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Release dates for the next batch of "specials"...???


MamaParrotHead

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Most of the airfare specials are for travel through 11/4/09, and have been for maybe the past 6 weeks or so. I've noticed today as a deadline for booking many of them. Does anyone have a guess as to when the next round of specials may be released, and would that most likely be for travel through the end of November?

 

Any thoughts? Thanks.

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I just saw today that Southwest's projected next schedule release date is April 14th, and will be for flights through October 30th.

Not quite the dates you seem to be looking for.

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Does anyone have a guess as to when the next round of specials may be released, and would that most likely be for travel through the end of November?

Do you know what the stock market will do next week? Think on that concept and see that predicting "specials" is in the same vein.

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I just saw today that Southwest's projected next schedule release date is April 14th, and will be for flights through October 30th.

Not quite the dates you seem to be looking for.

 

That's OK, I appreciate the effort. Southwest doesn't fly out of our airport anyway. :)

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I don't see the need for sarcasm, I was just assuming that the specials are released chronologically. :p Thanks. :D

 

I believe it is a valid comparison. Both the stock market and airline pricing are dynamic, complex systems with multiple variables and are inherently elusive to predict with even a moderate degree of certainty. In other words, it's a guess.

 

If airfare sales were released on a known schedule, consumers would not purchase air until the sale date. That would not be a rational economic policy.

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Curious as to why, in a list of 70 cities of origin (flying into Miami) if it's such a random occurance, I can look down the inventory of special fares offered and see that about 50% are through 11/4/09 and about 40% are through 1/28/10. Seems to be a pattern of some sort there to me.

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Curious as to why, in a list of 70 cities of origin (flying into Miami) if it's such a random occurance, I can look down the inventory of special fares offered and see that about 50% are through 11/4/09 and about 40% are through 1/28/10. Seems to be a pattern of some sort there to me.

If you tell us what this "list" is, and where it can be found, collectively we might be able to tell you more. Paraphrasing an undefined source makes it difficult to trace back to the root of your question.

 

There are two different time periods that are always at work in airfare purchases/pricing. One is the time period when a fare is valid for SALE. The other is the time period when the fare is valid for TRAVEL. Two different concepts. You won't find "specials" for travel in periods of high demand. Fare applicability is often constrained by start/end dates for both time frames. Note how "sales" have a "buy by..." date attached, as well as "fly between...." notations.

 

This makes it vastly different than retail-type "sales", where the purchase time is also the time when you receive your goods (or very shortly thereafter). Other than walk-up fares, airline tickets are current purchases for a future benefit. With continually dynamic pricing in effect. Remember that even with "specials", the actual amount of "sale" seats for any given flight is dynamically allocated by yield management - it's not like every box of Wheaties on the shelf has been given the same price.

 

Nothing is carved in stone. Promotions come and go, and are often responses to short-term market conditions, competitive forces and other economic demands. They can overlap, be for sooner or later travel times, and are rarely, if ever, telegraphed in advance -- just for the reasons mentioned above by Shorex.

 

Finally, as to sarcasm....that was far from it. Trust me. I was pointing out economic similarities. Sorry you missed that.

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Curious as to why, in a list of 70 cities of origin (flying into Miami) if it's such a random occurance, I can look down the inventory of special fares offered and see that about 50% are through 11/4/09 and about 40% are through 1/28/10. Seems to be a pattern of some sort there to me.

 

This posting is pretty meaningless. You are not flying from 70 different cities are you? I can't agree that your observation means there is any kind of a pattern. Even if there was, what would that mean?

 

Here's how I choose the best airfare/airline. I look at where my frequent flyer miles are (Star Alliance). I rarely book a flight where I won't earn miles as I factor in the worth of those miles into the ticket price. We travel frequently, so I have a general idea of airfares for places I want to go. When I see a good price, I purchase and then track the flight on Yapta to see if it goes down so I can apply for a voucher. Unless it's practically a give away fare, I purchase tickets only on airlines that will issue me a voucher if the price decreases, with no cost to me.

 

I also think about what my time is worth. If I am spending several hours a day researching this, what's that cost? After a while, this can be significant. If you manage to book your tickets when they hit their lowest price, and you have spent days and days searching the internet and yet "saved" only $20 per ticket, it's really a loss.

 

Most of my really spectacular airfare buys were not the result of any special sale anyway.

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We're sailing November 20, and I didn't wait for any bargain bucket fare sales ... bought my air at AA at their regular fares which, right now, are the least I have paid for air iin 5 years!

 

Just for fun, I have looked at fares for Southwest and Spirit right when they release ... and I'm always glad I bought from AA much early in the game rather than wait for what I hoped would be low fares.

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There are several websites that try to forecast airfares and make buy/wait recommendations. They use complex math and statistical models, and sometimes get it wrong. (Sounds like stock picking based on technical analysis to me!). If there were a simplistic rule they would use it and nail their forecasts.

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