Yflyer
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How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:22 pm

I bought my ticket for my flight home for Christmas back in August (Well, it's not exactly home as my parents moved to Minnesota this year, but I digress...). Typically I will buy tickets for personal travel that isn't during the busy travel season about a month in advance, give or take a week or so.

I'm curious how far in advance people here buy their plane tickets, be it for holidays or for other travel. When do you consider the best time to book travel?
 
yfbflyer
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:34 pm

For my next set of flights Dec & Jan
The first carrier I picked up in July on a 30% off seat sale
The second carrier purchased from in Sept after the price started rising on my route.
 
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vhqpa
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:38 pm

Yesterday I purchased tickets 243 Days or 8 months in advance which is a record for me. I usually buy my tkts 2-3 months in advance.



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bok269
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:11 am

When my plans are final, I'll buy the tickets (unless it is so far out that it woud be more expensive to do so, although that has never happened). Most recently, I purchased a ticket on B6 three weeks before departure. Back in September I bought tickets for December, and last month for February.
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CXfirst
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:44 am

We usually buy our June/July holiday tickets in October-December. We like having things done and ready. For domestic travel, such as PER-MEL-PER will be ordered around 2weeks - 3 months in advance.

-CXfirst
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:10 am

For holiday travel, the earlier the better. Last year we bought tickets at Thanksgiving for travel at Christmas; don't want to make that mistake again. For leisure travel, I usually watch prices for awhile when I know the dates I want to travel. If I notice a trend of increasing prices, I will get them because there is no guarantee of them going down.
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ERJ135
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:32 am

Back in the early 80's I made my first trip overseas alone and I booked my round the world ticket one year in advance. I then paid the ticket 6 weeks later which was 44 weeks in advance of travel. There was no internet then or online booking so it was all handled by a travel agent.
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57AZ
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:33 am

I attend annual conventions where the schedules for the next convention is announced at least a year in advance. I will make hotel arrangements as soon as the package information is released. If traveling by commercial airline, I will purchase transportation as soon as the reservation system will permit.

This year's annual convention for the Association of Railway Museums was held in Pittsburgh, PA in October. I purchased round trip transportation on NW by January and got round trip transportation from PHX to PIT for just under $200 USD including all taxes.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
AlexPorter
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:41 am

Usually about three months, but can be more if I see a great deal or less if I haven't finalized my plans yet.
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Leskova
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:52 am

Private - usually between 14 days and 4-5 months in advance.
Business - usually between 12 hours and 2 weeks in advance.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:43 pm

Generally I book mine as far in advance as possible, as soon as I know I can go somewhere, then I will book them because it has always worked out cheaper this way. The longest in advance was about 15 months for a school trip booked through a travel agent and the shortest was just a couple of hours before wheels up.


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nema
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:24 pm

Last May I booked our seats for our regular Christmas trip from Birmingham to Tenerife mainly because the flight will eventually be full. Since then of course loads of offers have appeared and still appear with huge discounts from what weve paid, but i cant risk not getting there by leaving it late.
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egmcman
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:26 pm

I booked my tickets to visit my parents over Christmas in September. Also I booked my flight in the end February when U2 had a sale in begining of this month.
 
LASoctoberB6
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:37 pm



Quoting Vhqpa (Reply 2):
I usually buy my tkts 2-3 months in advance.

Seeing how I'm the all-around flight guy in the family, I make the plans. I just hafta get the Mom's credit card in time..
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mauiman31
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:37 pm

Business - at least 14 day advance to save $$. Job now I rarely have to do a last minute trip. Previous job - lots of 24-48 hour or same day bookings.
Leisure - often months in advance since we usually fly F or Biz on vacation. I want to be able to get the seats, and itinerary we want.
 
helvknight
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:32 pm

On business between 2 weeks and 1 day (when a customer had an emergency in the US)

For leisure between 2 and 3 months apart from earlier this year when I had to rush back to the UK when my father was admitted to hospital - that was about 1 days notice.
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AlexPorter
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:57 pm



Quoting LASOctoberB6 (Reply 13):
Seeing how I'm the all-around flight guy in the family, I make the plans. I just hafta get the Mom's credit card in time..

Yeah, me too. I actually have my mom's CC number written down in a secret place in the house and whenever it comes time to book a flight, I just give her a call and the exchange is just something like this: "I found Thanksgiving flights, can I book them?" "Sure, that's fine. E-mail me your itinerary when you get it." And then I book it.

This is in contrast with my roommates who have varying levels of control over their itinerary - one roommate tells his parents preferred dates and times and they book it for him. Another roommate's mom just waits for the "Ding!" fare to Nashville and books flights and then tells him about it. This almost caused a big issue this year for Thanksgiving when his mom booked him a flight to Nashville on Tuesday while he had a mandatory class on Wednesday (Thanks, stupid ASU academic calendar with 35% of students from out-of-state but classes the day before Thanksgiving!!), so he had to talk to the professor to get excused from it. I personally can't imagine having no control over the flights I book.
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Boeing74741R
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:30 pm

We only book tickets once our plans are final, which can be anything from 18 months to 18 days! We do know that booking early will get us the best deal, but not all airlines take bookings as early as others (which prevents a fair comparison of price) and it also depends on what our plans are.

