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We paid almost double what we usually pay for our Florida flights in November (and they've gone up exponentially since) and cancelled Barcelona for the May 2020 because of the insane price points of flights.  

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That is the other reason we are moving back to Florida. Flying out of Knoxville is a joke.  On the other hand we  use our air mile credit cards for almost everything. The points have made our airline costs almost non existent .  Also having a good travel agent is beyond beneficial at times.  I used to book our airlines for years and would do all kinds of connecting flights to save money.  It was a lot cheaper to connect than a lot of the direct flights.  We agree it is a hassle.

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7 hours ago, RG306 said:

We paid almost double what we usually pay for our Florida flights in November (and they've gone up exponentially since) and cancelled Barcelona for the May 2020 because of the insane price points of flights.  

Did you check KLM/Delta ?

I don't know your location but from JFK they have incredibly cheap tickets to Barcelona (for Canadian standards)

https://www.klm.com/offers/us/en/campaign/cheap-flight-offers-economy

 

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Fares are disgusting.  Alaskan cruise has been on my bucket list for years.  Flights to Vancouver were actually half of what it was to come home from Anchorage!  Fortunately,  I had about 100K frequent flyer miles and that paid for most of the airfare.  Investigating other options for traveler cards - mine was American Airlines and their flights are not really comfortable and couldn't use Alaskan (partner with AA) because flight times were horrible.  

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16 hours ago, Finally Retired said:

Fares are disgusting.  Alaskan cruise has been on my bucket list for years.  Flights to Vancouver were actually half of what it was to come home from Anchorage!  Fortunately,  I had about 100K frequent flyer miles and that paid for most of the airfare.  Investigating other options for traveler cards - mine was American Airlines and their flights are not really comfortable and couldn't use Alaskan (partner with AA) because flight times were horrible.  

You can always fly in to SEA and take the very easy road trip (via car, bus, train) up to Vancouver. Often can save a good chunk of change because you avoid Canadian taxes.

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43 minutes ago, Zacharius said:

You can always fly in to SEA and take the very easy road trip (via car, bus, train) up to Vancouver.

The Amtrak train trip between Vancouver and Seattle has some beautiful scenery and for me was an added bonus excursion for my Alaskan trip.  

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My flight (Round Trip) to Miami from Toronto Pearson on March 13, 2020 is an outrageous $1,000 CAD per person, and thats even on Air Canada's "discount/budget" option, Air Canada Rouge!

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:22 AM, RG306 said:

We paid almost double what we usually pay for our Florida flights in November (and they've gone up exponentially since) and cancelled Barcelona for the May 2020 because of the insane price points of flights.  

i would have waited to cancel the cruise out of Barcelona. You are still a long ways out and a very good chance there will be an airfare sale before then.

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This is very interesting topic as I thought I was the only one (of course I knew that wasn't the case) looking at these high prices and wondering if driving to Miami may be the answer. It is 14 1/2 hours from my house and that is doable just not as convenient. My cruise is March 8, 2020 out of Miami on Oasis of the Seas. I have a wide-range to look at from D.C. area airports to Richmond Virginia, and even my local airport, Charlottesville, VA. The flights that are within decent price range have me going on all over the place to include LaGuardia, and Philadelphia to go south to Miami. In March old-man weather can generate all kinds of weather that can stop you; but, normally going south first helps. Well, so far driving is starting to look better and better every day.  We shall see 😏

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2 hours ago, Tim B. said:

This is very interesting topic as I thought I was the only one (of course I knew that wasn't the case) looking at these high prices and wondering if driving to Miami may be the answer. It is 14 1/2 hours from my house and that is doable just not as convenient. My cruise is March 8, 2020 out of Miami on Oasis of the Seas. I have a wide-range to look at from D.C. area airports to Richmond Virginia, and even my local airport, Charlottesville, VA. The flights that are within decent price range have me going on all over the place to include LaGuardia, and Philadelphia to go south to Miami. In March old-man weather can generate all kinds of weather that can stop you; but, normally going south first helps. Well, so far driving is starting to look better and better every day.  We shall see 😏

