SEA-SLC fare

Old Sep 12, 20, 5:28 pm
  #1  
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SEA-SLC fare

We're going to start flying this route few times a year.
I'd like to know what is considered a good fare on this route during Jan-March and in July-Aug, and how far out you should book.

For starters, I'm looking at a weekend in Jan (not MLK weekend), and I'm seeing ~$300 return for Main Cabin.
Should I wait, or should I just get it?

Last Jan, we flew one weekend for $205/person return, booked in Nov.
We looked to fly back during mid-winter break (mid-Feb), but the fares were $800+/person return!
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Old Sep 12, 20, 6:08 pm
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Cheapest main cabin V fares are currently $256.20 - $266.20 roundtrip (the $256.20 ones require MON/TUE/WED/THU/SAT travel). Basic Economy is $20 cheaper each way. However, these are only good for travel through Dec 16th. For January and beyond, the cheapest main cabin fares are currently X fares for $306.20 - $316.20 roundtrip. I'd probably wait and see if they open up V fares if you are looking for January and beyond. The cheaper V fares have blackout dates for holiday/high demand periods. . Here are blackout dates on current V fares for Jan - Mar -- 03JAN 21 OR ON 15JAN 21 OR ON 18JAN 21 OR 11FEB 21 THROUGH 12FEB 21 OR ON 15FEB 21 OR 05MAR 21 THROUGH 07MAR 21 OR 12MAR 21 THROUGH 14MAR 21 OR 19MAR 21 THROUGH 21MAR 21 OR 26MAR 21 THROUGH 28MAR 21. Avoiding MLK weekend helps as there are blackouts for Jan 15th and Jan 18th. They've blacked out every weekend in March, so I would not expect anything less than $300 for weekend (Fri-Sun) travel that month.

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 12, 20 at 6:36 pm
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Old Sep 12, 20, 6:35 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Cheapest main cabin V fares are currently $256.20 - $266.20 roundtrip (the $256.20 ones require MON/TUE/WED/THU/SAT travel). Basic Economy is $20 cheaper each way. However, these are only good for travel through Dec 16th. For January and beyond, the cheapest main cabin fares are currently X fares for $306.20 - $316.20 roundtrip. I'd probably wait and see if they open up V fares if you are looking for January and beyond. The cheaper V fares have blackout dates for holiday/high demand periods. . Here are blackout dates on current V fares for Jan - Mar -- 03JAN 21 OR ON 15JAN 21 OR ON 18JAN 21 OR 11FEB 21 THROUGH 12FEB 21 OR ON 15FEB 21 OR 05MAR 21 THROUGH 07MAR 21 OR 12MAR 21 THROUGH 14MAR 21 OR 19MAR 21 THROUGH 21MAR 21 OR 26MAR 21 THROUGH 28MAR 21. Avoiding MLK weekend helps as there are blackouts for Jan 15th and Jan 18th.
Thanks, that's very helpful.
Yeah, for a family of four, I'd sure like to pay $260 rather than $300!
I guess the $205 I got last Jan was sort of a rarity then?
SEA-DEN is often <$150 return in main cabin. We need a bit more competition on SEA-SLC route!
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Old Sep 14, 20, 2:53 pm
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I am seeing $217 round trip BE prices in October. I think prices closer $200 are fair and doable on this route. I would suggest creating a Google Flights alert for some midweek dates in Jan, Feb or March and wait.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
I am seeing $217 round trip BE prices in October. I think prices closer $200 are fair and doable on this route. I would suggest creating a Google Flights alert for some midweek dates in Jan, Feb or March and wait.
OP wanted main cabin which is $40 more roundtrip (the $256.20 price mentioned above and the V fares that allow Fri and Sun departures are $5 more each way). These V fares are currently only available for flights through Dec 16th, but they do already have blackout dates published in them beyond that if they get extended. While there is some availability for weekends in Jan/Feb, every weekend (Fri-Sun departures) in March is blacked out. If you could take an extended weekend (Thu - Mon), it would be possible to purchase fares in March if they become available then (assuming there is V bucket open on flights). While they may extend the V fares, I doubt they will change the blackout dates (although they might relent if there is little ski season demand).

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 14, 20 at 3:14 pm
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Old Sep 15, 20, 8:07 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Thanks, that's very helpful.
Yeah, for a family of four, I'd sure like to pay $260 rather than $300!
I guess the $205 I got last Jan was sort of a rarity then?
SEA-DEN is often <$150 return in main cabin. We need a bit more competition on SEA-SLC route!
I think the driver for low fare on this route is not DL, but everyone else. With frequency of flights and hub status at both airports, DL can charge whatever it wants. It will be the competitive pressure, like WN, that will lower the fare. Sadly, there is no non-stop to SLC currently on WN. AS has played a role in the past but DL has out-played AS on this route. For mid-winter break or any other special week, you’ll be better off with booking it earlier than later. At least, one benefit now, is an option to booking a lower fare should a fare of lower fare materializes. Fares are non-refundable in most cases, but you can apply your higher booked price to a lower one and have a credit voucher for another travel in the future. Just be careful not to booking a basic economy fare unless there is a waiver, and or if you know for sure that is what you want.


