History of airfares during thanksgiving travel

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Lufthansa Flyer, Jun 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lufthansa Flyer
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    This is my first full yr in the mile run hobby / addiction. Last yr I snagged a great $1600 Z fare on US to Germany over thanksgiving. This yr, I'm hoping to do something towards the orient (HKG, ICN, NRT, etc). Call it a 2-4 day mile Jog. Notice that Z fares now run the 5k range. What has been the reality of airfares towards the orient over past thanksgiving holiday periods? I suspect we'll see deals, but am curious what others have seen in the past.
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    If you can get a nonstop TATL/TPAC (with no domestic connection required), these flights tend to be very empty around Thanksgiving week. It's usually an easy period for upgrades.
     
  3. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Right now I see "reasonable" F on UA for about 26-2800 GRR-HNL, with elite and class multipliers the CPM comes down decently enough to make for a 2 or 3 day weekend in hawaii. Not the most text book of MR's, but a nice long weekend at least.
     
  4. BurBunny
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    For at least the past 2 years, there have been Thanksgiving/Christmas C class (Z class) fare sales. Usually announced around September, the best of the dates go quickly, and the fares go up, but do stick around in some form through at least October. I would be surprised if we didn't see one again this year.
     
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  5. Frequent Freak
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    I agree. Thanksgiving is a great time to do international travel. Only problem in recent years was when protestors closed down BKK in 2008. I often go to Thailand around that time, and really dodged a bullet when I stayed in the US instead that year.

    Normally I start planning the trip and looking for fares around late August or September. This is when i have a good handle on how much flying I need to do to keep status, and also when cheap fares seem to get loaded for the end of the year. Can't speak for Z, but W to SE Asia has ranged from $1000-1300 over the past few years, generally dependent on the economy.

    If you're looking on UA, note that the cheapest coach fares to Asia typically have six-night minimum stays (with the day you lose on the way out counting as one of the nights). HKG is often an exception, but OTOH is the hardest place to upgrade to if you're on a cheap UA fare.
     
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  6. Lufthansa Flyer
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    I've noticed that
    I've noticed that HKG is quite a bit less than other Asian destination, especially on a CPM basis. Was thinking of Air Canada as well, but for me that requires an overnight in Toronto since my connection from GRR is limited.

    I also see F to Hawaii on UA for 26-2800, with the F multiplier 3x vs Z 2x (in BMI Diamond Club), the F to HNL seems more cost effective (havent done the final numbers there yet!), but whats the fun of HNL for 2 days when you can hit HKG!!

    Last year with the 1600 Z to europe was a steal. hoping to repeat something as attractive. It'll be the first time I head left of the international date line.
     
  7. thegrailer
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    I've been traveling to Europe over Thanksgiving for the past few years and I have had no real difficulty finding cheap -relatively cheap - flights. The flights haven't been empty but not full and no problem having SWU clear on UA.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    If it's anything other that a pure MR turnaround, I'd worry that hotels in Hawaii over Thanksgiving would be full and/or expensive.
     
  9. Lufthansa Flyer
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    5-12 hour turn around depending on the flights worst case if I cant find a hotel. I'll know my plans by end of august so I suspect hotel room available may still be OK. But you're right, its heading into the worst case scenario traveling to hawaii on christmas. Probably wouldnt kill me to book a hotel room now that can always be canceled.
     
  10. montacute
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    Very elementary question, as I am just hoping to earn beginning status on UA by year end. Do you book in W just hoping to get an upgrade? I'm trying to figure out what would make sense for me being that I don't have SWUs yet. I am hoping to make an international trip Thanksgiving week. Thanks for bringing up the topic, because I am encouraged to wait a bit for sales. I have been antsy to book!
     
  11. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Do you have any status yet? usually the upgrade will require some level of status before being able to get them. If you dont have status, the only thing that would matter is whether you book coach (Y), biz (C,Z), of first (A,F). any economy ticket will earn you 100% elite qualifying miles (EQM), biz and first tickets earn you 150% EQM towards P, PE, P1k, etc.
     
  12. BurBunny
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    If you don't have SWUs and won't have earned any (by reaching 1K level) by the time you fly, no reason to spend the extra for a W fare, other than potentially lowering slightly the co-pay amount to purchase an upgrade with miles and cash. A W fare by itself doesn't put you much higher on the upgrade list, as upgrades are cleared by status first, THEN by fare paid and time on upgrade list.

    So my advice would be to put the extra you'd have spent in purchasing a W fare and put that instead toward a purchased upgrade.
     
  13. Lufthansa Flyer
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    I've been looking at fares almost daily the last 2 months or so, and they have been stable. I suspect sept/oct will be the time frame we may finally see some deals pop up.
     
  14. montacute
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    Thanks 744 and BurBunny. No, I don't have any status yet. Hoping to complete my initial 25k miles by year end. I will look into the purchased upgrade. One more elementary question--are some fares not eligible for a purchased upgrade?
     

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