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-   -   When To Book Air & Hotel (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/ask-cruisemates-staff/309006-when-book-air-hotel.html)

Fern February 15th, 2006 07:14 PM

When To Book Air & Hotel
 
Hi,

We're cruising in November, over Thanksgiving, from Fort Lauderdale. We've never flown to a port before, but have run out of cruises within driving distance! (Plus, I HATE :( to fly!)

Is it too early to book the air and hotel, or should we wait until mid-summer or so? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

CA Cruiser February 15th, 2006 07:32 PM

Fern,

We flew to Fort Lauderdale Thankgiving night on a redeye. Just know it will be more because of the holiday season. I booked the flight late April/early May. My thinking was to get the good deals before the college students do. We flew JetBlue and got a great deal R/T from Long Beach, CA. I would check periodically afterwards and the rates were $150 more so we felt great. Two weeks before our trip I checked and the rates were $97 LESS!!! I emailed JetBlue, explained how disappointed I was to find my same flights, booked 6 months early, at a lesser price and asked for a credit. Not only did they acknowledge my request but they had a better sale and gave me $177 credit. If you can stay over 1 day and fly home on a Monday, I find the prices to be much less.

MaryLou February 16th, 2006 06:28 AM

I would book the hotel right now. If you find a cheaper rate, you can always cancel the first one. As far as air is concerned, if you find a rate that you are happy with now, BOOK IT. Thanksgiving is the busiest air travel time of the year. I doubt that there will be any deals offered as the time gets closers. As a matter of fact, it might be difficult to find the flights you want. Let us know how it goes.

LisaK February 16th, 2006 08:35 AM

totally agree with MaryLou - Book it now. Thanksgiving is high season for travel.

TF02302 February 16th, 2006 09:36 AM

I agree with everyone. BOOK NOW! They always seem to black out holiday and school vacation dates for good fares. Find a good deal and book, I would always keep checking for reduced rates. Then try to get a rebate.

CA Cruiser February 16th, 2006 12:49 PM

Like I posted earlier, we waited until April/May on the advice of our TA. She said that's when the Spring sales come out. Even though some airlines have flights/fares, many don't book that far out. Jet Blue is only booking until September, which could have been another reason I waited. But if you find a fare you are happy with, then book. Hopefully if the prices come down like they did for me, they will give you a credit. Have fun planning.

Fern February 16th, 2006 06:58 PM

Thanks everyone!

Unfortunately we don't have Jet Blue (or any other discount airlines) here in Arkansas :cry: .

To get to FLL we have to either fly to Atlanta, St. Louis or Dallas first. (From what I've looked at so far.)

EXCEPT: There is one flight that goes nonstop to Orlando. How far is it from there to FLL? Would it be too much trouble to fly to Orlando and rent a car to drive to FLL? We're planning on flying in at least two days before the cruise so would need to rent a car anyway.

Some of these flights are what my boss used to call "puddle jumpers", which I'm not thrilled about flying on :shock: .

I'll keep looking and book air and hotel soon.

Thanks again,

Mike M February 16th, 2006 07:16 PM

Fern,

My advice is set a price that you are comfortable with on the airline price that you want and when you see a price that falls into that comfort zone, BOOK IT. The trick is to keep checking different sources and check them often. They change often, sometimes within minutes. You may well see it for less at some time in the future but if it did fall into that price zone you felt comfortable with, then what the heck.

It is the old adage. "No matter what you will usually find it for less later but many times you don't."

If you are using Priceline for your hotel then you can't cancel but I have yet to regret using Priceline for a hotel booking. Except for the first time I used it and the I had no idea what I was doing.

Take care,
Mike


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