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mongo_jones

tickets and prices

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well, the british consulate took forever to grant my visa and we are now just over four weeks out to our trip to scotland and london. we'd be leaving on june 3. prices for our preferred itinerary (msp-somewhere-edi/lhr-msp*) are now much higher than a few weeks ago. it would cost over $2000 more for the entire family than going one stop in both directions. however, kayak is posting these fares with a "watch" rather than "buy now" notice. is this a chance worth taking? i.e when do prices for these routes stop fluctuating and begin to rise even more sharply?

 

*the lhr-msp roundtrip is also now very expensive going nonstop. otherwise, i'd do that and do easy jet or whatever from lhr-edi and back.

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But to answer your question - unless you see that flights you're considering are relatively empty (on expertflyer), prices aren't very likely to fall.

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I would suggest going to Google flights and putting in your hoped for itinerary. Then taking the option to track the price. If there is a change up or down, they will email you. Revenue management for airlines is continually tweaking fares. It comes down to how many seats are already sold and how many searches for a particular route are done. Along with all the historical data about the routing. Recently I was tracking an itinerary (domestic) the prices would swing by a few hundred dollars pretty much daily.

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Agree with Orik about EF.

 

Also, you might want to check the same flights on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday (presuming you aren't already traveling on one of those days). Loads are usually lighter, so pricing can sometimes be in your favor.

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You might check Hopper, Inc's app to see if they have any applicable "secret fares."

 

I was going to suggest Hopper too.

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Swallowing any remaining tech knowledge pride I may have. I just don't understand all these new fangled ways of doing things that used to be so simple. We don't fly much (1-2x/year) and, when we do, I'd like to use miles (we have AA, Jet Blue & United), but I'm open to good fares as well (I'd most likely use my Chase Reserve Sapphire Visa card & get "points" - which, by the way, look to be the most useful, since I can get reimbursed for travel with them 3:1). But, most importantly, I'd like to make my travel life relatively easy (if only the booking part, since airports are definitely no longer easy), not to improve my skills as a researcher. What I generally want is a non-stop (where the route exists of course) with seats that are aisle/aisle or aisle/window (if the plane is so configured). Since I fully agree that going on line with the specific airlines is generally an exercise in both masochism and futility (definitely w/AA, and less so with United but still...), are the above ways useful to get what I want? In other words, if I get the hopper app and input that I want a round trip for 2 to Rome or L.A., will it alert me to secret fares that are non stop on dates that I've selected (reasonably flexible) & allow me to choose seats?

 

p.s.: I assume that using Kayak is now totally passe?

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There are airlines that aren't on the search engines (Southwest, most obviously) and there are airlines that use their monopoly power (Delta) to make flights far more expensive than they should be when booked from one of their hubs. Also, if you book complex itinerary it's often far less expensive to do so in parts. E.g. United would let me fly to some weird combination of Mexico, CA and Japan for $6000, or if I booked it as two flights, for $1200.

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thanks all for suggestions and especially, evelyn for help. i ended up doing one-stop in both directions on united. the price was so much lower than any conceivable combo with a delta nonstop from lhr-msp that it made little sense to wait and risk those prices rising too. we're going msp-ewr-edi and coming back lhr-ewr-msp. less than $900/head. will put the money saved into other parts of the trip.

 

the boys are campaigning for edinburgh to london by train but i think we might do a cheap flight instead. as our first few days in london will be spent with friends in kingston, i'm assuming gatwick is the non-heathrow airport that i should be looking at. (do any of the cheapo airlines fly out of heathrow?)

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There are airlines that aren't on the search engines (Southwest, most obviously) and there are airlines that use their monopoly power (Delta) to make flights far more expensive than they should be when booked from one of their hubs. Also, if you book complex itinerary it's often far less expensive to do so in parts. E.g. United would let me fly to some weird combination of Mexico, CA and Japan for $6000, or if I booked it as two flights, for $1200.

 

 

yes. trying to add edinburgh to london in the itinerary i selected, for example, would have made the whole rise ridiculously--to almost double the price.

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thanks all for suggestions and especially, evelyn for help. i ended up doing one-stop in both directions on united. the price was so much lower than any conceivable combo with a delta nonstop from lhr-msp that it made little sense to wait and risk those prices rising too. we're going msp-ewr-edi and coming back lhr-ewr-msp. less than $900/head. will put the money saved into other parts of the trip.

 

the boys are campaigning for edinburgh to london by train but i think we might do a cheap flight instead. as our first few days in london will be spent with friends in kingston, i'm assuming gatwick is the non-heathrow airport that i should be looking at. (do any of the cheapo airlines fly out of heathrow?)

Edinburgh to London is a nice comfortable train ride (with reservations). You can get a good but expensive meal that makes you feel as if you have arrived.

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