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Cheaper tickets on short notice?

Cheaper tickets on short notice?

Old Nov 8, 10, 7:41 pm
  #1  
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Cheaper tickets on short notice?

Hi,

so I've moved from Europe to Canada recently. Ticket prices are much higher here. There don't seem to be offers that make people go and buy tickets they wouldn't have bought otherwise "just because it is so cheap". OK, I'll have to adjust to that.

But then, something strikes me as really odd: Flights booked on short notice are cheaper than those booked a long time ahead. I was used to booking tickets as early as possible. But basically all destinations I've checked (starting in YHZ) have lower prices in the next four-five weeks than at any later point in time. And I've checked quite a number of destinations across North America (using ITA's Matrix 2 that will show you the prices for a whole month at once but does not include the current 20% sale discounts from Porter, Westjet and Air Canada).

Why is that? Or am I missing something?
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:00 pm
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The fares aren´t always like that. They are lower now than advance bookings for 4-8 weeks from now because of an annual event called Christmas. lol.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:18 pm
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I'm not talking about 4-8 weeks. I've checked all the way until October 2011 for a number of destinations across the continent.

As I said, I like to book ahead when it is cheaper to do so. Like a year.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 11:11 pm
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Depends what you're comparing to... and it sounds like you're comparing to LCC's in Europe.

For legacy carriers, the sweet spot for "deals" are 1 season ahead. Anything farther out gets you the "regular" price.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:40 am
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I've checked all carriers that are listed in the ITA Matrix 2. This includes Westjet and Porter. (Southwest & co do not fly to YHZ anyway.)

And, yes, I've checked one season ahead - every day up until October 2011 (you can't check any further). For a big number of destinations in Canada, the US and selected Carribean destinations. It was always cheaper up until Dec 15. OK, then it's XMas-season - but afterwards the prices don't drop back to the level of the upcoming five weeks.

Last edited by sokolov; Nov 9, 10 at 1:23 pm
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Old Nov 11, 10, 8:38 pm
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we haven't booked anything for Europe next summer yet. the prices are too high. If the economy does a further dip, when Feb rolls around, I will be looking for bargains to Europe.
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Old Nov 14, 10, 9:09 pm
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Three of us are going to Europe next summer. We got two frequent flyer tickets with our points and have to buy a third ticket. Our trip to Europe is going from DC (Dulles) to Paris. Then we'll go from Bilbao (Spain) to Athens as a "stopover" for a few days before returning to Dulles.

If I buy the tickets now for the trans-Atlantic trips (IAD-CDG, ATH-IAD), it will cost me $1,300 minimum. If I buy the same tickets for a March trip, it will be less than $800. These figures do not include the flights to go from Bilbao to Athens. I realize that a late June trip will likely be more expensive than a March one, but I'm not sure about a >$500 difference.

I will definitely wait a little while before considering buying the final ticket. If I lose out, I don't see it being by much, nd I'll take that risk for the chance of saving several hundred dollars.

If Icelandair is around where you live, they have some excellent offers that follow more of an "early bird special" approach. The one-way to Paris in late June is less than $450, including all taxes. Unfortunately for me, they do not fly to Greece.
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Old Nov 14, 10, 11:23 pm
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Icelandair flies from YHZ to Glasgow for 367 $ in September/October, that's really good. But the price goes up when you have to add Glasgow -> Vienna...

But I was actually talking about continental flights, not intercontinental.
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Old Nov 20, 10, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by Braindrain View Post
Depends what you're comparing to... and it sounds like you're comparing to LCC's in Europe.
Yes, there are no EasyJet or Ryanair equivalents here.

The fall is the slow season for Canadian air travel, the majors (AC,WS) generally unload inventory around now until mid-December. There are other short-notice seat sales throughout the year but the timing is laregly unpredictable. Go to the web sites and sign up for the deal notification emails, also monitor the AC and WS forums here where you often get advanced notice form 'insiders'.
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Old Nov 22, 10, 2:29 pm
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Ah, so it is a seasonal thing, eh? Because this generally is the cheapest time of the year. I C.

TNX
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