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Thread: Cheap flights

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  1. #1
    -The Insider-
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    Cheap flights

    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.

  2. #2
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    I've always used kayak.com and generally have been pretty happy with the price I've paid.

  3. #3
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    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.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    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.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    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.
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  7. #7
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    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

  8. #8
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.
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  9. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.)

  11. #11
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.
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  12. #12
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    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.
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  13. #13
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    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

  14. #14
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.
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  15. #15
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap flights

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    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.
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