When to purchase flight tix?

Donna M

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
We are heading down from Boston on March 3, and purchased our tickets at the end of September. I just checked, and the prices have gone up $60 per ticket. Are your schools on vacation that week? Around here, the fares go up when Mass or NH have school breaks. I personally wouldn't wait much longer.
 

sam_gordon

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
I found Southwest to "stick" for a LONG time. As I said above, my outbound flight was $308 from about June through September. On September 11th, my return flight plummeted to $69. My outbound $308 flight dropped down to about $108 in mid September (this is for a November 2nd flight). They stayed down for a bit and then gradually crept up in October until about 2 weeks before the trip where the price shot up. Jetblue went up and down far more frequently than Southwest did. It was really odd to observe it all.
The problem is one person's experience (even multiple experiences) don't necessarily mean others will have the same experience. As said earlier, where you're flying from/to, and when you're flying make all the difference in the world. Just because JFK -> MCO (just an example) is $150 RT, a flight from DEN -> MCO on the exact same dates maybe $400.
 

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
The problem is one person's experience (even multiple experiences) don't necessarily mean others will have the same experience. As said earlier, where you're flying from/to, and when you're flying make all the difference in the world. Just because JFK -> MCO (just an example) is $150 RT, a flight from DEN -> MCO on the exact same dates maybe $400.
Totally agree, which is why I said in my first post that it all depends on where you're flying from and how the flights to MCO historically behave from there. I know how they are from DCA and I knew that $400 was WAY to high to be paying.

Interestingly, I checked the Southwest flights from Richmond to Orlando. Richmond is a small airport with only 4 flights a day to MCO. The entire time I was checking, the RT flight in and out of Richmond was at $158. For weeks. I was so tempted to just drive to Richmond and go. I have never seen anything so stable. Those flights went up when I was inside 3 weeks. The DCA flights were high for a long time and dropped. It was just weird because you'd think a smaller airport with less competition would be high, but not the case. I'd love to figure out the airlines formulas/algorithms. Very interesting.
 
  • disneegrl4eva

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2004
    I found Southwest to "stick" for a LONG time. As I said above, my outbound flight was $308 from about June through September. On September 11th, my return flight plummeted to $69. My outbound $308 flight dropped down to about $108 in mid September (this is for a November 2nd flight). They stayed down for a bit and then gradually crept up in October until about 2 weeks before the trip where the price shot up. Jetblue went up and down far more frequently than Southwest did. It was really odd to observe it all.
    If you purchase through SW, and the price drops, will they give it to you at the lower price?
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    If you purchase through SW, and the price drops, will they give it to you at the lower price?
    Yes, I think you can go online to make the change. However, you don't get a refund. You get a credit that's good for one year from when you originally purchased the ticket. So if you booked right now for a flight in May 2020, and the price drops in March, you can call to get the credit, but you must use the credit by November 22, 2020. I believe you can extend the date, but that costs extra ($100?),
     

    Leigh L

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2019
    Yes, I think you can go online to make the change. However, you don't get a refund. You get a credit that's good for one year from when you originally purchased the ticket. So if you booked right now for a flight in May 2020, and the price drops in March, you can call to get the credit, but you must use the credit by November 22, 2020. I believe you can extend the date, but that costs extra ($100?),
    Exactly this! You can do it online and it's so easy. I recently did this for my December flight. It dropped $46 PP so I adjusted mine and DD's tickets. Originally bought in October and never dreamed prices would drop for Christmas week at this time of year (last year they didn't for my trip). It only dropped for about a day though, sometimes it pays to keep checking!

    Also though, you have to be careful and make sure you have wiggle room to use the credits. There are strict rules like @sam_gordon posted.
    For instance, I bought SW tickets last Feb for Aug. I ended up changing my flight to another date and was left with a $7 credit per family member. When I want to go use the credit in October combined with SW gift cards a SW agent confirmed to me any credits from a Feb 2019 purchase when combined with any gift cards used would also expire in February 2020 even though I bought it in October. I'm not sure what the policy is when paying by credit card. They may lump all the credits into the original purchase date. Would definitely be something to check.
     

    PrincessDJC

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2018
    Jet blue recently opened up flights through summer. I thought it looked high and since it’s so far away I didn’t book yet. Now the flight I was watching just went up $300 for round trip fare for 2. Ugh.
     
  • DLBDS

    Loves that Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2005
    Thanks everyone. Very informative replies. I'm watching an RDU to MCO Southwest flight for Saturday March 7. No idea why that particular day is so expensive compared to other days during that same time frame and other weekends before and after. I checked today and it's dropped by $2. That doesn't get me excited. LOL. I take it day by day. I want to hold out as long as I can. I thought Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Travel Tuesday would have paid off with a nice discount but nope.
     

    Christine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    Thanks everyone. Very informative replies. I'm watching an RDU to MCO Southwest flight for Saturday March 7. No idea why that particular day is so expensive compared to other days during that same time frame and other weekends before and after. I checked today and it's dropped by $2. That doesn't get me excited. LOL. I take it day by day. I want to hold out as long as I can. I thought Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Travel Tuesday would have paid off with a nice discount but nope.
    There is a $99 fare offered on that route. Not bad at all. I'd probably snap that one up and then watch to see if it goes down to $69 at some point.
     

    DLBDS

    Loves that Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2005
    There is a $99 fare offered on that route. Not bad at all. I'd probably snap that one up and then watch to see if it goes down to $69 at some point.
    I wish but that flight is just too late in the day. I need the first non-stop flight leaving at 5:10 ($196). I've already made park plans/dining reservations so the whole first day would be lost if I waited for the later albeit cheaper flight. Thanks for checking though!
     

    Christine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    I wish but that flight is just too late in the day. I need the first non-stop flight leaving at 5:10 ($196). I've already made park plans/dining reservations so the whole first day would be lost if I waited for the later albeit cheaper flight. Thanks for checking though!
    I totally understand! When I flew down on November 2nd, I wanted the first flight out also. It was $308 ONE WAY (DC to MCO) for a long time. I ended up booking two one-way trips out because Southwest wouldn't come off that $308 price. They eventually did and if I could have gambled, the rate did get to a reasonable amount about 6-8 weeks before my trip. Never as cheap as the later flight, but it came close. I also prefer the early morning flights out because it gives you a whole extra day and it seems that there's less opportunity for things to get screwed up, travel-wise.
     
  • DLBDS

    Loves that Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2005
    Today was the day y'all!

    First flight out (5:00am) on Southwest from RDU to MCO on March 7 2020 dropped from $196 to just $99. That was good enough for me so I grabbed 2 tickets plus the Early Bird check-in for $20 ea. Total was $237.96

    Whew. I'm VERY happy. Thanks for advising me through the wait!
     

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