I've been driving myself crazy with that same thing.  Flying from NJ to Miami.  We will not drive to JFK or LGA to fly south - no lower price is worth the time, traffic & tolls.  So we look at EWR, PHL, AC and even ABE.  Won't fly Trenton as they cancel those flights a lot.  We look at flying into MIA, FLL, PBI and even MCO.  Our friends live near Orlando and offered to put us up for the night and drive us to Miami as they are on the same cruise. I started tracking flights around 6 months out - those were the cheapest.  Every other day I'd log on to the various airline sites,  (gotta watch because most of the sites that search the various airlines give you the basic rates which don't even allow carry-ons) and put in all my scenarios, write down the prices, and move on.  We finally chose a flight from PHL to FLL.  Once or twice a week I look back at our flight and see if they prices have dropped, and so far they've gone up.  We're almost at 90 days so going to look until then, and finally close the search tabs and be done with it.

I can't wait to be in a position, one day, to not have to put all this work into flight costs and just book when we want, to where we want, without watching the bottom line.  One day...

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I need some advice from seasoned international flyers. Flying to Italy next year for the first time. Does booking 6mos out seem like a reasonable time frame? I know that flight prices can jump all over the place without rhyme or reason. I would just like to book a flight at a fare price. I need to have a guaranteed seat. I am not one of those people who can, pun or no pun intended, depends how you look at it, fly by the seat of my pants. I'll pay a little extra for the peace of mind.

I know like booking a cruise, at some point you just have to pull the trigger and don't look back.

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2 minutes ago, FManke said:

I need some advice from seasoned international flyers. Flying to Italy next year for the first time. Does booking 6mos out seem like a reasonable time frame? I know that flight prices can jump all over the place without rhyme or reason. I would just like to book a flight at a fare price. I need to have a guaranteed seat. I am not one of those people who can, pun or no pun intended, depends how you look at it, fly by the seat of my pants. I'll pay a little extra for the peace of mind.

I know like booking a cruise, at some point you just have to pull the trigger and don't look back.

Track the prices for a little bit.  Google Flights has a graph that pulls the prices so you can see how they trend.  Check what they are 2, 3, and 6 months out right now and see if you can tell where a sweet spot is.  You can also pick up on things like Tuesday flights are always the cheapest and Sundays are highest, etc.  Just gives you a bit of reference to know when to start paying attention and take the gamble.

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1 minute ago, AshleyDillo said:

Track the prices for a little bit.  Google Flights has a graph that pulls the prices so you can see how they trend.  Check what they are 2, 3, and 6 months out right now and see if you can tell where a sweet spot is.  You can also pick up on things like Tuesday flights are always the cheapest and Sundays are highest, etc.  Just gives you a bit of reference to know when to start paying attention and take the gamble.

Thanks @AshleyDillo. I've looked at the prices this year and it seems like the prices didn't vary much between 6mos and 3mos out. From 3mos in is where they seemed to take a jump. Seems a reasonable action.  Who knows what next year will be like though. I've been following Flightscanner and they seem to offer some of the best prices through their partners.  

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On 8/18/2019 at 8:36 AM, KathyC said:

I've been driving myself crazy with that same thing.  Flying from NJ to Miami.  We will not drive to JFK or LGA to fly south - no lower price is worth the time, traffic & tolls.  So we look at EWR, PHL, AC and even ABE.  Won't fly Trenton as they cancel those flights a lot.  We look at flying into MIA, FLL, PBI and even MCO.

As a fellow Central Jersey type, I feel this pain so deeply.  An interesting and rare additional possibility: Boscov & Apple fly (or at least used to fly) charter Disney flights outs of Reading Regional Airport from time to time.  ONCE I was able to latch on to the charter as an air-only option as the dates lined up for me.  It was like half the price of flying from PHL, and that included spending the night before at the Holiday Inn Express across the parking lot (where I was allowed to leave my car for no charge!).  The stars have to align just right, but when they do it's pretty sweet!

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2 hours ago, FManke said:

I need some advice from seasoned international flyers. Flying to Italy next year for the first time. Does booking 6mos out seem like a reasonable time frame? I know that flight prices can jump all over the place without rhyme or reason. I would just like to book a flight at a fare price. I need to have a guaranteed seat. I am not one of those people who can, pun or no pun intended, depends how you look at it, fly by the seat of my pants. I'll pay a little extra for the peace of mind.

