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cinreds21
09-10-2012, 03:12 AM
Maybe someone knows what I am looking for. I am looking to get a flight either in advance or spare of the moment to California. Does anyone have any tips or websites to accomplish booking a really cheap flight? Thank you in advance.

Boss-Hog
09-10-2012, 07:44 AM
I've always used kayak.com and generally have been pretty happy with the price I've paid.

oneupper
09-10-2012, 08:50 AM
Aside from Kayak.com which is usually excellent, check which airlines fly into the airport(s) you're looking for (California is kind of large).
Not all airlines list on kayak.com.
In addition, the prices listed on kayak.com are usually net of baggage fees.
For example, united might quote you $200, but they charge $25 bucks for the first bag. Jetblue, on the other hand, has no charge for the first bag, so if their fare were $210 say, it would be better than united's. (and united breaks guitars!)
(Spirit even charges for carry-on bags...and its like $40, so beware).
Southwest supposedly has "get away" deals, if they're on your route, you might want to look into those (I've never done it...so can't tell you) and site like Expedia and Travelocity also tout them, but I've never been able to get one to where I want to go.
(they may be able to alert you on fares to your destination...so look at that if you're flexible.)

Fares also change on a almost daily basis, some people say that Monday is good day to look for fares since airlines are looking to sell a certain number of seats during each week and once they have them booked they raise the prices. My experience is varied, but normally once you're less than two weeks from travel date, its hard to get a good fare.

Boss-Hog
09-10-2012, 09:13 AM
One other thing to keep in kind if Southwest is an option: their flights are not listed on Kayak. From what I understand, Southwest does not allow their flights to be listed on third party sites, such as Kayak, so you'll have to use their web site for that airline.

Caveat Emperor
09-10-2012, 09:56 AM
In all my years buying airline tickets, I've yet to see a price difference between any of the major online sites (orbitz, travelocity, kayak, etc.) when booking.

Some other thoughts:

- If you search on bing.com, they have a feature that tracks prices for a given flight to give you an idea of where it's been and (possibly) where it's going. It's pretty nifty. Just type in the flight you want (CVG to LAX, for example) and pick the dates.

- If you have a full day to travel both directions and don't care when you leave or when you arrive, priceline.com can sometimes be a good deal. For that, I've had success searching for the lowest price the ticket ever appears at (search out 2 months to find the "super advanced" price) and bidding that.

- There's really no such thing as the "super cheap" fare any longer for most flights. Fuel prices have pretty much eliminated the great deals on travel that used to exist, as far as I can tell.

westofyou
09-10-2012, 10:02 AM
Cincinnati screws folks on air, the hub aspect of delta licks in pricing tightly, I've always combatted it by using airports in surrounding cities

Raisor
09-10-2012, 01:46 PM
buy a jet pack and a map.

Caveat Emperor
09-10-2012, 03:03 PM
Cincinnati screws folks on air, the hub aspect of delta licks in pricing tightly, I've always combatted it by using airports in surrounding cities

I sat down once and did the math. With gas being the way it is (at ~$4 a gallon, between $8-$12 in gas), and assuming I can get a ride to CVG (which I usually can from someone) to save on parking costs ($6 per day in Dayton, $8 per day in Indy), I have to save about $30-40 on a weekend trip to justify flying from Dayton, Columbus or Indy.

It's definitely something you have to consider "real cost" (vs. absolute price on airfare) on when planning.

westofyou
09-10-2012, 03:10 PM
I sat down once and did the math. With gas being the way it is (at ~$4 a gallon, between $8-$12 in gas), and assuming I can get a ride to CVG (which I usually can from someone) to save on parking costs ($6 per day in Dayton, $8 per day in Indy), I have to save about $30-40 on a weekend trip to justify flying from Dayton, Columbus or Indy.

It's definitely something you have to consider "real cost" (vs. absolute price on airfare) on when planning.

In the 90's I would fly into Indy and rent a car one way to Cincinnati and drop it off downtown. That's when car rentals were lower and Delta had a tighter hold on the region, I could save $200 easily each time.

