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NewAngler

Waiting for the last minute to buy airline tickets?

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Has anyone waited until the last minute to buy airine tickets?

I'm flying from DC to LA in april, and it seems like I was getting better deals in February for a round trip ticket. I am not contemplating waiting until the last minute.

Has anyone been successful in doing so?

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Not a wise move to wait until the last minute.  The further out you buy them, the better deal you get, as a rule.

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Not a wise move to wait until the last minute. The further out you buy them, the better deal you get, as a rule.

There's a lot of truth in that.I brought my mom an airline ticket last year I found them for 250 from TX to MI..I waited a month for some stupid reason and ended up paying 330.Sooner you buy them the cheaper they'll be. I paid 650 for the 3 of us to fly down to TX from Michigan 2-3 years back.Came roughly just under 200 per person.I had them on a 5 month advance before the trip.It pays to save the earlier you can book and get your tickets.Those deals are still to be had...you got to look and book early.

Just to add this is round trip.

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Matter of luck, sometimes they are cheaper at a later date.  We now have escalating oil prices, I'm sure air fares will soon increase the price in fuel.

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my brother did this awhile back and it ended up costing him a couple hundred more.

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Watch the fuel surcharges, I believe they should be getting out of hand very soon. I guess that is relative, they already are.

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We fly to California on occasion to visit the wife's family. With 6 of us it gets expensive.  A while back I signed up for fair alerts from Travelocity. When there's a good deal on tickets, I get an email. I've yet to pay much more than $200 per ticket.  Having flexibility in departure and arrival dates also helps. 

I personally would not wait 'til the last minute as I might be penalized 6 times over. ;)

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Don't wait!! Buy as soon as you know the flights you want. It used to be that last minute was the best because flights always had spare seats and they'd virtually give them away. But that has all changed now. There are less flights, and it's rare to find a flight that's not almost completely full, with many being over-booked. So the airlines really jack up the prices when there are only a few seats left, under the assumption that if you're desperate enough to fly then you'll pay the price. It's obnoxious, but it's working for them.

One other piece of advice -- it's nearly always cheaper now to book directly with the airline. They don't normally charge a booking fee, but places like expedia, etc, now often do.

My 2c...

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I have read that even the day of the week you check online is important. For instance Tuesday and Wednesday are usually cheaper than other days.

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I have to travel frequently for my job, and it doesn't pay to wait for the long minutes. Most of my trips are booked a month or month and half prior, unless it is an emergency.  I have always seemed to pay 100-300 dollars more if I purchase next day ticket. There are some last minute specials on the airline's website, but I have never found a destination that I need.

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I travel frequently for my job; I did 157k miles on United last year.

1.  Don't wait, you'll often get stiffed on ticket price, plain and simple. 

2.  Don't use travel sites, go directly to the airline, you stand a chance at getting a better fare because airlines don't publish "sale" fares on travel sites.

3.  If you must use travel sites, search only once.  Don't search the same flight multiple times on the same site.  They use cookies to track the searches, and thus generate a higher fare.  It's been on the news a couple of times, as well as confirmed by a couple of the "urban myth" type sites.  Search once, compare Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak then go directly to the airline.

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