I know like booking a cruise, at some point you just have to pull the trigger and don't look back.

To me, six months seems reasonable. I still haven't found much evidence of the "90 day" rule. I find a fare that seems good to me, and I don't look back (unless the fare can be changed without big fees). To be aware that, at six months out, schedules themselves may still change...but I've had a schedule change at one month out, so you never really know.

 

 

2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Track the prices for a little bit.  Google Flights has a graph that pulls the prices so you can see how they trend.  Check what they are 2, 3, and 6 months out right now and see if you can tell where a sweet spot is.  You can also pick up on things like Tuesday flights are always the cheapest and Sundays are highest, etc.  Just gives you a bit of reference to know when to start paying attention and take the gamble.

While there are certainly trends, I would hold off on saying things like "Tuesday flights are always cheapest" or "Sundays are highest". Different markets, different times of year, and different demands can very much change this. The peak day/highest fare day for one destination may be the lowest day/fare for another (One example would be Saturday's to somewhere like Cancun being peak, but Saturday's to a business destination may be low, even if it's the same exact date).

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 5:35 AM, Tim B. said:

This is very interesting topic as I thought I was the only one (of course I knew that wasn't the case) looking at these high prices and wondering if driving to Miami may be the answer. It is 14 1/2 hours from my house and that is doable just not as convenient. My cruise is March 8, 2020 out of Miami on Oasis of the Seas. I have a wide-range to look at from D.C. area airports to Richmond Virginia, and even my local airport, Charlottesville, VA. The flights that are within decent price range have me going on all over the place to include LaGuardia, and Philadelphia to go south to Miami. In March old-man weather can generate all kinds of weather that can stop you; but, normally going south first helps. Well, so far driving is starting to look better and better every day.  We shall see 😏

If you are thinking of driving, you might want to look at the Amtrak Auto train. It leaves out of Lorton and arrives just outside Orlando. We did this option in February when we spent a week in Orlando for break. I was easy, the kids thought it was quite the adventure.  Basically the train departs at 4pm, and you wake up in Flarida. The train brings your car with you as well so you dont have to worry about a rental. When we looked at flights for February, even with booking the Family Suite on the train which is the most expensive, it was 1/2 the cost of flights, and we didnt have to worry about renting a car as well.

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38 minutes ago, Zacharius said:

I still haven't found much evidence of the "90 day" rule.

I have to say that from what I've read here, the 90-day rule doesn't apply at all to international flights like what @FManke is looking for. I'm in a similar situation, where I need to book my one-way return flight from Dublin as soon as the fares open up early next month. I plan to use the Flights By Celebrity option (basically the same as Air2Sea), as that program also is reported to give excellent one-way fares compared to direct booking with the airlines or places like Kayak, and has the option of not paying until final payment date so that if there is a price drop I can simply reprice at the lower fare.

@FManke, I'm guessing your flight will be round-trip rather than one-way, but you may want to look at Air2Sea for the same reasons. Then you can just book as soon as the fares are available and lock down your tickets (though not seats until you've paid), and after that just watch for price drops and pay it when you feel you've crossed whatever time threshold you think is the "point of no return" for pricing.

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10 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

I have to say that from what I've read here, the 90-day rule doesn't apply at all to international flights like what @FManke is looking for. I'm in a similar situation, where I need to book my one-way return flight from Dublin as soon as the fares open up early next month. I plan to use the Flights By Celebrity option (basically the same as Air2Sea), as that program also is reported to give excellent one-way fares compared to direct booking with the airlines or places like Kayak, and has the option of not paying until final payment date so that if there is a price drop I can simply reprice at the lower fare.

@FManke, I'm guessing your flight will be round-trip rather than one-way, but you may want to look at Air2Sea for the same reasons. Then you can just book as soon as the fares are available and lock down your tickets (though not seats until you've paid), and after that just watch for price drops and pay it when you feel you've crossed whatever time threshold you think is the "point of no return" for pricing.

@JLMoran that's seems to be a good strategy. So if I book with Air2Sea, I can book the flights I want and then I don't have to pay until I want to? They will hold those flights until I pay?

