Airfare strategy

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#41
Ontario
1,687 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Flights have finally dropped for us - DTW to MCO early February. I have been watching since they were released and a couple weeks ago all my fare trackers said to book now and we did - with Spirit as even with paying for a checked bag each and advanced seat selection for both flights it came to $280 per person round trip, with no stops (add another $3 for a pop and big bag of peanuts!). Every other airline out of DTW except Delta has stops which I refuse and Delta was hovering around $460/person. I too have heard horror stories about Spirit on message boards but I have flown them several times and a friend of mine and her family fly them every year DTW to MCO. The small seats are tolerable for us. We carry a personal item - Samsonite under seat luggage, not quite as big as a regular carry-on but big enough to hold what we need at no cost. Maybe it is just at certain airports/itineraries they are at their worst? I always book my flights soon after they are released and have never seen a drop in price afterwards, only increases.
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#42
Ontario
74 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by SSMcruises
I have also found the flight prices to be crazy for November 2017. We looked at and monitored all our options for almost 2 months, and the costs just increased for all routes and airlines
- Buffalo to Miami, Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale
- Toronto to Miami, Toronto to Fort Lauderdale

We started to get worried about flights selling out for the better flight times (I did not want to be stuck flying home at 7 pm!!) , so we booked about two weeks ago (wish we had booked 2 months ago!!!) We paid $1200 CAN for Toronto to Miami for two ppl, which is about $200 more than I was hoping for. But in the end, it was worth it to have an early afternoon flight home.

And I soon as I booked my flights, I cancelled all my alerts on google flights - I do not want to know if the prices went down. Now I just have to wait for my cruise....
We can make Detroit in under 3 hours so we always include it in our price checks, the return time isn't great, we won't be home until after midnight, but it's worth for the price we got.
#43
Ontario
74 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
So this is the first time we've booked SW, now there didn't seem to be a seat selection option for getaway fares. Is this a SW policy, if so will I get a chance to select our seats, or did I just miss something, and if so how do I select seats retroactively?
#44
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,668 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
There are no assigned seats on SW. You will do online check-in starting 24 hrs. in advance, and you will be assigned an A, B, or C, with a number i.e. B5. All As line up in numerical order and board, then Bs and Cs. The seats are first come, first served.

Roz
#45
131 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by ssmea03
So this is the first time we've booked SW, now there didn't seem to be a seat selection option for getaway fares. Is this a SW policy, if so will I get a chance to select our seats, or did I just miss something, and if so how do I select seats retroactively?
Seat selection?

I started to ask where have you been for the last 40 years, but then I saw you've been in Ontario while Southwest was revolutionizing air travel and discount air fares, not just in the US, but worldwide with no seat selection in advance.

Southwest doesn't fool around...They can drop a plane into an airport, deplane arriving passenger, board next leg passengers, turn the plane around and have it back in the air in 25 minutes.

On Southwest, you select your seat when you board the plane.
#46
16,802 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Roz
There are no assigned seats on SW. You will do online check-in starting 24 hrs. in advance, and you will be assigned an A, B, or C, with a number i.e. B5. All As line up in numerical order and board, then Bs and Cs. The seats are first come, first served.

Roz
OR... you can pay a fee ($12-15 per flight) and you will be given a group assignment before that 24 hour preflight window. Worth it if you have a family, group or want particular seating arrangements. Or..if you don't want to be stuck in the middle seats at the rear of a full plane.
#47
1,669 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by EuroDate20
We are booked on a cruise in early November and Southwest just released their flight schedule for the fall. The rates are crazy expensive! We are flying out of the Sacramento (California) area, so we don't have many airlines to chose from. Does anyone have any insight on Southwest fares, when are they likely to go down, best time to book, etc? The fares now are the most expensive I've seen. Thanks in advance!
I just booked our family to Phoenix from San Jose when the schedule opened on Southwest. The fare jumped $30 soon after booking and has not gone down since.

For our Tampa-Amsterdam Cruise I just used Delta Saver Miles for my Father and I , I had miles and booked First Class for 40,000 and got my Father in Coach for 17,500(he does not mind Coach and I will see about getting him Comfort-),

The airfares from San Jose-Tampa one way were S200 for Coach and $600-$700 for First Class.

On Southwest I would book right away as soon as the schedule opens and you know your dates. Remember if the price decreases you get it back as a credit.

A good r/t airfare should be $250-$300. Check Delta , Southwest, American and Jet Blue and go with what makes sense. Southwest gives you 2 free bags a person.

Hope this helps,
#48
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,668 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Eandj is referring to the Early Bird option which I use quite often, especially for return flights after cruising. Easier than purchasing internet time onboard.

Roz

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#49
Oklahoma City
7,753 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by Roz
Eandj is referring to the Early Bird option which I use quite often, especially for return flights after cruising. Easier than purchasing internet time onboard.

Roz

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Same here - but if you have roundtrip tickets you might have to purchase EarlyBird for both. I normally just buy one way tickets on SW for this reason (I checkin from home for the outbound trip and buy EB for the return) plus if the fare on one leg goes down (while the other is higher) I can still get the credit refund.
#50
3 Posts
Joined May 2017
We ended up booking a flight on AA for the day after our cruise ends. We didn't want to fly home on a Monday, but it's cheaper to stay at a hotel & pay for comfy seats and bags on AA and fly out on 11/13 then it was to fly out on 11/12 to Philly or Newark from FLL or MIA. Southwest & JetBlue fares just keep increasing every day almost. Crazy!!
#51
Albany, NY
1,205 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I bought tickets last week shortly after the schedule opened up (like, minutes after) and were still surprised by how high my tickets were.

I'd like to emphasize a few points made by others:

We ALWAYS buy one-way fares. I will never buy a round-trip ticket on Southwest (or any airline, if I can get away with it). If anything bad happens with your first flight and it isn't completed, then the rest of your ticket is void.

Buy your tickets immediately. If the price goes down, you have a year from when you first bought the ticket to use any credit. It is super easy to re-book.

If you are buying one-way fares and are returning from a cruise, buy your return ticket first. Those prices climb the quickest.

The flight schedule through March 7 will open up on June 22. Last summer, the flights opened up a little after 6:00 am Eastern. When the last batch opened up on 5/18, they didn't open for me until at little after 7:00.
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#52
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,668 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by DaveOKC
Same here - but if you have roundtrip tickets you might have to purchase EarlyBird for both. I normally just buy one way tickets on SW for this reason (I checkin from home for the outbound trip and buy EB for the return) plus if the fare on one leg goes down (while the other is higher) I can still get the credit refund.
I've never had to purchase it for both legs of a roundtrip, unless they've changed the policy since I last flew SW.

Roz
#53
The Berkshires Of MA
11,541 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I booked SW when they opened up for a one way fare from FLL to Albany, direct, for 107pp
The next day the fare was up 100 and now it is not even offered as it is sold out.
The only time I booked early bird is when we can not check in online at the 24 mark
I have always had us in an A position, except for once by checking in right at 24 hours.
Given that, one time I bought early bird, ended up in a B position!
Sent a letter off to SW and they refunded me.
Another time our friends bought EB, we did not, and we where ahead of them in line
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#54
Whitby ON
76 Posts
Joined May 2012
SW is great. I always book one ways as easier to rebook when price drops. We booked Buffalo to FLL direct for $119 late October and return via Baltimore for $70. I find rates are good on release then go up quickly and will drop with sales here and there. Just need to monitor regularly.


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