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BNE
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Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:50 pm

Usually I like to purchase my tickets about 21 days in advance. Usually that is not possible but I always remember that the airlines used to offer cheap deals 21 days before.

A couple of recent flights I have booked within 24 hours of travel, eg booked the night before travelled the next day, done this a few times.
Once I booked on the day of travel.

Tonight I had to book a flight for one for my work colleagues, he was in Sydney for a job but I wasn't sure if he would finish the job on time.

Job got finished and I booked the flight just 1 hour before the flight.

Shortest for me has been 14 hours but I have booked for someone else with only 1 hour. I would have been in trouble if the flight had sold out but I had checked the flight loads this morning.

In the past I am sure you could have walked to the gate and brought a ticket but now with extra security measures it would be a little harder.

What is the shortest time between booking and travelling for you?
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
Outlier
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:31 am

Well, shortest from ticket counter to boarding would be about 3 minutes.
This is of course an outlier ............ but I've done it, others have also.

Its not security that makes this an iffy proposition around here though, its our limited choices of flights and the tourist season.

In general if I know I'm going someplace in the future, I book the seats when I have a pretty firm date. Longest has been about 7 months.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:02 am

I've only ever bought a ticket actually on day of departure once - that was in FRA, in 1989 - I had come up from JNB via HRE on an Air Zim ID00 ticket - I was originally ticketed JNB-HRE-LGW, but the LGW flight from HRE was full so they put me on the FRA flight instead, I figured what the hell, it's close enough - had to buy a full fare C ticket OW FRA-LHR to get to London, I bought it 40 minutes before the flight left.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
kazzie
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:11 am

I have booked a flight while it was checking-in..

not bad MAD-CDG-LHR for £120, Book flight turn around, check-in, right to the gate, board and go!
Bazinga punk.
 
texan
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:12 am

After the car died in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, I hitched a ride back to Dallas, bought my WN ticket around midnight, left on the 0600 flight to HOU then STL. Since it was in college and I was broke, had to use dad's card and was flying one way, so security was fun.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
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Vasu
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:17 am

Do you get any really good last-last-last minute offers if you book and hop onboard?
 
PanAm747
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:45 am

My shortest was eight days.

My ex-roommate wanted to go to Phoenix...but he wanted to drive on a Friday night, getting there after midnight. He wanted me to check into a hotel without a car (and pay for the hotel, too!) while he stayed with friends.

I wanted to go, but NOT on Friday...I said I will consider it if I can fly cheaply one way. America West wanted $60 for a one way ticket...even at that late date! I bought the ticket for eight days later....

And found myself with SSSS on my ticket. Well, I was also travelling without luggage (that went with my roommate in his car), but I didn't mind. TSA was quite professional. Great flight, but a long drive back.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
yvrtoyyz
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:51 am

2.5 hours between booking via phone and push-back.

Required:

1) Booking the flight;
2) Quitting my job on the spot (a week earlier than I had originally given my notice for);
3) Packing my stuff together;
4) Arrange airport shuttle service;
5) Get from downtown to YEG (locals know how far out the airport is);
6) Check-in at airport;
7) Make arrangements for car rental at YYZ;
8) Board flight.

Definitely under circumstances which I hope don't occur again.

-YVRtoYYZ
 
Outlier
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:28 am

Quoting Vasu (Reply 5):
Do you get any really good last-last-last minute offers if you book and hop onboard?

I haven't.
 
747luvr
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:27 am

I booked a flight MCO-JFK about 12 hours before leaving. And I got a great airfare on DL r/t for $135.
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:45 am

My shortest was last September when I decided to go home to Wisconsin for a weekend from Arizona. I wound up with PHX-MSP on HP and MSP-PHX on SY, and that was booked about a week and a half in advance, at least to the point where I had a middle seat on HP.

There is also this: When going to Arizona for the first time last April ('05) for ASU Orientation we booked it on Expedia or one of those, but the ticket agents at check-in goofed and thought Expedia hadn't paid SY for the tickets, so we were forced to book again for like $800 RT MSP-PHX, but fortunately we were given lost ticket request forms and got our $800 refunded (that was for two people by the way) in favor of our original, lower fare. So that was my real shortest booking but it was "annulled" for lack of a better term, so it doesn't really count.