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1 minute ago, FManke said:

So if I book with Air2Sea, I can book the flights I want and then I don't have to pay until I want to? They will hold those flights until I pay?

That does appear to be the new program, yes, for both Royal and Celebrity. The only caveat as I understand it is that you cannot select your seats (assuming the airline normally allows this pre-checkin) until after you have paid. Before payment, you simply have a held reservation for the seat class you selected.

When I go to the initial page for Air2Sea reservations, I see in the lower right a graphic that says "Book Now, Pay Later. Refundable Fares, Flexible Flights. Look for flights with the green star."

1029132265_PayLater.thumb.png.4985689b222e6a1c4994d527861be5ec.png

So it seems it doesn't apply to every flight, only specific ones they offer this benefit. I also checked the policies page to try and get as much clarity as possible, and see this:

Quote

Change Policies

Refundable Tickets

  • Your ticket can be changed without penalties or fees, prior to cruise final payment date (approx. 90 days to cruise date) by cancelling and rebooking a new reservation (Specific flights and fares are not guaranteed through this process, as the new reservation will be based on new available inventory & fares at the time of booking).  
  • After cruise final payment date (approx. 90 days to cruise date) or accelerated ticketing requested by guest, there will be a $ 200.00 dollar penalty plus any fare difference to make the change.

Cancellation Policies

Refundable Tickets

  • Ticket is fully refundable prior to cruise final payment date (approx. 90 days to cruise date).  
  • After cruise final payment date (approx. 90 days to cruise date) or accelerated ticketing requested by guest, the total value of the ticket will be refunded less a $ 200.00 dollar non-refundable penalty.

Choice Air, Air2Sea, and Flights by Celebrity Offer Cancellation Terms:

Refundable Tickets

  • Ticket is NOT subject to a Choice Air, Air2Sea, or Flights by Celebrity cancellation fee. 

 

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4 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

That does appear to be the new program, yes, for both Royal and Celebrity. The only caveat as I understand it is that you cannot select your seats (assuming the airline normally allows this pre-checkin) until after you have paid. Before payment, you simply have a held reservation for the seat class you selected.

When I go to the initial page for Air2Sea reservations, I see in the lower right a graphic that says "Book Now, Pay Later. Refundable Fares, Flexible Flights. Look for flights with the green star."

1029132265_PayLater.thumb.png.4985689b222e6a1c4994d527861be5ec.png

So it seems it doesn't apply to every flight, only specific ones they offer this benefit. I also checked the policies page to try and get as much clarity as possible, and see this:

 

Thanks @JLMoran I'll definitely look into it when it comes time.

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We're not flying international, but I second @AshleyDillo - Google Flights is amazing and very user friendly.  

We're in Canada and have specific dates and times, so not much flexible, and we prefer to fly out of our home town rather than drive across the border where it's cheaper.  Our flights with taxes to MCO are currently $725.00 per person, but our cruise isn't until Feb 2020, so I have I have alerts set and a cut off date to book.

@Qaylun - love your avatar (Raptors fan too) - that's pricey tickets to Miami!  I never heard of Air Canada Rouge - must check it out!

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Sea2air hasn't worked for me flying out of Canada to the US...anytime I checked the prices were the same or higher. a bonus wuld no tbe having to ay for them till the cruise is due so that is something to think about for future cruising I suppose.

 

@raahc...I don't know where in Canada you live, but out here on the east coast flights are usually $500-$700ish for us....across the border they will range from $75-$300 so a big savings....might be worth checking out again.

 

As for Air Canda Rouge...its a farce...started out years ago as a "discount" option to compete with charter airlines like Sunwing and Air Transat...less room....more seats...less features and options.....supposedly for a cheaper price....NEVER was...and now usually almost all flights to vacation cities are on Rouge...surprised you haven't noticed that yet if you travel at all..been years now like that.

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15 hours ago, Zacharius said:

Different markets, different times of year, and different demands can very much change this. The peak day/highest fare day for one destination may be the lowest day/fare for another (One example would be Saturday's to somewhere like Cancun being peak, but Saturday's to a business destination may be low, even if it's the same exact date).

True, but the Google Flights graph I'm referencing is for a specific destination to destination flight and for a set number of days.  It is a helpful tool..but just that..a TOOL.

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