Flight to Orlando: what would you do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by SeanLJ, Sep 24, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. SeanLJ

    SeanLJ Member

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    I'm curious about your experiences with getting the best prices on domestic flights... as in, when to buy the tickets. This is a topic that books have been written about!, but I recently saw Chris Gullibeau's CreativeLive.com Travel Hacking video, and he basically says that all those formulas are meaningless because airlines are always changing their policies (I tend to agree with him).

    Scenario: I need to book a round-trip flight for two adults from SFO to MCO from Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2015. That's 4 months out. The prices have steadily gone up over the past few weeks that I've been checking (I use Kayak.com).

    Question: Is it better to just grab the tickets now? Or should we wait for these flights to fill up, and then hope the new flights that are added, have better prices?
     
  2. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I have no great special knowledge, but I would wait a bit. Oil prices are falling, but UA in particular is reducing its winter (Jan-Mar) flights. These forces oppose each other, but since UA just announced their flight cuts I think it likely that they are not making any specials available right now. If the SFO-MCO route was hit with significant cuts, then cheaper fares may not reappear. If there were not any cuts then they may be hoping to get people to buy now only to have excess inventory later.
    Others here study pricing, but I agree with Chris. I'm convinced pricing is so computerized as to be beyond mortal ken.
     
  3. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Just a leisure traveler here. But if I were from SFO to MCO round trip, I would also look at TPA. Since you probably would need to rent a car when in Florida, the 1 hour drive from Tampa ain't too bad. Heck, you could even drive up from MIA. If the airfare saved you $100 per ticket or so, the cost of the rental and gas would be covered. Even JAX or DAB or MLB or FLL might work.
     
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  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Forget Tampa, flights around that same period are running higher than MCO. Personally I would book the flight as the dates the OP mentioned is getting into the busy period for Florida in general and I wouldn't expect them to go down before then.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I disagree. Not really the busy season in Florida yet at that point. Not into Spring Break times really and no major holidays then.

    I'm seeing $400 r/t on UA non-stops or $305 on JetBlue with a badly timed connection. There are other connecting flights in between those prices. That's actually not a bad price IMO for the r/t tickets. Not great by any stretch but transcon trips under $300 r/t are not nearly as common as they used to be.
     
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  6. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I typically end up finding prices ex-LAX for around $325-400 R/T to MCO, so $300-400 from SFO is probably in the right range. Prices aren't what they used to be. Have to agree with @Wandering Aramean on that front. Mileage running is tougher too. As a slight note, if you're not staying with family or friends in Orlando you might be able to save a few bucks (only a very FEW) by getting a vacation package deal with car and hotel. But overall you won't save a fortune that way.
     
  7. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Er, what makes you think someone is going to announce new or additional service between now and February? :confused:
     
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  8. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Anytime after mid Jan is getting into peak for Florida. Lots of (mostly Canadian) snowbirds come to the Gulf Coast plus Golf Tournament in mid-Jan ( as opposed to the Spring break crowd which usually travel to the Panhandle or the East coast a little later in the year)
    DL was showing SFO/MCO for $348.00 when I last looked
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
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  9. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    There is also MLK day on the third monday in January. Which is the 19th. Three day weekend. Lots of people with kids.
    And cruises always leave on the weekend. Port Canaveral is turning into a big Cruise port and the cruisers fly into and out of MCO. Maybe going a day or two before or after might give a better airfare.
     
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