The longest was when I booked my flights home for Christmas vacation, which were PHX-IAH on CO and IAH-MSP and MSP-PHX on NW, in December and January. That was about 3.5 months in advance, or 4.5 months in advance of the return flight. My IAH-MSP flight in the mean time got downgraded from an A319 to a CRJ. Hmm, good thing I had the aisle. I used to book 3 months in advance consistently since that's when seat maps go up, but now it is 2 months because that seems to be when the best deals are available, or at least from my experience of buying okay fares only to find great fares a month later.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
HKGKaiTak
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:01 am

My shortest was about 46 hours, flying AC YYZ-YHZ. I was originally contemplating taking the train, but saw a good fare on AC that would give me a few extra days in Nova Scotia ...

(The resulting flight would probably have been my last ever flight on a 762)
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
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vhqpa
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:30 am

My shortest time was 35 days booked on 26 June flew 31 July.

My longest time was about 5 months booked February flew June
"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
 
deltaguy767
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:05 am

My company had me travel AA last minute from LGA-ORD meeting with a client. The travel secretary for my company told me after the trip, that she booked the flights while I was in the car to the airport. So that comes out to about 55 minutes or so before scheduled departure.

Cheers from BDL and BAF,  wave 
DeltaGuy767
A Good Landing is one you walk away from! Any comments made on this board are my own and do not reflect the opinions or actions of my employer.
 
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deltadawg
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:46 pm

Several times I have either called ticketing on the way to the airport or have walked up to the ticket counter and purchased a ticket to go basically immediately.

I guess the closest between booking and literally flying though was
LAS-ONT. I was at a show in Las Vegas and a customer called and said I had to come to their plant in Riverside, CA. I left the Las Vegas Convention Center by Taxi to go to LAS, walked up to WN purchased a one-way ticket (I think about $110 one way) not knowing when I would be coming back due to not knowing how long I would be at the customer's plant. With no luggage or even carry-on I boarded the a/c appx. 20 minutes after booking the ticket at the counter.

Got to the plant, was there a grand total of about 45 minutes and went right back to ONT airport did the same thing except I had to wait about 2-1/2 hours between booking and actual boarding coming back to LAS. I was back in time to finish booth duty at the show that day.
GO Dawgs, Sic' em, woof woof woof
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:02 pm

Several times I've purchased within hours of the flight, 2-3 hours.

Done so on NW, UA, AS.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:29 pm

I usually like to purchase them at least weeks in advance. But I've purchased them up to a day before
 
TLG
Posts: 366
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:20 am

Once at ORD I purchased a ticket and checked in right away with the same agent about 2 hours before the flight, but then because of a snowstorm the flight was canceled and I flew out the next morning.

-TLG
 
parisien
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:25 am

For domestic flights, not so strange to go to the ticket counter and buy the ticket and go, I guess. Once I arrive CDG from Asia, walked out and was confronted with a very cold weather (well it felt cold after Asia), walked back in, called a friend in the south of france, bought a ticket to Marseille and was on the plane to the south a bit later.
But here is my experience with booking long haul international flights (from europe to Asie): once I got a good deal just a week or so before I decided to fly, I thought I figured out the best way to get cheap tickets to asia. Wrong. The next time, I did the same and had to pay a lot cause there was no cheap tickets left, though i did buy it cause my holidays were fixed.
Anyone knows the best way ? My travel agents of course always advise me to book well in advance for international travels. This time i bought it 4 weeks before my holidays for a decent price, not greatly cheap but not expensive either.
 
HT
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:28 am

  • Retrieved my dad from the hospital around 1600h.
  • Booked a flight HAJ-NUE-AGP on AB for him the same evening (via phone, as time to departure was too short for internet booking)
  • Put my dad on a plane the next morning for a 0620h departure.


