When to book flight?

I am looking on buying a ticket for my January 31-February 4 solo trip. I feel like I usually buy my ticket just a little too early, although I still get relatively good prices.

When do you typically buy your flight ticket? Do you have a specific set of flights picked out, or are you flexible?

I am pretty sure I want to fly on two specific flights because it will maximize my time at WDW. It's currently sitting at 229 basic economy, 279 if I upgrade to economy. Thoughts on whether I should go ahead and book, since I want this specific set of flights, or wait?
 

Disneyfreak Jen

Well-Known Member
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I book when I’m comfortable with the price, but I also know what a good price is. That being said there was one trip I flew in a day early because the extra night hotel combined with flying on a Friday instead of a Saturday was less expensive than flying on Saturday.

I have some flight anxiety that I take a Lorazapam for. I feel most comfortable having a window seat towards the front/wing. I also book the earliest flight out in the morning to, like you, get a full day down there and to minimize the possibility of delays.

Keeping all that in mind sometimes I have to pay more than I really want to but my sanity is important too. The reason I’m telling you all this is in case any of these scenarios resonate with you.

You can use the Hopper app and also Google Flights to track prices too, I find both helpful. Don’t forget Southwest and airlines that don’t show up on Expedia, etc.
 
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Patrick Dollar

Member
Original Poster
I book when I’m comfortable with the price, but I also know what a good price is. That being said there was one trip I flew in a day early because the extra night hotel combined with flying on a Friday instead of a Saturday was less expensive than flying on Saturday.

I have some flight anxiety that I take a Lorazapam for. I feel most comfortable having a window seat towards the front/wing. I also book the earliest flight out in the morning to, like you, get a full day down there and to minimize the possibility of delays.

Keeping all that in mind sometimes I have to pay more than I really want to but my sanity is important too. The reason I’m telling you all this is in case any of these scenarios resonate with you.

You can use the Hopper app and also Google Flights to track prices too, I find both helpful. Don’t forget Southwest and airlines that don’t show up on Expedia, etc.
I appreciate the response. I went ahead and bought my ticket in the main cabin. It’s more than I wanted to pay, but I did it for my sanity as you say.

I got the times I wanted and was able to pick my seats. Hopefully allowing me to have enough time to make my one tight Atlanta connection.
 
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LeighM

Well-Known Member
I always purchase the same day JetBlue releases the flights. The airport we use is only 40 minutes away and they don't have any competition from other airlines offering direct flights to MCO since Southwest stopped theirs. Because of that they hardly ever offer discounted fares from our town.
 
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GJM724

Active Member
Any tips for flying American with miles? I booked my May 1st flight down early morning direct from Philly so it gets us in the parks early on the day for 12.5k miles per person. Looking at the return on May 9th if we want the late flight departing MCO at 7:20 or so its 30k miles per person. Any idea if the mileage redemptions change at any point?
 
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MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
I truly hate buying plane tickets. I stalk plane tickets until I feel they are a good price then I buy them. Then I try to not look at the prices again after I book so that I won't get mad if they get cheaper.
I agree totally! But, I can't quite keep myself from looking and getting ticked off if there is a better price.
One thing that helps is that we try to fly Southwest as much as possible. And I spoke to an agent who told me if the fares drop they will give you a flight credit of that amount to be used within one year. (The credit is for each person, so if you pay for 4 family members and your flight is $30 cheaper each, they will give a credit to each person, not just credit you with $120). It makes it less painful to get some of that money back that you can use later in the year.
 
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Patrick Dollar

Member
Original Poster
I truly hate buying plane tickets. I stalk plane tickets until I feel they are a good price then I buy them. Then I try to not look at the prices again after I book so that I won't get mad if they get cheaper.

This is what I have decided to do for this trip. Last trip (early September) I noticed that I could have saved ~30 if I had waited to buy my ticket. Not a ton, but it still aggravated me. I turned off all price alerts for my dates now that I've bought my ticket.
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Southwest will give you the difference in cost as a flight credit if it goes down...

They are often overpriced now - which was expected after they bought valuejet - but when they’re close to the same price it’s a good scenario with no seat or bag fees.
 