Not so much anymore and then as you said you have to factor in the what if I do it that way factor.

bucksfan2
09-10-2012, 04:49 PM
In the 90's I would fly into Indy and rent a car one way to Cincinnati and drop it off downtown. That's when car rentals were lower and Delta had a tighter hold on the region, I could save $200 easily each time.

Not so much anymore and then as you said you have to factor in the what if I do it that way factor.

If I can get frequent flier tickets from CVG I do it. CVG is close and for the most part I don't have an issue with the airport itself. We go out west every year and flying out if Indy is about 200-300 cheaper per person. We usually go with 5-10 people so that adds up.

I like the convenience of flying out of CVG but if the price difference is a couple hundred bucks per ticket its a no brainer to go to Indy or Dayton (which is 30 minutes farther from my house than CVG.)

KronoRed
09-10-2012, 05:46 PM
Cincinnati screws folks on air, the hub aspect of delta licks in pricing tightly, I've always combatted it by using airports in surrounding cities

Part of the reason the Cincy airport is slowly but surely dieing off.

cinreds21
09-10-2012, 07:21 PM
Thanks everyone.

Caseyfan21
09-11-2012, 12:31 AM
The app Skyscanner is pretty cool from messing around with it over the past couple weeks. Let's you target cheap days by inputting other people's deals. Also convenient if you're just looking to "get away" for a weekend and don't care much about where you're going. I haven't used it enough to swear by it but so far it intrigues me (and it's a free app).

RBA
09-11-2012, 01:22 AM
Cincinnati screws folks on air, the hub aspect of delta licks in pricing tightly, I've always combatted it by using airports in surrounding cities


Also, check alternate airports in California. I think Columbus has a cheap flight in/out of Long Beach at one time.

wolfboy
09-11-2012, 10:21 AM
buy a jet pack and a map.

In England, I hear they use umbrellas.

http://occupiedoaktrib.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/mary-poppins-mv03.jpg

Caveat Emperor
09-11-2012, 11:44 AM
Part of the reason the Cincy airport is slowly but surely dieing off.

CVG is pathetic -- entire terminals are closed and vacant, and the "main" Delta terminal has about 80% of the flight monitors shut out.

I'd like to see the thing just shut up shop completely so that they can build a proper airport on the Ohio side of the river 20-30 years down the road.

westofyou
09-11-2012, 12:29 PM
CVG is pathetic -- entire terminals are closed and vacant, and the "main" Delta terminal has about 80% of the flight monitors shut out.

I'd like to see the thing just shut up shop completely so that they can build a proper airport on the Ohio side of the river 20-30 years down the road.

Delta also just closed their commuter line down, I would often use that to puddle jump up to Chicago, fact is it's time to release the hold Delta has on it and allow SWA in

Caveat Emperor
09-11-2012, 01:55 PM
Delta also just closed their commuter line down, I would often use that to puddle jump up to Chicago, fact is it's time to release the hold Delta has on it and allow SWA in

SWA just went into Dayton. They're also in CMH and IND. I doubt they'd add Cincinnati to their routes.

KronoRed
09-11-2012, 07:24 PM
CVG is pathetic -- entire terminals are closed and vacant, and the "main" Delta terminal has about 80% of the flight monitors shut out.

I'd like to see the thing just shut up shop completely so that they can build a proper airport on the Ohio side of the river 20-30 years down the road.

I don't see how an airport in Ohio would suddenly do better, nobody is silly enough to not use CVG because you need to cross a river, the only logical place anyway would be well north of town and those people are already going to Dayton, what they need to do is throw Delta out and start from scratch with any carrier that will talk to them.

Sea Ray
09-11-2012, 07:33 PM
I'm fine with the airport in Kentucky. Let them have the noise amd pollution

Literati
09-12-2012, 01:07 AM
Try Southwest or Jetblue from Columbus. Kayak is a good comparison site. Also, Tuesday night is supposedly the cheapest time to book a ticket.

