Jump to content
Royal Caribbean Blog

When to shop for flights?


Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Rene Desmarais said:

I booked a trip for our family of 4 on Navigator  of the Seas for Nov 2, 2020. 

When would it be a good time to price/shop for flight to Miami? 

Believe it or not if I was flying this Nov 2nd, my flights will cost more than my cruise..

 

Right now go and look up flights about a month out, two months out, three months out and six months out to get an idea of what pricing it.  Google Flights is actually a pretty good tool for this because you can use their price graph feature to slide the dates along and visually see where prices might dip.  That can give you an idea of how far out the cheapest prices area and you can see the trends for prices spiking for holidays.  It also gives you an idea of what prices CAN be so you can keep an eye on them. 

image.thumb.png.74b5143d26b1eca2301c3b6a58b549f7.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

Also, download the Hopper app. It will forecast and notify you. It's another useful tool amongst @ellcee and @AshleyDillo suggestions!

Another suggestion is to consider flying into FLL instead of MIA.

Yes, FLL is my fall back plan in case we have to use that destination. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rene Desmarais said:

Believe it or not if I was flying this Nov 2nd, my flights will cost more than my cruise..

 

People say this all the time, so it's believable, but it's not a good way to look at things. Airlines and cruise lines operate on completely different economic principles, and to compare them isn't fair. Airlines basically offer two things - seats and cargo space. Taking out the cargo space, which regular passengers don't have any access to, that just leaves the seat for purchase. Sure, some airlines may have other things to spend money on such as bags, seat assignments, early boarding, food...but in the end, it's mostly just the seat, so they need to get the bulk of their passenger revenue from that itself. Compare that to a cruise line where the base fare you pay is only one (sometimes small) part of the what they can get out of your pocket - excursions, drinks, additional meals, casino, etc. etc. For a cruiseline, the fare is basically a way to get you on the ship to spend more money; for an airline, the fare is basically all they're going to get from you. So, very different economics and expecting airfare to always be less than the cruise fare is not a good way to look at it. 

1 hour ago, ransrider said:

No need to use a site such as Expedia or Kayak to book. Once you see the price you are willing to purchase for, go directly to that airline to book. Consider applying for an airline credit card for the points and free luggage such as Delta. Also consider Royal's Air2sea program. Good luck. 

My recommendation is to always book directly with the airline when possible, unless there are huge reasons not to. I don't like having a middleman. Air2Sea often offers lower fares on one-way international flights, but rarely offers any deals on domestic US or US/Canada flights from what I have seen and heard, so unless you're flying in the day of your cruise and wanting that protection (which may or may not actually happen), you're basically putting a middleman between you and the airline for little to no savings. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ransrider said:

Also consider Royal's Air2sea program. Good luck. 

Hopefully they got better over the years but my experience is ... On May 3rd, 2009 when booking my Oasis cruise for January 16th, 2010 I did it over the phone (feel like I had to because of something - but not 100% sure) and the customer service representative was trying to book my air too. I politely declined right away but they insisted to present me with a price. They asked for my airport, I said SWF (knowing JetBlue flies direct to FLL and it's 5 minutes from my house) and was told ... We don't have SWF, how about XXX, YYY, ZZZ; I forget if they mentioned all 3 NYC airports or just two, regardless, I repeated, SWF ... again with the other airports ... I politely said, we can stop now thanks.

So, since they couldn't even get me a flight from my own airport that, while small, is still part of the NY Port Authority ... I was less than impressed. 

A side note, I wouldn't have done it either way as @Zacharius already said, I book direct because I feel it's best.

Edited by sk8erguy1978
clean up stuff
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they mention something like 50 days or so is the sweet spot, but as @AshleyDillo and @Baked Alaska mentioned are tools I use ... I especially like Google because you can tell it to track the price and send you alert (like Kayak & Hopper alert). Also as mentioned by @ellcee and @ransrider, once you're comfortable with the price, book it and don't look at it again LOL! 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When cruising out of Miami, we almost always fly from DTW to FLL.  I have only ever flown into MIA once.  Almost always, it is cheaper even after you factor in the cost of travel to Miami.  I use Hopper as some have mentioned above.  I always like what @AshleyDillo suggested.  I "usually" see a bit of a dip around the 90 or 60 day mark.  Holidays and March Break are an anomaly.  I grab those right away.  I don't wait because prices do nothing but rise for those flights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it helps, but just drop it here for your reference.

