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      01-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
will.c
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Airline ticket question

Today is 1/26 Thu, and I need to fly out domestically on 2/10 Fri, which gives me 2 weeks to book.

I've been observing the ticket prices, and they have been jacked up from 180 yesterday to 350 today. (I had to wait to buy my tix because I had to receive confirmation of my event. )

I've read that it's best to buy tix Tue-Wed when the prices are low, and then they jack it up on Thu-weekend. I'm also concerned that since the date is nearing, it may just go up from here despite the weekday discounts next week.

My question is, should I just buy it now, or wait til next Tuesday?

Thanks for anyone's kind input!
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      01-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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Go online as if you were going to buy the ticket, see how many seats are open on the seat map. If there are about 50% open, wait till tuesday around 3pm and check again. If its still the same, then just buy it. if it is kinda full already, you should probably buy it or look for another flight with more stops.
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      01-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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anytime you close in on that 2 week mark; ticket prices will generally go up...
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      01-26-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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mm.. I see. I will definitely do that. Thanks guys!!
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      01-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloppy View Post
Go online as if you were going to buy the ticket, see how many seats are open on the seat map. If there are about 50% open, wait till tuesday around 3pm and check again. If its still the same, then just buy it. if it is kinda full already, you should probably buy it or look for another flight with more stops.
Bad advice, almost all airlines hold most of their seats from reservations now, even if they don't have the tickets to fill the seats. They hold them to sell as premium and so on. So I plane could be 50% empty and still have no seat reservations available.
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      01-26-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by O-cha View Post
Bad advice, almost all airlines hold most of their seats from reservations now, even if they don't have the tickets to fill the seats. They hold them to sell as premium and so on. So I plane could be 50% empty and still have no seat reservations available.
hmmm... i do fly every week ... twice a week for about 7 years now... i think i speak from experience... just a little bit
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      01-26-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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hmmm... i do fly every week ... twice a week for about 7 years now... i think i speak from experience... just a little bit
Doesn't make it good advice.
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      01-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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hmmm... i do fly every week ... twice a week for about 7 years now... i think i speak from experience... just a little bit
You could fly 5 times a week and it still doesn't take away from the fact that, depending on status (people that fly 3 times a year vs. frequent fliers that fly twice a week, every week) and airline, you will not be seeing a certain number of seats available on the seat map at any given time, even if they have not technically been reserved yet. The seat map might look the same the next week, but that doesn't mean that the same amount of seats are really still available.

It's not an accurate representation of what's available, end of story. If you knew exactly how many seats were being held back and for what reasons, and studied trends for a specific airline based on what you know is being held back and what is really available then you might be onto something.
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      01-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #9
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I've been told by an airline employee that generally they won't sell you the cheap seats because they already farmed those out to online companies like orbitz etc. or travel group/agencies
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      01-26-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
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you could try stand by lol
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      01-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolinp78 View Post
You could fly 5 times a week and it still doesn't take away from the fact that, depending on status (people that fly 3 times a year vs. frequent fliers that fly twice a week, every week) and airline, you will not be seeing a certain number of seats available on the seat map at any given time, even if they have not technically been reserved yet. The seat map might look the same the next week, but that doesn't mean that the same amount of seats are really still available.

It's not an accurate representation of what's available, end of story. If you knew exactly how many seats were being held back and for what reasons, and studied trends for a specific airline based on what you know is being held back and what is really available then you might be onto something.
Hes experienced, he knows what he's talking about.
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      01-26-2012, 03:47 PM   #12
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Could be the new law that went into effec today. Airlines can no longer disclose fees and taxes seperately from price. What you see is what you pay. Just some food for thought about why prices may seem different.
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      01-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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meh, you guys are probably right. I should not have said i'm experienced so i know. To be honest, i dont care what the prices are and i usually book them 4 weeks ahead of time. There's not a lot of times when i go 2 weeks or less without a ticket.
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      01-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Lesson learned... prices are going up by the minute right now... kinda scary

Thanks for the comments!
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      01-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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i try to buy tickets ~6 weeks out. around then, you'll have access to the cheapest Q/O fares until the inventory is gone. but once you get within 14 days, the prices go up exponentially almost daily. buying the day before will be a disaster. you're gonna pay astronomical fares because that's just what they do. you pay the price for convenience. now there are a lot of intangibles. the biggest being flight load. how many seats are truly unsold, which is a figure that's not always easy to ascertain. there are some tools out there to see, specifically expertflyer or KVS, but seat map only tells part of the story. you might be able to find a cheaper fare close to travel day, depending on flight load, but the odds are against you.
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      01-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-cha View Post
Bad advice, almost all airlines hold most of their seats from reservations now, even if they don't have the tickets to fill the seats. They hold them to sell as premium and so on. So I plane could be 50% empty and still have no seat reservations available.

This is so wrong. They don't "hold" any seats.

Airlines' goal is to OVER sell every flight, because there will be some no-show, change of flight, etc, at the last minute. If they don't do that, the plane will never be full! thus they can't maximize their profit. Sometimes, too many people shows up, then you'll hear an announcement made at the gate asking for volunteers to give up their seats for a free ticket or something. If no one volunteers, they will force bump the person(s) on the bottom of the totem pole. Buying a ticket does not guarantee you a seat, believe it or not.