Slyder
09-12-2012, 01:36 AM
In all my years buying airline tickets, I've yet to see a price difference between any of the major online sites (orbitz, travelocity, kayak, etc.) when booking.

Some other thoughts:

- If you search on bing.com, they have a feature that tracks prices for a given flight to give you an idea of where it's been and (possibly) where it's going. It's pretty nifty. Just type in the flight you want (CVG to LAX, for example) and pick the dates.

- If you have a full day to travel both directions and don't care when you leave or when you arrive, priceline.com can sometimes be a good deal. For that, I've had success searching for the lowest price the ticket ever appears at (search out 2 months to find the "super advanced" price) and bidding that.

- There's really no such thing as the "super cheap" fare any longer for most flights. Fuel prices have pretty much eliminated the great deals on travel that used to exist, as far as I can tell.

Kayak has always been slightly cheaper for me. It was usually 25-75 bucks but it just really depends on how valuable you view your time. Some of the cheaper flights I saw had multiple layovers and I didn't feel like island hopping airports so I spent like 50-75 bucks more for 1 layover in either Atl or Det depending on which way I'd fly.

Caveat Emperor
09-12-2012, 09:21 AM
I'm fine with the airport in Kentucky. Let them have the noise amd pollution

I'd rather have the jobs in Ohio and have one less reason to go to Kentucky.

As far as Delta goes -- their presence at CVG is so small now that I doubt they can do the 500lb gorilla act keeping other carriers out any longer.

OldRightHander
09-13-2012, 09:28 AM
I've used fly.com and found decent enough deals there. We fly out of Dayton a lot. It takes an hour to get there from the house and about 35 minutes to get to CVG, so not much difference there.

WildcatFan
09-13-2012, 11:01 AM
I'm fine with the airport in Kentucky. Let them have the noise amd pollution

How'd y'all figure out how to keep our air from mixing with yours? We need some help with Tennessee.

Sea Ray
09-13-2012, 01:48 PM
How'd y'all figure out how to keep our air from mixing with yours? We need some help with Tennessee.

It's pretty well diluted by the time it gets to us. Kentucky gets the bulk of it

mdccclxix
09-13-2012, 03:22 PM
Fly on Tuesday or Friday. Book your flight late at night and on Wednesday (I think). Then, go to the post office and knock 4 times on the counter and say 'achoo'.

texasdave
09-13-2012, 03:37 PM
Last July, I flew roundtrip from Houston to Cincinnati for 200 dollars. It came out to something like 232 dollars with taxes and airport fees. The flight was direct both ways. No stops or layovers. I got the deal on Priceline about a week before I was scheduled to depart. Maybe I just got lucky. There are some things you don't have control over. Like which flight, which airline, when it takes off, etc. And once you book that is it. No refunds. You just get whichever particular date you put down. But it was ridiculously cheaper than any other flight deal that I had run across. I started placing my bid at 150 and kept going up ten dollars at a time. At 200 dollars - Bingo! Maybe they just got tired of me bidding.

Unassisted
09-14-2012, 03:39 PM
http://matrix.itasoftware.com

At that site, you can do things like include in your search airports that are up to $200 miles from your preferred airport, search within a date range or see plotted on a calendar the fares for a trip between two airports.

If you use the Chrome browser, IIRC the Google Flights plug in offers the same functionality.

Reds/Flyers Fan
09-21-2012, 02:03 AM
Just booked a last-minute round trip for this weekend from CVG to Washington DC for $140 on United. Dayton was over $250.

oneupper
09-21-2012, 10:08 AM
Just booked a last-minute round trip for this weekend from CVG to Washington DC for $140 on United. Dayton was over $250.

Don't take your guitar!

United Breaks Guitars - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo)

wolfboy
09-21-2012, 10:47 AM
Don't take your guitar!

United Breaks Guitars - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo)

They lose your kids too: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/girl-10-lost-united-airlines/story?id=17004187