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Best time to book flights?

Discussion in 'Flights' started by Sbooker, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    My family will be heading to Europe very late December 2018 or very early January 2019. Likely flying into Milan. When would be the best (cheapest) time to book flights? As soon as they're released in presumably January 2018? Or wait until the first available sale? Is there a general rule of thumb?
    If it makes any difference we would prefer to fly out of Venice.
    Would prefer to fly Qantas or Emirates I guess.
    Also would be looking at an internal flight from Milan to Munich - any best time to book that?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. silva

    silva One of Us

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    If you are after particular dates and airlines book as soon as the flights become available. Late Dec/Early Jan you are very unlikely to get any sale prices so best to jump in and get the lowest initial ticket price IMHO.
     
  3. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would be setting up skyscanner alerts now. Be aware that prices can and will fluctuate wildly.
     
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  4. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another similar app is Hopper.
     
  5. The Bluff

    The Bluff Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm in early planing for a Europe trip around this time as well.
    Very little experience with flight bookings/prices.
    I presume diferrent enter and exit destinations are more expense then in /out of same city?
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not necessarily. That used to be the case with limited Euro options for carriers from Australia where you needed an additional Euro flight, but is no longer an issue with the Gulf based carriers with numerous direct Euro destinations.
    For example with Emirates you can fly direct from Dubai to Vienna, Munich, Milan, Lyon, Geneve, Zürich etc and I doubt there would be too much difference in cost.
    https://www.emirates.com/english/destinations/
     
    The Bluff and skifree like this.
  7. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Flights to Edmonton have fluctuated from $974 to $1854 over the past two weeks.

    It's a lottery without rhyme or reason.

    Paid $1290
     
  8. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    HI Duck, what are your travel dates approx, and who did you book through and airline?? I am looking at similar for next year, 18/19
     
  9. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just get Skyscanner, or it's equivalent, alerts. If you google the question, the answer is around 7minths prior to travel. However there are so many online ticket sellers, the competition is considerable and sometimes you can get amazing deals even closer to departure.
    If you want to fly in and out of different airports, when using Skyscanner just tick the multi city option. I flew into Venice last year and out if Milan, I recall the difference was around $100. I flew on a code share Emirates/Qantas.
     
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  10. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have obtained some very low cost flights at the last minute, though I traditionally travel in early March which appears to be quieter. Thai airways also have some very good deals (including free stopovers in Bangkok sometimes). They fly direct to Munich. Their fleet were getting very tired but have improved in recent times. When travelling from Venice to Munich, do consider train travel as it is a beautiful part of the world to travel through. Try Rome2io (train $55-$150, Fly $78-$383) which is my Go-To website when moving around Europe. It is incredibly accurate and helpful.
     
  11. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just had a look at some Skyscanner results. Its interesting to see that their "best flight" for a given flight and date is $700 more than their cheapest, with both flights being direct and no stop overs, on what would both be considered full service carriers.
     
  12. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Beerman

    I am going on Sat 14th October (next Sat) for 10 days. It is not a ski trip. My advice for this time is to set up alerts a few months out and be patient. The price fluctuates by $800 with a mid point around $1300 with AC. I bought the ticket 10 days ago and two days after I bought it I received an alert for the same seat $300 cheaper. Its a shit seat arrangement on AC but the quickest route to Edmonton by a mile. Prices appear to start to ramp up again mod November.

    Good luck
     
  13. The Bluff

    The Bluff Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    great site thanks!
     
  14. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks @dawooduck , we aren't going until Dec next year, so i have plenty of time to scan and plan, but as you've said, from mid Nov prices go go north.
    P.s. In my experience cookies from web sites cost money, ours.
     
  15. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No not at all.

    we flew into Zurich and out of London. so classic 'open-jaw' ticket.

    It was cheaper than SYD/:HR/SYD and cheaper than SYD/ZUR/SYD

    I played with every possible combination.

    i didn't care about entry and exit airport and woudl have planned my trip accordingly around the cheapest one (and did)
     
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  16. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason with fares and the weird cases are where it is more expensive to go to a stopover than via the stopover to a final destination. In August last year I looked for fares to Vancouver for the mid September a few weeks later and as an option also looked at Seattle. The latter would have been about $1300 return economy via Vancouver (on Air Canada into YVR and onto SEA) whereas to Vancouver return was about $2000 (on Air Canada).
     
    dawooduck likes this.
  17. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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    Travelling in the Christmas holiday peak, may need to look at Asian/Chinese airlines. Qatar also.
     
  18. blutek

    blutek One of Us

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  19. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    This. MEL-ZRH return $1117 Qatar 1-16th Feb .
    Because I haven't decided where to ski, I looked up MEL-YVR same dates. Same price! (to the dollar would you believe)

    Cheaper than non-stop to Japan for the same dates!
     
  20. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly What a plonker. Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some sharp pricing to be had for NTL/MEL/YVR then. Hmmmm...
     