Sidenote: I had used my dad´s IT-ticket a few days earlier to bring my mum and a friend of family to AGP, returned to home the same day on another ticket (as I had to take care of my dad who was still in hospital by then).
Challenge was it to get my dad a flight home, as DE wasn't able to issue e-ticket at that time. So I bought it, had it sent to my home, "flew" it to AGP at the end of my parent's vacation and returned together with them.
All in all, I had been to AGP twice within 2 weeks for a few hours only on each occasion, with each flight being a connecting flight through PMI ...
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:28 am

Emergency:
4hrs before departure. BA IAD-LHR - started packing whilst on the phone to BA in the UK trying to change my original ticket, was given a firm 'sod off' and bought a one way. Drove from Williamsburg, VA up to Dulles and almost missed the flight!

Non-essential:
6hrs before departure. BA LGW-DUB-LGW - Girlfriend came over for the week and decided we should go away somewhere. Found good tickets to DUB and proceeded to book them and a hotel. Got three hours sleep and leapt in the car to LGW.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
levent
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:05 pm

We took the boat from Macau to Hong Kong, a cab from the ferry terminal to the Airport Express station in Victoria, the train to the airport, and I bought one-way tickets with Cathay Pacific to Bangkok. Very expensive... Checked in, went through immigration and security (extremely crowded) and arrived at the gate just as the flight was about to close. Phew! Excellent flight though.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:52 am

Excluding airline rebooking and re-routings due to cancellations my shortest would be about 8 hours. Earlier this year I was sure I'd booked a flight up to BRS from PLH, double checked, found I hadn't done so yet and booked myself on it 11pm, took off the following morning at 6.30am. Luckily it was still reasonable due to it being vearly empty. My longest would be over a year on a school trip to China; LHR-PEK-LHR, paid for it in May 2003 and flew in July 2004.

At Easter I travelled to MAH with my Grandparents, we got to the counter at LGW and presented our passports only to be told that it was just me who had a ticket for the flight (I'd booked mine seperately). After a great deal of confusion regarding just why BA/Iberia had cancelled their reservation they had to buy a new set of tickets, purchased at midday, with the flight due to leave a quarter of an hour later. Fortunately it was delayed for almost three hours so we all got on!

Dan Smile
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
roseflyer
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:15 am

I booked a ticket the night before travelling, so that was about 12 hours. The fare that United wanted was about $1,200 so I ended up redeeming 40,000 miles for a reward ticket in first class. It was only a one day trip too.

The latest I booked a ticket that I paid for was 3 days ahead of time on a business related trip to Las Vegas. I ended up flying Hooters Air and Transmeridian which were really cheap since they were charter carriers and don't have the pricing policies of the scheduled airlines. It was only $400 roundtrip from Rockford Illinois nonstop.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
don81603
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:54 am

Not 100% what the exact time frame was, but I walked into YYZ, bought a one way to YQT, and flew the same day. It was only an hour or two IIRC. The longest was I booked last February, and fly October/November this year. Beat the fuel surcharges nicely!
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
lordanmol
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:28 pm

3 hours, urgent last minute trip to India
Hmmmmm....
 
Elite
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:39 pm

Around 6 hours. I was called, got told that I had to fly to the States immediately, and CX had a flight in 6 hours. Booked it, and everything was pretty smooth. I always like to book my flight at least 2 weeks before flying, but sometimes things are unexpected.
 
nateDAL
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:38 am

RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:00 pm

Besides rebooking at the airport, in May I booked online from home 1h15m before departure on a DAL-HOU flight. Got an A boarding pass and was at the airport well ahead of time.
Set Love Free
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:03 pm

My shortest was about 9 hours - TPA-FAT due to a death in the family.

Furthest in advance was in 2004 - bought both Thanksgiving and Christmas tickets in May...
 
noelg
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:36 pm

I've just booked my closest ever - nowhere near most of these, but I booked today and fly on Friday to Turkey! Half the price of the brochure!  Smile
 
flymatt2bermud
Posts: 551
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:17 pm

Last minute deals can be hard to come by. Your best chance in to call the airline directly as the operators typically have more access/knowledge to discounts available.