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MotherofaPrincessLover

Well-Known Member
Southwest will give you the difference in cost as a flight credit if it goes down...

They are often overpriced now - which was expected after they bought valuejet - but when they’re close to the same price it’s a good scenario with no seat or bag fees.
I never really find deals on Southwest out of Minneapolis. They always seem to be expensive and have layovers. I believe I've only flown Southwest once, from Boston back to Minneapolis. I typically fly Suncounty since that tends to be the cheapest out of Minneapolis.
 
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GabeP

Active Member
I agree totally! But, I can't quite keep myself from looking and getting ticked off if there is a better price.
One thing that helps is that we try to fly Southwest as much as possible. And I spoke to an agent who told me if the fares drop they will give you a flight credit of that amount to be used within one year. (The credit is for each person, so if you pay for 4 family members and your flight is $30 cheaper each, they will give a credit to each person, not just credit you with $120). It makes it less painful to get some of that money back that you can use later in the year.
Note that the credit isn't automatic. You must go into your reservation, click change flights, then basically rebook. Its a lot easier since SW revamped its website than it used to be.
 
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Tinkerbella16

Well-Known Member
We always fly with SW, so we book as soon as they release flights for our dates. We fly from Philly to MCO, and the last 3 years we have booked the moment they release flights and we are glad we did because the prices have only increased from there. We paid $272 round trip per person back in May for our Nov trip and now our flights are over $500/round trip per person.
 
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monothingie

Ludicrous Speed, GO!
Premium Member
I am looking on buying a ticket for my January 31-February 4 solo trip. I feel like I usually buy my ticket just a little too early, although I still get relatively good prices.

When do you typically buy your flight ticket? Do you have a specific set of flights picked out, or are you flexible?

I am pretty sure I want to fly on two specific flights because it will maximize my time at WDW. It's currently sitting at 229 basic economy, 279 if I upgrade to economy. Thoughts on whether I should go ahead and book, since I want this specific set of flights, or wait?

Where are you flying out of?

We always fly out of EWR, which means we're flying United. United and to an extent other legacy carriers (American and Delta) are extremely aggressive with dynamic pricing, but you can usually game the system and predict when the lowest flights costs are based on the fare class being sold.

Example Fare Classes with United.
<--Expensive - Cheapest -->
First class: F, A
Business class: J, C, D, Z, P
Coach class: Y, B,M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G, N

United is probably the most open and simple with regards to understanding the their fare structure and knowing when is best to buy. AA and Delta's structure I've found requires a bit more work when looking.

For United when booking, look at the fare class and amount of free seats. Using the business class example if you see seats with a P class fare, buy it immediately because it won't go any lower. If you see a C, D or Z you probably should hold off, provided that there are still lots of open seats. I've found that the opportune time to buy is 4-5 months out.

I've found that Jet Blue does not provide granular details with regards to price movement. So it's a crapshoot with them. I've seen their prices max out 4-5 months prior, only for it to bottom out a month out.

Southwest I've found always is the cheapest, however for us their service out of EWR to MCO is very limited. But you are entitled to two check bags. Which is a big savings because chances are you are checking a bag or two which can add $30/first $40/second bag to the cost of a ticket.

Also don't get the "Flexible refundable tickets" You're stuck paying a hefty premium for an option you will never use.
 
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X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
I fly Newark to MCO and I know how much a ticket usually costs. I always fly United as well. If it is far enough in advance, I just wait and check every day or so on flights. An average flight could be $250-$300 but I've waited and I got tickets for $170 round trip. Cheapest I've ever seen you.

You could also set up a Google Flight Tracker. That could help ya out. You are always getting kinda close to your flight so I'm not sure how much lower it could get.
 
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The Pho

Well-Known Member
I've found that Jet Blue does not provide granular details with regards to price movement. So it's a crapshoot with them. I've seen their prices max out 4-5 months prior, only for it to bottom out a month out.
JetBlue does a lot of flash sales also, so if you buy the tickets, just keep watching the price. If it drops, call them and they'll give you the difference back. We always wait for JetBlue flash sales to decide on when to go, with frequent last minute trips.
 
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