Jiburi
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Old Sep 16, 20, 12:35 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jiburi View Post
I think the driver for low fare on this route is not DL, but everyone else. With frequency of flights and hub status at both airports, DL can charge whatever it wants. It will be the competitive pressure, like WN, that will lower the fare. Sadly, there is no non-stop to SLC currently on WN. AS has played a role in the past but DL has out-played AS on this route. For mid-winter break or any other special week, you’ll be better off with booking it earlier than later. At least, one benefit now, is an option to booking a lower fare should a fare of lower fare materializes. Fares are non-refundable in most cases, but you can apply your higher booked price to a lower one and have a credit voucher for another travel in the future. Just be careful not to booking a basic economy fare unless there is a waiver, and or if you know for sure that is what you want.
Yeah I totally get the lack of competition thing driving the higher fare on this route. That's why I said more competition would be nice, but of course SLC is not the same market or hub that DEN is and so it'll never be the same.

So you think mid-winter break is considered a high-demand week for SLC? If so, maybe I shouldn't wait.
I thought the peak dates for skiing getaway would be just the Holiday season, MLK weekend and Presidents Day weekend. The month of March tends to be busy with springs breaks being held by different universities on different weeks. Other than that, I thought everything else was considered just another week.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 7:06 am
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The fact that they have blacked out V fares for every weekend in March (see blackout section from V fare rules above -- Mar 5-7, Mar 12-14, Mar 19-21, and Mar 26-28 are all in there) is a pretty big clue that these are high demand travel dates.

Expertflyer lets you research historical fares by backdating the ticketing date. Going back to the beginning of the year, the cheapest main cabin fares I see that were valid for weekend travel in Jan-Mar were $268.20 roundtrip ($228.20 for Basic Economy). This includes back in March/April when the airlines were slashing fares madly in response to huge demand drop-off. There were some fares as low as $218.20 roundtrip main cabin valid for Jan-Mar travel, but they only permitted Tue/Wed travel. Fares have been inching up for Jan-Mar travel since April to their current price of $326.20 roundtrip main cabin ($286.20 for Basic Economy). I doubt you will see main cabin for below $300 unless something dramatic happens (like F9 or NK entering market to give AS/DL competition). With current ticket change flexibility, I'd suggest just opting for the Basic Economy fares and save yourself $40 per ticket.

If you have destination flexibility, you can use Google Flights in map view mode to search for pricing to alternative ski destinations. I see SEA-DEN for under $200 roundtrip in main cabin through early Feb, and SEA-BOI in same range through end of February.

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 16, 20 at 7:30 am
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Old Sep 27, 20, 7:46 pm
  #9  
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The main cabin fare had been consistently hovering in $307-$317 range.
Then all of a sudden, it was down to $254 today. So I booked it.
This is in late January. So glad I waited!
It's not quite $205 that we got this past January, but I'm not taking my chances on this one.
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Old Sep 28, 20, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
We're going to start flying this route few times a year.
I'd like to know what is considered a good fare on this route during Jan-March and in July-Aug, and how far out you should book.

For starters, I'm looking at a weekend in Jan (not MLK weekend). . . .
You should also consider avoiding the time during Sundance Film Festival.
Normally, flights are full from every destination as Sundance is an international thing.
Not sure if SDFF is cancelled for 2021 (COVID).
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Old Sep 28, 20, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
The main cabin fare had been consistently hovering in $307-$317 range.
Then all of a sudden, it was down to $254 today. So I booked it.
This is in late January. So glad I waited!
It's not quite $205 that we got this past January, but I'm not taking my chances on this one.
Keep in mind now that change fees are gone, if it drops more just modify and re-select it and you'll get more back.
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Old Sep 28, 20, 5:51 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Keep in mind now that change fees are gone, if it drops more just modify and re-select it and you'll get more back.
Has it been confirmed that if you change your flight to a cheaper one, you'll get the fare difference back? (If so, that seems like a nice consumer-friendly move!)
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Old Sep 28, 20, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by ryw View Post
Has it been confirmed that if you change your flight to a cheaper one, you'll get the fare difference back? (If so, that seems like a nice consumer-friendly move!)
I did it a couple months ago. Super easy on the website. But itís returned as a flight credit, not a cash refund.
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Old Sep 28, 20, 11:59 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by ACCDraw View Post
You should also consider avoiding the time during Sundance Film Festival.
Normally, flights are full from every destination as Sundance is an international thing.
Not sure if SDFF is cancelled for 2021 (COVID).
I actually try to go during Sundance.
The town is very busy, but the slopes are quieter.
Iím hoping DL keeps extending the middle seat policy beyond Jan 6th, so we wonít have to be as worried about flight capacity.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Keep in mind now that change fees are gone, if it drops more just modify and re-select it and you'll get more back.
Thatís a great tip, thanks!
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Old Sep 29, 20, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I actually try to go during Sundance.
The town is very busy, but the slopes are quieter.
Iím hoping DL keeps extending the middle seat policy beyond Jan 6th, so we wonít have to be as worried about flight capacity.



Thatís a great tip, thanks!
Park City has seen a massive influx of people fleeing the cities. The town is now overcrowded when normally this time of year is quiet. Traffic jams, packed trails, aggressive drivers... It's a shame. Sundance will not be taking place in its current form. Vail has seen an 18% increase in epic pass sales and Park City ski area will operate on a reservation system. It will be a total shlt show this winter!
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