On a trip we were just getting into our ground transport when we got a message to check in with OPS. We were advised to remain another day. As a test I phoned the 800 number to the hotel from their lobby. I told them I was shopping for a deal that night and they gave me $98 rate. My colleague had walked directly to the counter and his sweeping deal at the just checked out but "walk up" rate was $178. Being the generous colleague that I am I booked two rooms!

Does anyone know why they don't just sell you a room for $100 or $180? I accept that my flight is scheduled to depart at 8:11 am but are we that swayed by a -$2 variation?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
 
Jeremy
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:55 am

About an hour.
I bought a ticket at the WN counter in AUS(Mueller) for the very next DAL flight.
Had a last minute plan change that made this necessary.


Internationally, I purchased a ticket from the AA counter at LGW for a LGW-DFW-PHX flight with about 2 hours notice.
You are now free to be sexually harassed and then terminated for filing a complaint--Southwest Airlines to me.
 
vtdl
Posts: 74
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:55 pm

I have done 3 or 4 "walk up to the counter" back in 1997/1998 on Reno Air between SJC and SNA. They were all for 2 days business trip became 4 days. Instead of staying at the hotel for $120 plus meals, I would fly home to my own bed for $160. My boss didn't mind and the Reno Air charged the same price either way.

My other shortest time was about 4 hours. I booked the 2pm flight (NW from SFO to MSP) at 10am. That was my first time truly experienced online booking. I found the flight and availability on the web. When I tried to book it, the seat disappeared. I had to call the airline to get the seat (forgot if they charged me more or not)
 
Sabena332
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:02 am

BKK-HKG on CX, my girlfriend and me bought the ticket two hours before depature, we went from the ticket office directly to the check-in counter and from there to the boarding gate after a quick stop at the lounge.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
deltagator
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:31 am

Quoting BNE (Thread starter):
What is the shortest time between booking and travelling for you?

Yesterday I was already checked in on Continental out of Denver and booked a flight back home to ATL on Delta less than an hour before the flight. I walked up to the desk at the President's Club and got the CO ticket refunded, went to the Crown Room to get my ticket and then got on the plane.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
[email protected]
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:38 pm

I booked a one-way Madurai-Chennai-Dubai-London ticket about 12 hours in advance. The total price was under £250.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
ltbewr
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RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:33 pm

Of course, the DL/US shuttles between LGA and DCA, BOS, you can, and I have purchased the ticket at a kiosk at the airports or the counter about 25 minutes before the flight.
Three years ago on a Friday before Super Bowl weekend, I had booked a flight at 4 pm for a 9 pm flight on a last minute flight LGA-DET (Detroit, on AA and at full fare with our company's discount). For my return, I booked on NW back to LGA via their website the day before (returning on Sunday) and got a fare DET-LGA for only something like $140. And I got a ride, and an asile seat, on a 100% full 757.
In 1982, I had to make an emergency trip for business from NYC to SFO. The ticket was purchased about 11 am, which I picked up at JFK about 12 noon for a 12:30 flight (AA, on a then brand new 767).
Several times in the 1980's I purchased in NYC and London cheap same day 'plane filler'/standby fares.
I have also used in the past booking/reserving via consolidators for low fare/discounted fare flights to be taken in a few days to 2 weeks before, less than the time that airlines would sell those discounted tickets directly. For a number of years if airlines had a number of unreserved seats on selected flights, they would sell it at a discount to consolidator agents, who would add their markup, but usually at or below the then "APEX" 14 day cutoff for the best discount fares.
 
Christian
Posts: 323
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 1999 1:38 am

RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:21 pm

Just about 24 hours or so.

Me and my friend was in CDG, and found out that we could fly Varig between CDG and AMS. So we booked a trip to AMS and back the following day, hoping to ride the B-777, but we got the MD-11 instead, and I can't complain about that either.

So, following day, we took RG up to AMS, ate dinner at Burger King, and then went back to CDG again.

/Christian
If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough
 
BMIFlyer
Posts: 8064
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:11 am

RE: Shortest Time Between Booking And Flying

Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:53 am

I booked my flight to SIN from LHR back in April.

Booked it at about 8pm, then went to LHR for the early morning SQ flight the next day Big grin



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