We're going on Navigator this November. We booked our flight via Air2Sea in mid September.

It's possibly the sweet spot, coz after about a week or so, I noticed overall the price has increased (though not too much) and my preferred departure/arrival time has been sold out. 

I don't know about domestic flight, but for us from Toronto, the price is about $100 CAD/person cheaper than travel sites like Expedia.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I are looking at the same thing for Sept 2020 on Symphony. You have to wait 11 months prior to your sail date (Airline thing). Looked at August 2020 to get an idea. Price was running around $800 for MIA and FLL. Palm Beach may be another option (typically cheaper), but you are looking at a 1.5 hour drive.

Pretty much same thing for booking hotels.....

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Right now go and look up flights about a month out, two months out, three months out and six months out to get an idea of what pricing it.  Google Flights is actually a pretty good tool for this because you can use their price graph feature to slide the dates along and visually see where prices might dip.  That can give you an idea of how far out the cheapest prices area and you can see the trends for prices spiking for holidays.  It also gives you an idea of what prices CAN be so you can keep an eye on them. 

 

OMG Ashley, I have been using Google flights with price alerts since August, but never noticed the price graph option!  I think it's because I chose non stop flights and specific times, so the price graph disappears after I input my criteria.  I just tested it with dates only and it shows flights are high now until December.  This was the same pattern for our last cruise.  

Thanks so much!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zillono said:

I don't know if it helps, but just drop it here for your reference.

We're going on Navigator this November. We booked our flight via Air2Sea in mid September.

It's possibly the sweet spot, coz after about a week or so, I noticed overall the price has increased (though not too much) and my preferred departure/arrival time has been sold out. 

I don't know about domestic flight, but for us from Toronto, the price is about $100 CAD/person cheaper than travel sites like Expedia.

Havent seen anything like that from eastern Canada...usually double what I can find on my own or by driving a few hrs to the US and flying.

 

Might have to look again once we book our next cruise in Nov for April 2020.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Wendylee said:

Google Flights is the way to go. You can set up an alert and when the prices fall you will alert you. Maybe extend your vacation by flying a day or two early will change the flight price. Try and be flexible.......it can really make a big difference. 

Is there an app for Google Flights?  I was recently introduced to Hopper and it seems pretty good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2019 at 3:18 PM, Rene Desmarais said:

I booked a trip for our family of 4 on Navigator  of the Seas for Nov 2, 2020. 

When would it be a good time to price/shop for flight to Miami? 

Believe it or not if I was flying this Nov 2nd, my flights will cost more than my cruise..

 

Consider trip insurance that covers the cost of your air travel in case something happens after you finally book.  For example, depending upon your exact itinerary, you may experience travel delays caused by airline problems that you'd like compensated through travel insurance.  Just a thought....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Google Flights often lists the cheapest category - which on some airlines is just a purse as a carry-on and nothing else.   Make sure you check that category closely! 

Air2Sea (and FlightsbyCelebrity) do not have agreements with Southwest, so they cannot book flights with them.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2019 at 5:50 AM, zillono said:

I don't know if it helps, but just drop it here for your reference.

We're going on Navigator this November. We booked our flight via Air2Sea in mid September.

It's possibly the sweet spot, coz after about a week or so, I noticed overall the price has increased (though not too much) and my preferred departure/arrival time has been sold out. 

I don't know about domestic flight, but for us from Toronto, the price is about $100 CAD/person cheaper than travel sites like Expedia.

Will be flying out of Toronto as well..     My fall back plan would be Swoop out of Hamilton..On

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Rene Desmarais said:

Will be flying out of Toronto as well..     My fall back plan would be Swoop out of Hamilton..On

If you're already willing to go to Hamilton, keep an eye out for Buffalo too. That extra drive can save a good chunk, so even if it's not the shortest of drives (plus border crossing), it may be worth it. BUF has nonstop JetBlue to FLL, and seasonal nonstop Southwest to FLL. No nonstops to MIA. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2019 at 2:07 PM, Zacharius said:

If you're already willing to go to Hamilton, keep an eye out for Buffalo too. That extra drive can save a good chunk, so even if it's not the shortest of drives (plus border crossing), it may be worth it. BUF has nonstop JetBlue to FLL, and seasonal nonstop Southwest to FLL. No nonstops to MIA. 

I usually group Buffalo and Hamilton together when looking for flights.   The good news is my parents live close to the border, so that's a plus if i have to go to Buffalo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...