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Flight Booking Advice  
User currently offlineLordMontenegro From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Hey again all!

A couple of my friends and I are getting the chance to study in Hilo, Hawaii for a semester next year and I've already started looking ahead for flights. We'd probably leave either January 2nd or 3rd at the absolute latest because our Orientation stuff starts the week of the 4th, so I already know the fares are going to be higher than usual. But, sites like Travelocity and Kayak and Orbitz are giving me some trouble with a couple of things. Firstly, layovers are a headache because some are too long and some are too short and I don't know how I can control that other than sift through a few hundred itineraries, all of which have something wrong with them that's driving me crazy. Also, I was wondering if it'd be cheaper and easier for us to just purchase tickets via different airlines, though not just from the websites I mentioned above (I had an idea of going from Pittsburgh or Philly to the west coast on Southwest or AirTran and then getting other flights from there, but they don't let you book that far in advance and as far as I know you can't use those other sites with them).

Here's what I want to know:

1. Is there a way (preferably a website of some sort) that lets me choose flights one segment at a time? That way we can plan the layovers to be at least 2 to 3 hours minimum so we can have a leisurely stroll through the airport and I can take pictures of EVERYTHING.

2. Assuming we do, say, fly Southwest to the West Coast then something else to Hawaii then get a cheap Hawaiian flight from Honolulu to Hilo, would we have to go get our bags, re-check-in with the other airlines, and go through security and such over and over again?

3. Would it be better/easier for us to just do this through a travel agency? I'd really prefer not to do that, I want to do this myself, but if it's just impossible without the connections I'll deal.

I feel like I should know all of this stuff, but alas I'm not sure enough about it and I'd like to get advice from the aviation community as a whole. Thanks in advance for any responses!

- LM

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCOFanNYC From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3662 times:



Quoting LordMontenegro (Thread starter):
But, sites like Travelocity and Kayak and Orbitz are giving me some trouble with a couple of things.

If you're using Kayak, why don't you just use the "filters" on the left hand side to change the minimum/maximum layover time to something you'll accept? Just a warning, I quickly looked (using a Jan 2 departure from PHL and a Jan 31 return - just a random date) and only allowed layovers of 2hrs - 3hrs 45 min. This caused the price to go up about $300.

Quoting LordMontenegro (Thread starter):
We'd probably leave either January 2nd or 3rd

If you don't mind me asking, why on earth are you booking almost 10 months in advance? Right now, for a January departure, I'm seeing fares >$1000. In the next few months I'm seeing fares of less than $750. I certainly wouldn't be booking right now given how often sales and lower fares are coming up.

Also, since you're concerned about layovers, think about this. If you book now with 2 hrs between every single flight and you're really happy with your schedule.....you'll likely see a schedule change or two between now and January. No airline has firmed up its winter flying schedule yet.


User currently offlineLordMontenegro From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3624 times:



Quoting COFanNYC (Reply 1):
If you're using Kayak, why don't you just use the "filters" on the left hand side to change the minimum/maximum layover time to something you'll accept? Just a warning, I quickly looked (using a Jan 2 departure from PHL and a Jan 31 return - just a random date) and only allowed layovers of 2hrs - 3hrs 45 min. This caused the price to go up about $300.


Oh wow, thanks. I didn't even notice that the first time!

Quoting COFanNYC (Reply 1):
If you don't mind me asking, why on earth are you booking almost 10 months in advance?

I was always under the assumption that the earlier you booked the better the prices would be. But I should know better; nothing in the aviation industry stays the same for that long! We weren't really planning on booking just yet anyway; I just like to see what flights are available and when on these sites.

Quoting COFanNYC (Reply 1):
Also, since you're concerned about layovers, think about this. If you book now with 2 hrs between every single flight and you're really happy with your schedule.....you'll likely see a schedule change or two between now and January. No airline has firmed up its winter flying schedule yet.

A very good point, and I'm definitely taking your advice with this too.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it!


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