What we generally do is, if we have a choice of carrier on the route, we get quotes from all airlines on that route (say MAN or LPL or BLK-AGP) and go for the airline which is offering the best price and also at a time which is convenient.

It can be a headache at times but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
 
RAFVC10
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:53 pm

Depend if my flight is for holidays (my wife uses to buy it with two or three months of anticipation to get cheap fares in both tourist and Business class).

If it's for job, I use to plan my agenda every week but it always is not possible due to unplanned trips to elsewhere in the world where my company needs of my services.

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DesertAir
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:53 am

I am tending to purchase tickets earlier than I had in the past. For example, I have been able to use Rapid Rewards for both Thanksgiving and Christmas travel. I usually book as soon as WN opens their schedules. I just recently purchased travel for this coming July on Mexicana from LAX-GDL. I noticed that with the increase of jet fuel, the price was rising, so I thought it best to purchase early. I also just purchased travel on WN for February, March and May travel to take advantage of their Internet special fares and to use a Rapid Rewards for Friday and Saturday of Easter weekend for travel.
 
seattleflyer
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:10 pm

As soon as I know where I'm going and when I need/want to be there. Especially if I'm looking for upgrade opportunities. This, of course, is assuming miles and dollars ( or available credit card balance) are available at the same time.

This can be anywhere from a few weeks to almost 1 year in advance. I'm willing to sacrifice a few dollars to make sure I get the schedule and class of service I want.
 
Analog
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:33 pm

This year the shortest times were 4 hours (FF award to South America) and about 15 hours (paid transpacific r/t) before scheduled departure.

The longest was 2 months (leisure trip to the UK).

Normal is between one and two weeks (the 7 day advance purchase cutoff is usually the most painful).
 
srbmod
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:46 am

Usually around 3-4 months out, as typically, that's when I'm finalizing the main plans for a trip (My flight is usually the last thing I book.). For the trip I took over Thanksgiving, I booked my tickets back in early August (I wish I would have booked them back in July as they were about $150 cheaper.). For the trip before that one (back in March), I booked it in mid-December. For my next trip, which is in April, I'm planning on booking it sometime around the first of the year. But if I see a good deal on a flight, I may book it earlier.
 
exFATboy
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:51 pm

Usually as soon as I have my plans finalized, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For more routine hops to the family in Florida, 3-4 weeks in advance.
 
tennis69
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:48 am

At least 50-60 days in advance to get the reduced fares in first/business class.
 
ag92
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:58 am

My father 'books' seats once the plans are final, though he doesn't ever issues his tickets until the very last moment
 
InbarD
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:37 am

I generally buy them a few months in advance. If you purchase frequent flyer tickets by points then you need to by the tickets even earlier generally 4-5 months because frequent flyer point seats are limited.
 
Analog
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:44 pm



Quoting InbarD (Reply 26):
I generally buy them a few months in advance. If you purchase frequent flyer tickets by points then you need to by the tickets even earlier generally 4-5 months because frequent flyer point seats are limited.

Or, if you're flexible about going, wait until right before you want to leave.
 
planecrazy2
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:42 pm

For holiday travel, usually at least a few weeks before. For just flying home from school, varies from weeks to a day or two before.
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CV990
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:47 pm

Hi!

I've had both ways, some months in advance or a week....it depends if it's a long programed flight or it's a "last minute" meeting! The reason that sometimes slow down my process of reserving and buying tickets are the dates that normally come latter than expected. My last two intercontinental trips I had that problem, on the first it was a trip to Colombia and I had an excelent fare and itenerary with AA, but then when I wanted to change the dates I couldn't do it no longer...the price raised a lot, so I had to buy with CO. Second time it was my trip this year to Congo, once again I booked with KL/KQ/AF ( KL/KQ to FIH and AF from FIH ) and it looked really awesome, I would fly via NBO with KL and then NBO to FIH with KQ, well, once again the dates changed, so when I was going to buy the tickets the fare was no longer there...so I had to fly with AF both ways!!! I guess from now on, I will only reserve and buy when I have the dates for sure!!!
On the short notice side I had in March a last minute meeting in Karlsruhe and I found a great fare with SWISS....but not flying with them....and that's amazing..I flew LIS/GVA with TP, then GVA/STR with Eurowings. On the way back I flew STR/ZRH with Cirrus and ZRH/LIS with TP again...4 flights with 4 different airplanes, A319, BAe 146, ERJ170 and A320!
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tpa36r
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:43 am

I've bought tickets 4 months out.....

You would really be surprised about the stuff you could find 24Hrs before flight time though, if you don't mind the SSSS.
 
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:11 am

I only book tickets when my plans are final. I'm currently in the process of confirming flights to DTW and LHR next August as part of Air NZs Northern lights sale. Should have those tickets purchased in the next week. Latest I've ever purchased tickets was 2 weeks before departure, which was three weeks ago to MEL.
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iairallie
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RE: How Far In Advance Do You Buy Your Tickets?

Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:53 am

Often within 24 hours of the flight. Never more than 2-3 weeks. My work schedule is too unpredictable.
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