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How Do You Find The Best Deal When Destination Is Known But Dates Are Open?

How Do You Find The Best Deal When Destination Is Known But Dates Are Open?

 
Old Jul 6, 00, 2:27 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: HNL,HI,USA
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How Do You Find The Best Deal When Destination Is Known But Dates Are Open?

Delta's site is brutal if you need to check a combination of originating and returning dates. For example, lets say I want to take advantage of the SFO/JFK bonus or plan a mileage run. Dates and even the number of days to stay aren't set in stone. How do I find the best fare? Is there some other site that allows one to input airline, origination and termination points, and start and end dates of a period and have the best travel dates show up?

How do you find those "cheap" fares without having to enter every possible combination of dates, trying one at a time?
hi-guy is offline  
Old Jul 6, 00, 8:23 am
  #2  
In Memoriam
 
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Do your "research" at Travelocity.
Use the "Best Fare Finder" feature

[This message has been edited by magic111 (edited 07-06-2000).]
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Old Jul 6, 00, 10:34 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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good question, hi-guy, i have always wanted to ask that question myself...

also, as a PM, i get upgraded at the time of reservation, how do i know which flights have upgrade seats available before booking?

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Old Jul 6, 00, 10:38 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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not that i was counting, i became evangelistette from posting the last thread.... (grinning from ear to ear)

okay, what am i evangelisting???
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Old Jul 6, 00, 12:42 pm
  #5  
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"Evangelist" comes from the Macintosh world--I'm not really clear on the origins. Anyway, once you've identified the flights you want, try to book them on trip.com, with expert mode activated. That will show you the available seats in each class (look for nonzero numbers). You probably know better than I do which fare class is the one you want.
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Old Jul 6, 00, 11:15 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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but booking at Deltas site earns 1000 bonus miles, it adds up....
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Old Jul 7, 00, 10:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: London, UK
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When you are booking on the DL site, select "800-Mile Segment Upgrade from Coach" in the Preferred Cabin drop-down. It is possible, however, to do this, book the fare, go to upgrade the itinerary, and find the upgrade unavailable (it's happened to me once or twice). The only sure way to guarantee the seat is to call the Special Member's Service Desk and book it from there.
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Old Jul 7, 00, 10:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Phila Delta ex-PM, ex-UA-PE
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While other sites are good for finding the lowest "published" fares, they have a problem when it comes to Delta (and probably other airlines as well) - that of webfares costing less.
For example, if you wanted to travel JFK-LAX last weekend (July 4th), the major websites (Expedia, etc.) would have told you $461, the same as if you called a Delta phone agent. However, if you went online, you would have found it for $279, because it was a July 4th webfare.
Even if you exclude the weekend webfare sales, often airlines will have 5% or so off sales for website purchases, further confusing the prices you'll pay.
I wrote a letter to Delta Skymiles related to it. I received a $400 travel voucher 2 weeks ago for being bumped (instead of $250 cash). If I wanted to travel on that July 4th flight, it would have cost me over $60 out of pocket to buy the ticket with the travel voucher, vs. less than $30 if I had taken the cash.

Jeff

Originally posted by magic111:
Do your "research" at Travelocity.
Use the "Best Fare Finder" feature

[This message has been edited by magic111 (edited 07-06-2000).]
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Old Jul 10, 00, 6:32 am
  #9  
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I actually do a fair amount of research before booking. Others have noted that some Web sites are good for checking fare availability (I like itn.com or ual.com) for that purpose. Others are good for automatic upgrades - A for coach or D for coach fares, which are quite common on DL, US and NW for full-fare coach (I like biztravel.com). Travelocity is good for finding a fare between two city pairs. If traveling on liesure, and can choose airports, I check the various permultations -- for example, try Newark and Islip in the NYC area, and Oakland and Sacramento in the SFO market. Next try different days -- like Wednesday and Saturday for low fares.

------------------
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Old Jul 10, 00, 7:15 am
  #10  
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Just yesterday I found myself on the phone with DL while working the web site at the same time. I could not tell from the web site if there were upgradable seats. The agent was very nice. It took 1/2 hour of working through flights to find upgradable seats. The web site is great for the flyer who has simple travel plans and does not travel often. The biggest problem I have with the site is I need more time between certain flights then offered on the web site. It would be nice if you could build the ticket by flight number instead of it doing it for you. And, why can't we select our own seats like UA lets you do?
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Old Jul 11, 00, 5:45 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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checkout: www.itasoftware.com

their ('beta) site lets you search
date ranges and nearby airports. while
their data doesn't seem to be totally
up-to-date, it'll probably point you
toward a good option.

-doug
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Old Jul 13, 00, 10:06 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 52
JRF-

If you go into the one-way and multi-city res., it is possible to have more freedom in putting together the flight. There is a box to check for searchong according to the time, instead of auto-selecting the 9 lowest rate fares.
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