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Best way to find cheap airfare?

Old 02-25-08, 12:28 AM
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Best way to find cheap airfare?

I'm taking a trip to Vegas April 3-April 6th with 5 of my friends. I didn't post this in the Vegas forum because it's a question about airfare rather than Vegas itself.

Anyway, the people I'm going with are worried about the cost of airfare. They're hoping to find tickets for $200 or less (from Minneapolis) and I just can't seem to find anything for that price. I would rather go nonstop and leave at "good times" but I wouldn't be opposed to taking a red eye or whatever, especially if it's cheaper. Even the cheapest flights I'm finding are well over $250 and upwards to $300.

I've tried Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and all kinds of different places like that, but they're all very similar. Is there anywhere else to try? What would be the best way to go about finding the cheapest possible flights?

Lodging is already taken care of, so the only hurdle right now is finding the cheapest possible flight.
Old 02-25-08, 12:29 AM
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Oops. Posted in the wrong forum. Could a mod move this please?
Old 02-25-08, 09:04 AM
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Old 02-25-08, 01:57 PM
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I use Travelocity and ALWAYS enter "Flexible Dates" even if I have specific dates for which I want to travel.

I then go through the list of ticket price options to see if I can get the dates I need.

It seems I always end up getting cheaper seats this way (as long as you start searching at least 2-3 weeks before travel).
Old 02-25-08, 11:54 PM
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You could load Southwest's Ding program. It's an alarm that goes off if Southwest has a sale on the itinerary you're looking for.
Old 02-26-08, 09:02 AM
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I use yahoo(expedia), then go directly to the airlines website.. The problem you will have with those dates is spring break... Airfare will be 1.5 to 2X what it normally is.
Old 02-26-08, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE
I use yahoo(expedia), then go directly to the airlines website.. The problem you will have with those dates is spring break... Airfare will be 1.5 to 2X what it normally is.
Yeah, I was thinking about that. It's also during March Madness--Sweet 16 I believe.
Old 02-26-08, 02:30 PM
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Old 02-26-08, 02:32 PM
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That's a fun time to go to Vegas, but like some said, it will be more expensive. You may also notice the tables are more expensive to play at too (no $5 minimums).

Like stated above, use Travelocity or expedia to find a cheap fare, then go directly to the airline's site. I never use a third party to book my flights.
Old 02-27-08, 09:59 PM
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I'm a big fan of Farecast.com. It gives the lowest fares and make predictions up to about three months out. Most predictions include recommendations on when to buy the ticket (a la the stock market). Very helpful.
Old 02-28-08, 02:54 AM
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Don't waste your time with any of the online sites. All a waste of time. Go to a real life person, i.e. a travel agent. I used to use the internet for my travel arrangement, but out of a test, I decided to try a local travel agent and have found that no matter what, they are able to match or beat online fares at a significant percentage. Sometimes upwards of 20-40% difference. Not only that, but they can play around with dates, hotels, airlines, and they also have wholesale deals or have contracts with the airlines for cheaper prices than online sites. Online sites are really joke. There's no human interaction so say there's an emergency (being stranded at the airport, cancellation, weather, etc. etc.) then you don't really have anyone to talk to or be your advocate. You're basically stuck. I've already had my travel agent come through several times. I once got stuck in NY at JFK due to weather delay and the airline wanted me to pay for another ticket. The travel agent managed to talk some sense into them and get me another flight that next morning (most of the plane couldn't even find tickets for the next day) and for free.

The only thing you may come across with a travel agent is that most nowadays will charge a service fee, but the fee is always reasonable always comes in handy when you really need them.
Old 02-28-08, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE
I use yahoo(expedia), then go directly to the airlines website.. The problem you will have with those dates is spring break... Airfare will be 1.5 to 2X what it normally is.
Travel Agent can hook you up. I went to comic-con last year on a last minute notice. Most places were sold out and a Motel 6 wanted 999 a night. My travel agent hooked me up with a $150 a night room at the embassy suites down the road from the convention (woot!).
Old 02-28-08, 11:42 AM
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Besides farecast and Travelocity, I usually check up to 4 or 5 sites. It's surprising what deal you can find that only one site has.

www.farecompare.com/
www.cheapseats.com/
www.qixo.com
Old 02-28-08, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE
I use yahoo(expedia), then go directly to the airlines website.. The problem you will have with those dates is spring break... Airfare will be 1.5 to 2X what it normally is.
Depends on where you are coming from. I got a cheaper deal for that weekend to Vegas from Phoenix than I would've other weekends.

Originally Posted by whoopdido
Yeah, I was thinking about that. It's also during March Madness--Sweet 16 I believe.
Actually it's Final Four weekend, with the national championship game on Monday.
Old 02-29-08, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MrE
Besides farecast and Travelocity, I usually check up to 4 or 5 sites. It's surprising what deal you can find that only one site has.

www.farecompare.com/
www.cheapseats.com/
www.qixo.com
Exactly why it's worth to go through a travel agent (Costco has one). They do all the leg work and have everything aggregated in one place.
Old 02-29-08, 02:18 PM
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OTOH I've almost always found better deals online.
Old 02-29-08, 02:58 PM
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Yeah, unless you are going to be booking a lengthy stay or some involved trip, getting a travel agent for just a flight is a ripoff.
Old 03-01-08, 07:32 PM
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I've found that for a few things, travel agents can be helpful, but not cheap airfare. Southwest doesn't even show up on the big online travel agent sites (Travelocity, Expedia, etc) and I doubt in person agents would want to deal with a $69 flight.

Southwest may be the greyhound bus of the skies, but they're on time, cheap, mean to pretty people, and they let you have a credit if you cancel, even on non-refundable flights.
Old 04-28-09, 05:17 PM
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Re: Best way to find cheap airfare?

Any other suggestions?

Trying to find the best time to pull the trigger on a flight in August to Alaska.

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