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Is it really laughably early to book for June 2015?

Is it really laughably early to book for June 2015?

Old Aug 6, 14, 5:08 am
  #1  
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Red face Is it really laughably early to book for June 2015?

Last week I asked our team assistant to get in touch with our corporate TA and ask them to price up an itinerary for the family and me (Mrs EB +4 mini expats) for BNE-HKG-LHR-HKG-BNE with BA & QF This is for a trip back to the UK from Australia next (Aussie) winter, so travelling June-July. It'll be J as part of the package I'm on here. The trip is during the school holidays here so it's peak time for the ex-BNE sectors.

I checked today how things were going as I hadn't heard anything and her response was "this is for next year, like 12 months away, right?" accompanied by a rolling of the eyes and some general sarcasm when I explained that we are "encouraged to book early to secure the best fares" by the relevant HR policy, and since any overspend was for my own account I was keen to stay within budget.

The question is, is booking for June-July 2015 travel in August 2014 overkill, or just sensible planning when the dates of the trip are fixed? The budget is reasonably healthy but I don't have a feeling for how soon the prices will increase. The BNE-HKG is only an A330 so not a massive number of seats (when you want 6) and I suspect that BA to and from HKG is popular.

I'd book it myself but the advantage of the TA doing the booking is that I'll get free seat selection on BA, which will save me AU$1500ish in seat selection fees between HKG and LHR. As an aside I tried a dummy booking and the fees were higher for the A380 than for the 777.

Was I really being a bit OTT in requesting a booking that early?

[Dons flameproof vest in readiness ]
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:13 am
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Not at all. We booked our May flights a couple of months ago. My boss has long since given up trying to understand the logic behind my flying. Just be aware that often flights can change if you book them this far in advance.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:15 am
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No. Why not? If you are sure of the dates and it all fits, why not.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:15 am
  #4  
nux
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Availability is only released 355 days in advance, and often only the high fare buckets are made available first (J, C, D) and the discount fare buckets open later. Some discount fares may not be valid that far out either.

It varies by airline, route, time of year, etc, but booking 9-12 months out is not the cheapest but will be better than booking a month out. Very generally 6-9 months is best (excluding sales fares) as the discount fare buckets will more likely to be open and valid fares published. However if you're able to book an 'I' fare, or are booking semi-flex tickets then no harm in booking that early.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:17 am
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I guess a lot depends on your general approach to things. I wouldn't be booking that early - it stuck in my craw having to book 11 months out to get the Avios redemptions I needed!

But booking this early doesn't offer you the best prices. You'd do better to wait for a sale.

My experience of corporate 'book early for best prices' policies is that they'd trying to avoid people booking last minute fares, not lock people into trips that are many months away.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:17 am
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If its for school holidays and children then you cant be flexible too much. Booking in advance is the best solution.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 5:50 am
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for a trip like this, better to book a little too early, than a little too late IMHO
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Old Aug 6, 14, 6:13 am
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No not too early, we booked our LHR-SYD flights for Feb 2015 in April this year, and prices were really good
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Old Aug 6, 14, 6:16 am
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Thumbs up

Thanks all. Always rely on the BA board for swift responses .

The company pays either way (up to the policy limits) and I hope they have access to some corporate fares, so I don't know how any sale period impacts price. On occasions the TA comes back with prices higher than one could book on ba.com of course...

In this instance we are locked into the school holiday period so not a lot of flexibility there, and the BA discount fare classes like I and R do allow some changes (for a fee plus any fare diff) since we are not booking ex-LON. I tried a dummy booking today and got I class between HKG and LHR. The BA16 SYD-LHR is already coming up at over AU$1k more expensive per pax outbound as it's only offering D class, although the inbound BA15 is selling I class.

I'm trying to secure the route and airlines I want rather than having to go via DXB on EK. SQ is ok (other than being in A therefore no Avios) but their lounges at SIN and LHR T3 are not that good IMHO.

I will give it a week or so and then prod again. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being too ridiculous and am reassured
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Old Aug 6, 14, 6:22 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by expatboy View Post
It'll be J as part of the package I'm on here. The trip is during the school holidays here so it's peak time ... The BNE-HKG is only an A330 so not a massive number of seats (when you want 6)
I would say book now and get those seats while the price is good!
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Old Aug 6, 14, 6:25 am
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Our next 2 long haul vacations ex-EU were booked 10 months in advance. End of December '13 for end of October '14, early June '14 for early April '15 (during a BA sale - thank you FT, FTrs and Dutch_122).

IMHO is not too early.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 7:04 am
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I say go for it, but be aware that the chances of schedule changes do increase. If you are comfortable with the fare though may as well do it.


Originally Posted by BA5E View Post
No not too early, we booked our LHR-SYD flights for Feb 2015 in April this year, and prices were really good
Did you buy them in Brazil?
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Old Aug 6, 14, 7:10 am
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I also say go for it - booked our LCY-JFK-LCY trip for June next year recently. I like giving in my holiday form at the beginning of the year as it means I have stuff to look forward to, while my boss likes it as he can plan around my availability given it's rare for Mrs Lem and I to change our plans
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Old Aug 6, 14, 7:19 am
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Just in case the didn't get the vibe from earlier posts, it is never too early to book reward seats.
However noting the cancellation cost for GC and below
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Old Aug 6, 14, 7:27 am
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I like to book as far ahead as possible. A few weeks ago I booked my first 2-4-1 in J to HKG and back.

I guess it something to look forward to next year and keeps MMB filled up with at least 1 flight

/AE
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