, if you see it, snap it up, and do not look back. I typically do not get real excited though until about 12 to 14 weeks before departure, but that is a real rough guideline.

Posted by
1265 posts

For our current vacation I was checking air fares for about 4-6 months before I saw a fare that was acceptable. Even when I travel domestically for a family vacation, I'm checking air fares for 4-6 months.

Posted by
1717 posts

A factor to consider is : for flying to Europe in any of the months May - September , the airline tickets that you want could be sold out three months before your departure date. If a traveler is flying from an airport in the U.S.A. to an airport in the U.S.A. to an airport in Europe, all the seats in the airplane flying between the airports in the U.S.A. could be sold out three months in advance, or earlier. And, for the most popular destinations : Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, every seat in the plane will be filled.

Posted by
2030 posts

For a trip in September, I just purchased airfare from SFO to London and from CDG to SFO on British Airways and got a pretty good deal through my travel agent of $838 total. I also bought a ticket for another person leaving from Newark to the ame cities for $689.

Posted by
158 posts

BG- I'm also flying in September from Boise to London and returning from Rome to Boise in Oct. The cheapest I have found this route is $928 so if you say your deal is pretty good, I'm guessing this is too, considering the minor differences?

Posted by
11507 posts

I bought my airfare a few months ago,, it was about 1100 Canadian ( all in) from Victoria to Paris.. now, same flights are at about 1600.

Posted by
484 posts

I bought my ticket on Delta last week - SFO-Zurich-Munich-SFO - for 8/22 - 9/07 and paid $740.00, a price I was comfortable with, but yesterday it went down to $670.00. These things do happen sigh

Posted by
111 posts

Just before going to bed, I saw a nice fare. I was on the fence on buying at that moment. I decided to wait for a bit and research online for another hour. It went up by $85 in just 1 hr. I'm kicking myself that I didn't take it up the first time. I bought it a couple of days after. Now I see the same fares $160-$200 more than what I paid for.

Posted by
59 posts

I just purchased what I think is a very good fare $695 Minneapolis to Edinburgh - Rome back to Minneapolis.

I booked directly on Delta and they are offering money back if the same flight goes cheaper.

Posted by
2725 posts

I watch the fares for months before my trip also. I check the seating assignments to see how full the flight is. If there are a lot of seats available, I feel comfortable waiting. If there is a flight that I particularly want and if the plane is getting full, then I buy. I'm hoping to go to France in September. I'm still waiting. Delta put flights on sale for July and August, and I expect they will eventually do the same for September flights. I don't see the economy picking up and the flight has tons of seats available. (Delta has the only non-stop flight from Paris to Pgh.)

Posted by
1717 posts

Nadine : a price of $ 740. for airline tickets for flying from San Francisco to Zurich, and from Munich to San Francisco, in August, is a very low price. I would expect the price to be twice that amount.

Posted by
484 posts

You are right Ron. It was a steal and that's why I got the tickets then. I felt it could get no lower.
Now, even though the price did get lower I still don't feel like I missed out on a deal.
I was prepared to pay over $1,000 so I am happy.

Posted by
52 posts

In Sept 2007 I flew Delta Birmingham to Amsterdam round trip for $1,100. Fast forward to this coming Sept and I found tickets Birmingham to Dublin. Edinburgh to Brimingham for $721. So I grab them. I just checked and they have gone down by $21. I look for them to go down more.