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Old May 10th, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Default Need help with someone familier with flying

We have a cruise booked on the Liberty out of Fort Lauderdale 2/17/07. I booked a room in Fort Lauderdale on the 16th and we are going to fly in on the 16th. The prices online at all sites are unreal - anywhere from 450-700 and up per person flying from the New ORleans area. Also checked into the Lafayette and Baton Rouge airports as well. Is it best to book air flights now - or pray they go down in price closer to sail date? Southwest doesn't post flights until about 4 months prior to sailing. Any opinions of finding a decent price flight??? The flight may cost more than the cruise!! Thanks
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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Need help with someone familier with flying

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylroy
The prices online at all sites are unreal - anywhere from 450-700 and up per person flying from the New ORleans area. Also checked into the Lafayette and Baton Rouge airports as well. Is it best to book air flights now - or pray they go down in price closer to sail date?
cherylroy: If/when gas prices go down then the air fare will . I'd wait closer to the end of the year and watch the rates... Hope that helps somewhat.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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I don't know if this helps, but I am flying to Maryland in June and booked my flight in January with Air Tran. The price of my ticket decreased, and I called AirTran asking if I could be refunded the difference. They said yes. BUT, the credit was not put back on my credit card. It was put on my account with them, and is good for one year. I am sure I will be traveling again in the next year. I'll just make sure I fly with them.

If you feel better booking early, you could book and then call the airline if the price goes down.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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does Jet Blue fly out of an airport near you? They usually have about the best rates around.
Unfortunatly you are traveling during a peak season, school winter breaks, and the airlines don't offer any decent rates or discounts during this period.
Book something now, as this is a very,very popular travel time, you don't want to not have a flight. Also check out the cruise lines air. You will have to pay for an air deviation which is usually about $50.00 per person, but you might get a decent price.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Cheryl:

I've found that I get the best prices about 4 months out. I think a lot of the airlines wait until Southwest posts their prices and then they follow suit. Of course if gas continues to increase, Southwest may not be any cheaper than anyone else, and airfare may be a lot more than it is now. Unfortunately you are really in a Catch 22 situation. If it were me, I would wait, and if it were really bad, would most likely take a couple of extra days and drive there.

Darcy
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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I find that checking smaller regional airports can sometimes save money. I live in NH and usually find my best rates from Boston. I always check Manchester NH too and occasionally find a bargain. I also registered at Orbitz to have them send me updates on prices for my trip. When I fly from Boston I can go to the airport by bus from Concord NH for a lot less than driving to the airport and paying parking fees. Parking at the bus station is free. For me those parking fees are part of the overall fare. In general the flights from the major airport usually run a lot less than from the regional airport.

Laura
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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You could always lock in Carnival's airfare, because you don't have to pay it until the pay the cruise in full. If the prices fall, you can cancel carnival and get the air on your own. At least you will have something locked in if the fares still continue to go up.

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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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If your near a hub for any airline, try going to their direct site and check the prices. More then likely, flights are going to be a premium to New Orleans since the flights going down there have been dramatically decreased.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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NO, we don't have a jet blue airline - but I will keep checking. I do appreciate ALL your help - thanks everyone! Any other suggestions - pass it on! Driving there isn't an option - as taking vacation for cruise - hard enough to get away from work! Thanks!!
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Old May 11th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Cheryl:

Have you tried qixo.com? I've gotten some pretty good rates through that site.

Darcy
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Old May 12th, 2006, 01:42 AM
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Try www.sidestep.com
It doesn't list all airlines so you'll need to check out
Southwest and some others separately.

I got my best rate to Tampa on America West (they are now part of US Airways).

Jet Blue is good if you are within their hubs, if not, they are really expensive.

Airfares are really going up, up and up. Two years ago we flew to Orlando for around $253 per person round trip. Now it's in the $400 range.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Since it's not until Feb., I'd hold off an wait a bit. Maybe when they start posting the cheap summer fares?

I bought my airfare for our June cruise the first of March. When I first started checking in Feb., they were around $400 - $500. I bought at $227. (This is from Indianapolis to Miami - direct flight.) I checked them a couple of weeks ago, and they were back at the $400 mark.

I used Yahoo Fare Chaser (it checks all the different agencies, i.e. orbitz, travelocity, and the airlines directly).

If I were you, I'd just keep checking every other day, or even every day if you have the time. I agree that the high gas prices are affecting this aversely, but think that you can still find one for $250. When it shows up, book it immediately and don't look back! You have PLENTY of time and I don't think the dates you need are peak travel times.

You didn't mention how long the cruise is, or when you're trying to fly back home. It's possible that you're not gone long enough to utilize some of the discounts. You may try adding a day on the end just to see how that helps. At any rate, it's still plenty early enough that many discounts won't be offered. (Usually when the discounts hit, they have to be used within 90 days - sometimes sooner.) I would be willing to bet that you'll be able to find airfare for at least half of what you said.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Cheryl - as i mentioned, since you are going during peak season, i would book the cruise lines air, just to have it. You don't have to pay anything until your final payment is due, its a safety net- this is what our TA does for us all the time. In the meantime, start looking. The airlines haven't posted their fares that far out yet. Check monthly. If you find something good, first off find out what the cancellation policy is and if it works for you, book it. IF the fares go down(which i doubt), with your carrier and you have an unrestricted flight, they should refund you to the lower fare, if you find a lower fare on another airline, cancel and re-book.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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Default Need help

Cheryl, I agree it is disconcerting to not have airfare booked, but I guess we will have to be patient. We are booked on a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 14 and we really can't book until 3 or 4 months out. Love Jet Blue and we shall wait and see how it shakes out.

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Old May 13th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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You might have better luck checking airfares after Labor Day. That is when it seems airfares go on sale. If that doesn't work, you can check after New Year's Day. However, if that doesn't pan out, you may be stuck driving.

JetBlue does serve New Orleans, but only if you are going to New York City, or other cities in the northeast.

If you are checking Orbitz, Travelocity, or Expedia, not all airlines post their airfares there. Southwest, for example, doesn't post their fares at those sites at all. You might want to go to the individual websites directly.

Southwest doesn't post their schedules until about four to six months beforehand, so you might want to check them sometime in August or September. You should be able to find a lower fare there when they post their schedules around September or so.

Another strategy you might try, but this involves some risk, is to book the latest flight you can (although book an earlier flight if the airfare is the same), and see if they will let you fly stand-by on an earlier flight. The risk is that you will be stuck at the airport for several hours, but the reward is getting on a flight you want for less. Since you have a confirmed seat on a later flight, you will get home (eventually).
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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do you have a sun counrty were you live check with them
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:26 PM
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I didn't realize how many different places there are for booking flights! I am not one to play games and always like the 'sure thing'. So...I ended up booking already. Found a flight for 291 without taxes - from N.O. to FLL -- and took it because the times are perfect coming and going. I probally should have waited until Southwest comes out, but like i said, I'm not a gambler...lol. Thank you ALL for your help!
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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due to the airlines not building back up to their full flight schedule because of the new orleans uncertain economy..new orleans for the near future will not have alot of low fares..IMO you were smart to book now instead of waiting
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Old May 14th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Cheryl:

That's not a bad price. I would have booked too. I'm not a gambler either. With gas prices on the rise I've noticed that all the low airfares from here (I live a bit northeast of Boston) to Florida are more than double what there were this time last year, and it doesn;t seem to be getting better. Prices at the pumps went up .10 in two days. My opinion is if you can find a fare you're happy with and the times are right, book it.

Darcy
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