Strategy for booking remaining Christmas flights

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Oct 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    My wife and I need to be in Minneapolis on December 27th for a wedding (no offense to those of you who live there, because it's a nice city, but seriously, who gets married on a Tuesday, two days after Christmas, in Minneapolis?!).

    We'll be spending the holiday at my folk's house in Eastern PA. Our plans on the back end were originally up in the air, so we only booked the outbound flights. Going ABE-PHL-MSP, for $129 per person on US, which I thought was a really good price (In fact, the day before I booked the tickets, they were $179 pp, so I was fully expecting to pay that...but lo and behold, they had dropped overnight and I was able to book at the lower price!)

    However, now our plans have firmed, and we need to return to Eastern PA. The problem is that prices are pretty steep, and there aren't a lot of options at a decent price (and I'm defining decent as less than $300 pp one-way). Normally, I don't book this far out, but I feel like the 15-30 day booking "sweet spot" doesn't apply during a holiday week like that. Part of me says "well, that's what everyone thinks, and that's why everyone buys tickets for the holidays so early, and that's why they can charge so much, so maybe I should hold out and prices will drop." The other part of me says "You're going to pay $500 pp if you think like that and wait until December 10th to book."

    So what would you do, experienced Milepoint travelers? I don't need to fly back into ABE...PHL, or even EWR is doable...we'd like to fly back the day after on 12/28, because we really don't have a reason to continue to stay in Minneapolis after this event, but prices are higher on the 28th than they are even on the 29th.

    I've been trying to come up with creative ways to get back there...such as maybe there's a cheap flight to LGA, and then we could take a train from NYC to Philly?....maybe we could find a really cheap one-way segment to somewhere random (St. Louis! Cleveland!) on another airline, and then look for one-way tickets back from there? Maybe book a roundtrip MSP-ABE-MSP with the return being sometime in January when prices are cheaper, but "throwing away" that last segment (technically illegal, I know)? I haven't been fully satisfied with any of the potential creative options I've found yet...

    Anyone have any creative suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. NYBanker
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    I am not sure I follow exactly...You want to go msp-phl on Dec 28th and are looking for creative routings to save a bit of dough?
     
  3. NYBanker
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    If I did understand you correctly, msp-phl can be had for about $250 on airtran and $275 via co. Ewr is $300 on US. These seem like good one way fares. I'd hit it now. Non stops are over $500.

    The train+bus/cab to go via lga is too much money to be efficient.
     
  4. viguera
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    Yeah the low fares show up again if you go to the following Tuesday, which is probably why he lucked out on the 27th.
     
  5. DeacFlyer1
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    So is the general consensus that fares for this week will continue to trend up, despite being 2.5 months out?
     
  6. Scottrick
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    Timing is probably different for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was seeing $250 for SEA-SFO over Thanksgiving in June, which then went to $450. I bought in late July when it went back to $270. For a long time I was seeing $330 for SEA-DEN-AMA and figured I was safe, but a few weeks ago it went up to $800. I eventually booked it as part of a longer trip SEA-IAH-AMA-DEN-SJC/SFO-SEA for $850 and considered myself lucky.
     
  7. NYBanker
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    $250-ish feels like a good fare to me. What's the most it could drop to - $200? On the other hand, it could easily be $400 one day.

    I'd lock it in.
     
  8. DeacFlyer1
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    I know you're right, but I was really hoping to avoid flying Air Tran...
     
  9. Exiled in Express
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    Watch the fares and be prepared to buy. I make the MSP-Eastern PA hop a few times a year and have found the fares erratic 400 one day, 150 the next. I usually search MDT/ABE/PHL but am trying LGA plus ground transportation (Amtrak/Bieber) this Christmas.
     
  10. DeacFlyer1
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    Well, a happy but unexpected ending to the story...found out this afternoon that some family is going to be in Pittsburgh for Christmas, and is driving back to Eastern PA on the 28th.

    Looked at tickets to PIT, and waaay cheaper than PHL/ABE/MDT. Got them on WN for $137 ai per person. So after looking at $300 pp for the past few days, I kindof feel like I just stole something, to get both tickets for less than what I was expecting to pay for one. So flying into PIT, then driving with family the last few hours, so it works out.

    And for some reason I thought I had already checked WN into PHL, but I guess I hadn't...because those flights are only $228 ai.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
     

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