How to get cheap flights?

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achen9291
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How to get cheap flights?

Post by achen9291 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:15 am

I need to fly to Florida on July 4th week and the prices were around $350 ish last night and jumped to $454 this morning, I don't fly often at all but something tells me there's a better way to do this... my question is how do I get cheap roundtrip flights or even free flights that aren't a hassle to deal with before the next 2 weeks?

bberris
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by bberris » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am

Florida covers a lot of ground. Be flexible about dates, use google flights to search alternate dates, maybe go to another city.
You need to check Southwest separately; they don't share fare and flight information with search engines. Keep checking; prices change by the minute.

If you have to fly on a certain date to a certain place, you may be stuck.

Do you have miles from a credit card? They transfer instantly to United or Southwest. You would be paying a close-in booking charge to United.

stan1
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by stan1 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:26 am

You may have waited too long. When you are under two weeks prices are more likely to go up than down but there's really no way to predict airline pricing. My advice would be to look directly at every airline's website that will get you where you want to go with one stop over and compare prices. Also look at slightly different dates and using alternate airports within driving distance of your departure and destination locations. You also have to look at other costs such as parking and rental car if you need those. If there was less than $100 difference convenience would be a major consideration not cost. After spending 30-60 minutes you'll get an idea for what's a decent price.

Shallowpockets
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:27 am

You waited too long. You should have been watching the prices on the flights to get an idea of the price. Right now you have only two prices. So the lower one is the cheap price, but you missed it.
You never know on airline prices. You have to be more involved and look around at different airlines. To be truthful, if you want a cheap airfare you have to know what a cheap airfare is for your route. $10 would be cheap and great, but you will never see that. So there is a price point in there somewhere partially based on what is offered and your own thoughts on what is cheap. And what you are willing to pay.
You got two weeks. You'd be lucky to see any prices go down in that timeframe for your timeframe.

AlohaJoe
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by AlohaJoe » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:30 am

Are there ever cheap flights for a holiday week? I can't imagine why the airlines would do that, even if you bought tickets six months in advance.

stan1
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by stan1 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:34 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:30 am
Are there ever cheap flights for a holiday week? I can't imagine why the airlines would do that, even if you bought tickets six months in advance.
Yes, I've gotten good prices on Southwest for Thanksgiving week by buying about 4 months out. In general I know what a good price is out of my primary airport so I know when to take what's offered. My mindset is getting a good price not the best price as there's no way to know what the best price will be until its already gone. I don't worry about trying to save $10 or $20 more when I see a good price, especially if its on a preferred airline or a preferred routing (nonstop).
Last edited by stan1 on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

neilpilot
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:36 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:30 am
Are there ever cheap flights for a holiday week? I can't imagine why the airlines would do that, even if you bought tickets six months in advance.
Yes, you can often find a cheap seat if you are willing to fly on the actual holiday. A few years ago we flew back to the USA from Barcelona on Christmas day. The ticket was very cheap, and the plane was only about half full.

niceguy7376
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by niceguy7376 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:38 am

achen9291 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:15 am
my question is how do I get cheap roundtrip flights or even free flights that aren't a hassle to deal with before the next 2 weeks?
Are you talking about flights using your miles/points or just plain free?

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climber2020
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by climber2020 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:38 am

achen9291 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:15 am
I need to fly to Florida on July 4th week and the prices were around $350 ish last night and jumped to $454 this morning, I don't fly often at all but something tells me there's a better way to do this... my question is how do I get cheap roundtrip flights or even free flights that aren't a hassle to deal with before the next 2 weeks?
It's all a crapshoot. No one knows. I vacation many times a year and monitor flight prices even after I buy my ticket just to see what happens. Sometimes the cheapest price is 10 months before the travel date. Sometimes it's 3 weeks. No reliable pattern at all. For holidays, it usually is better to buy your flights way in advance since they tend to fill up faster than a normal uneventful time period, so it's likely too late for the 4th of July.

I have noticed that over the last couple of years it's been much harder to find great deals on flights. The price drops, when they do occur, aren't very much (unless you're okay with a 12 hour connection or a flight that leaves at 1 AM).

OnTrack2020
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:40 am

Sometimes you can get low flights by flying on the holiday day (flying on July 4) and then returning sometime on one of the following weekdays of the next week (not a weekend). If I were to go this route (no pun intended), I would be paying less than $350 flying from the middle of the country--that's on Southwest.

PressIt
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by PressIt » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:53 am

There’s an app I’ve used before called Hopper. You put in where you want to fly, add the dates, and it will show you the current prices for those specific dates and if there are cheaper flights if you’re more flexible. It then tells you whether prices are expected to rise or drop based on a algorithm they have. They’ll include specific date ranges of when the best time to buy should be. I’ve only used it a couple times, but saved me a few bucks.

I don’t think they use southwest, but I would imagine when the Airlines they use rise / drop, southwest or your other airline of choice would do the same.

killjoy2012
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:54 am

"cheap flights" are usually found by those that have flexibility in their schedule and are willing to travel during off-peak times of the year. A 2 week lead time where you need to be at place X between dates A & B is not a recipe for finding cheap flights - esp over the July 4 holiday. You can still use Google Flights to window shop options and cost, but odds are you're not going to find a hot deal on exactly what you need. The cheap flights in those scenarios are typically the flights that are least desirable - e.g. flying on July 4, etc. where the cheapness pretty much defeats the purpose of the trip for many.

If you have miles/points like Chase URs, then that may be your best option on such a short schedule.

livesoft
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:01 am

I booked FF award flight about a month ago for that week. I am not going to Florida, but I see lots of flights just now for about $81 from Houston to Orlando. But that's a high price since I have other flights going on this summer for under $10 and 25,000 miles round-trip.

At least United.com has a decent web page that lets you find the cheapest / shortest / best time flight(s) for any given date range. Also lets one search using nearby airports, too. Works for me.
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oxothuk
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by oxothuk » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:56 am

This is one of the reasons we usually fly Southwest. Any ticket on SW is really just a "call option" to fly at that price. If the price goes down, we exchange the tickets for new ones at the lower price and receive the balance as a credit which is good for one year. We fly often enough that using the credits is not a problem.

adamthesmythe
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:06 am

Most of us want "cheap enough, and acceptably convenient." Not the very cheapest. To accomplish this, as noted above, you need to know what is a decent deal so you can buy it when you see it.

And also as noted, sometimes flying ON a holiday will be a good deal.

And also as noted, Southwest is a different ball game. I have used them from time to time, but don't like them a lot.

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Pajamas
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:07 am

For prime destinations during peak travel periods such as holidays, it's hard to find good deals.

Since you don't have flexibility with dates, maybe you have flexibility with airports. Renting cars is generally relatively inexpensive in Florida but probably not inexpensive enough to make the savings on a flight worthwhile if it is for more than a few days.

Google Flights is one of the best tools to look for the best airfares.

https://www.google.com/flights

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:09 am

Look at both Southwest and Spirit.

Our last trip to Florida was on Spirit. But be prepared to travel light. Only something the size of a computer bag is free. We found that although Spirit would nickle and dime everything, they were still $200 each way cheaper than Southwest from Boston to Ft Myers.

.....and you should have done this a month ago.
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Glockenspiel
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:17 am

Prices will only go up from here. I highly doubt they will go back down to $350, because you waited too long. Unless you're willing to fly ON July 4th, you probably won't be able to find a price that is much lower than the $454, unless you are flexible in the airport you're flying into or out of.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: How to get cheap flights?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:31 am

Google flight.

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