  21. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was watching prices for GVA, Tokyo and YVR from the middle of july till about 2 weeks ago, travelling the first half of januare. Avoiding the super cheap flights through China and where possible avoiding passing through the US because it's just too much bloody stress and paperwork for a friggin' transit. I was looking at Qantas/Jetstar, Emirates, Air Canada and Air NZ (YVR via AKL is a good option). I didn't look at Qatar because it's a really long layover (or was last time I looked) on the way home to Sydney.

    Tokyo was cheapest, but I wanted a direct overnight flight - the alternatives being either long middle-of-the-night transits or two wasted days sitting on a plane and a couple of overnight hotels in Tokyo. That meant that Tokyo wasn't that much cheaper than Geneva. Vancouver was somewhat more expensive again, vastly more if you wanted to avoid a transit through the US.

    Prices for Geneva held pretty constantly from July till sometime in September. They moved up about $350 between early september and early october, then another $150 by early november.

    Vancouver prices started to rise in August but fell a little early in November.

    Tokyo started to rise in August and then fell quite a bit from late september.

    I read somewhere that 13 weeks ahead is the best time. That worked for Geneva but not the others.
     
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  22. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have been lòoking at Sky scanner, Google Flights etc for CBR/SYD to ZRH in mid Sep back from Rome. Qatar comes out cheapest a bit under $1600 from CBR obviating need for a Murray's Coach. However these days I am always concerned to avoid Economy class in B777s with 3-4-3 seating even if it means paying somewhat more to avoid being squished into seats 16" wide so that requires a lot more searching. With the A380 economy seats 20" wide (or 18.3" between inside of arm rests) it is queen of the skies for economy IMO but they are hard to find all the way. I am tending to Finnair who have the A350, Airbus equivalent of the B787 but a bit wider so 3-3-3 is Ok on them (whereas a bit tight on the B787 altho nowhere as appalling as the 10 abreast B777.

    It is for my son to join me in Zurich for four weeks in Europe and we had bèen looking into returning via Japan. Absolutely zero availability on Qantas or ANA back to Australia on what amounts to a one way sector. One of the agents at the travel agent overheard the boss saying there must be something going on in Japan next northern autumn and came over with the answer: Rugby World Cup. Plenty of seats as part of a return trip but none one way!
     
  23. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of my closest friends is a partner in a travel agency that runs almost 100 package trips a year, mostly to Europe. They also have an on line presence under a different name and operate some old style shop front travel agencies.

    He says that while things are obviously volatile, flights from Australia to the mega hubs like Frankfurt and Heathrow are usually much cheaper than to second tier airports and it is often worthwhile to fly from say Vienna to Frankfurt and then to Australia than directly from Vienna. Flying to Australia (and changing planes in The Gulf) from small airports like Venice tends to be even more expensive. But there are always exceptions.

    The "full service" airlines that fly to greatest variety interesting places in Europe like Stockholm or Budapest are the Gulf Three (especially Emirates which seems to go to every mid sized city in Europe) and Singapore. But some of the next level airlines like Thai and Malaysian go to a few non major hubs too. People who go for really cheap fares may find that discount airlines like Scoot fly from MEL / SYD to Berlin. But never fly rock bottom third world airlines like Philippines because even if you survive the flight, it will take months to get over the emotional trauma.

    The UK has a great site called Jacks Flight Club which was recently offering dirt cheap fares with a 5 star airline.
    Heathrow to Australia return on Etihad Airways
    Sydney - £ 565, Brisbane - £ 570, (MEL) - £ 567
    Travel Dates: February - early June 2019 (excluding Easter)

    I haven't discovered an Australian equivalent of this site, but if it exists, I think many of us would be interested.
     
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  24. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We are heading to Austria Feb 2020 out of Brisbane,so all this is good info :thumbs:
     
  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Gulf airlines (Emirates, Etihad etc) have made a big difference in recent years making many smaller destinations available at no extra cost. I used to have to fly to the bigger hubs - Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam then get connections to Austria and had to put up with rushed transfers, crowds, delays and skis not making the connecting flight. Last couple of trips with Emirates though have meant being able to fly Adelaide to Vienna stopping only in Dubai. Has been a huge win being able to land in Vienna, get through customs, collect bags including skis and be on my way in under an hour, without it costing any more than flying to a large hub.
     
    #25 Heinz, Nov 22, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  26. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I went back to Skyscanner and GoogleFlights for the dates/itinerary next year using SYD and both suddenly showed KE at a price hard to pass up at $1325. Interestingly Skyscanner had that price only thru some web site called bestjet.com and had Korean Airlines itself at $2035 whereas Google Flights had KE at the cheaper price. So I went to the official site and booked them.

    I recall @Astro66 using KE to get to Canada more than once so with that as a recommendation plus good ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor it was not to be passed up. Interestingly KE still have decent seating apparently in terms of seat width and pitch in Economy.

    Another plus is it features a daytime flight to Seoul then a noon departure next day for late afternoon arrival into Zurich in time for dinner and crashing into bed waking next morning dialled into local time.

    Adding night at an airport hotel took combined cost to $1500, still very reasonable and cheaper than Sardine class on say Qatar's 10 abreast B777. Takes a bit longer of course but jet lag will be minimal and my son has plenty of leave and about 40 days of flextiime so no problem with time.