If you ask me, the best time to buy is between two months and three weeks before the flight. You can book a flight a year in advance, but the ticket will cost more. Prices start out high (year in advance), then dips lower between two months and three weeks, then, depending on the number of seats left on the flight, it could go very high or very low on the last two weeks. So the last two or three weeks are hit or miss.

If the trip is important to you, book it between two months and three weeks, don't wait.
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      01-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsum
Quote:
Originally Posted by O-cha View Post
Bad advice, almost all airlines hold most of their seats from reservations now, even if they don't have the tickets to fill the seats. They hold them to sell as premium and so on. So I plane could be 50% empty and still have no seat reservations available.

This is so wrong. They don't "hold" any seats.

Airlines' goal is to OVER sell every flight, because there will be some no-show, change of flight, etc, at the last minute. If they don't do that, the plane will never be full! thus they can't maximize their profit. Sometimes, too many people shows up, then you'll hear an announcement made at the gate asking for volunteers to give up their seats for a free ticket or something. If no one volunteers, they will force bump the person(s) on the bottom of the totem pole. Buying a ticket does not guarantee you a seat, believe it or not.

If you ask me, the best time to buy is between two months and three weeks before the flight. You can book a flight a year in advance, but the ticket will cost more. Prices start out high (year in advance), then dips lower between two months and three weeks, then, depending on the number of seats left on the flight, it could go very high or very low on the last two weeks. So the last two or three weeks are hit or miss.

If the trip is important to you, book it between two months and three weeks, don't wait.
Please exit stage left, you are of no use in this thread.
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      01-26-2012, 09:18 PM   #18
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If my post above looks all messed up its because I'm on the mobile app. I mean to say that jpsum if you don't know what you are talking about ( which I can promise you that you don't in this case), simply don't post
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      01-26-2012, 09:21 PM   #19
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Please exit stage left, you are of no use in this thread.
actually, he's right.
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      01-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Please exit stage left, you are of no use in this thread.
actually, he's right.
Of course they oversell the flight . But they will also oftentimes hold back seats for different reasons (i.e. frequent fliers) and release the seats oftentimes close to when the flight departs but that varies
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      01-26-2012, 09:36 PM   #21
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Of course they oversell the flight . But they will also oftentimes hold back seats for different reasons (i.e. frequent fliers) and release the seats oftentimes close to when the flight departs but that varies
in the case of AA, with whom i'm exec plat on, they gate block 12 seats in coach (first 2 rows of coach) until the day of flight on most domestics, although YMMV on widebody/MD80 domestic service. no one is able to see that inventory unless it shows up on expertflyer/KVS after all seats have been shown to be assigned. but that's typically irrelevant to someone that books weeks in advance. very rarely do flights sell out that far in advance, let alone the day of. of those 12 seats, you're semi-correct about saving some of them for top tier elite pax. while they may sell them to kettle flyers, status trumps all. then there's also the upgrades...if all 12 seats get sold and a top tier elite is on a Y/B fare, they're likely to be upgraded out of coach anyway, which will just leave more room for a kettle in the bulkhead.

typically, domestic flights aren't oversold as much as international flights. on some international flights, i've seen them ask for as many as 10 VDB's. very rarely do you see domestic oversell/VDB's unless a top tier on a Y/B fare walks up and wants on a full flight. the airlines will gladly pay someone $250 in airline cash to let that full fare elite travel, as they'll be bringing in the big bux in the long run.
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      01-26-2012, 09:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by bolinp78 View Post
Of course they oversell the flight . But they will also oftentimes hold back seats for different reasons (i.e. frequent fliers) and release the seats oftentimes close to when the flight departs but that varies
in the case of AA, with whom i'm exec plat on, they gate block 12 seats in coach (first 2 rows of coach) until the day of flight on most domestics, although YMMV on widebody/MD80 domestic service. no one is able to see that inventory unless it shows up on expertflyer/KVS after all seats have been shown to be assigned. but that's typically irrelevant to someone that books weeks in advance. very rarely do flights sell out that far in advance, let alone the day of. of those 12 seats, you're semi-correct about saving some of them for top tier elite pax. while they may sell them to kettle flyers, status trumps all. then there's also the upgrades...if all 12 seats get sold and a top tier elite is on a Y/B fare, they're likely to be upgraded out of coach anyway, which will just leave more room for a kettle in the bulkhead.

typically, domestic flights aren't oversold as much as international flights. on some international flights, i've seen them ask for as many as 10 VDB's. very rarely do you see domestic oversell/VDB's unless a top tier on a Y/B fare walks up and wants on a full flight. the airlines will gladly pay someone $250 in airline cash to let that full fare elite travel, as they'll be bringing in the big bux in the long run.
Ok, makes sense. I was in fact speaking more in comparison of regular fliers and elite just to be argumentative. I'm actually at 30,000 ft right now on the expensive as hell internet and some pretty mean turbulence. Fun
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