Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ticket price puzzle: Part 2

On August 4, I checked ticket prices for the dates of June 15 - July 1 as a test to see what prices might be like for the dates we'll be in Europe next year. It's been six weeks, so let's see what's happened to ticket prices.

Old prices, as of 8/4/10:
- LAX-Rome, Vienna-LAX: $1466.88
- LAX-Rome, Dublin-LAX: $1332.52
- LAX-Rome, Stockholm-LAX: $1432.00

New prices, as of 9/21/10:
- LAX-Rome, Vienna-LAX: $1406.64
- LAX-Rome, Dublin-LAX: $1331.62
- LAX-Rome, Stockholm-LAX: $1331.62
- LAX-Rome, Venice-LAX: $1418.51

I added the LAX-Rome-Venice-LAX option in there because a couple people who will be traveling with us are most likely going to go home from Venice instead of doing the second leg of the trip. I'm pretty shocked at how much that ticket is coming in at right now! Crazy!

I'm also a little surprised at the rest of the results. Vienna came down $60, but Dublin only came down $0.90!?!? What's that about? And, Stockholm came down the most with a drop of almost $101, but Stockholm is pretty much out of the picture at this point. In fact, we've basically decided on Dublin.

I tested the dates for May, which is farther away from our actual dates, and the prices for the Dublin route came in at roughly $1100. Maybe this means the prices will come down next month?

This is not cool, airlines! I need ticket prices to come down some more over the next month (we'd like to book our tickets Oct/early Nov), because if they stay this high, it's really going to blow my proposed budget out of the water!

Friday, September 10, 2010

ATL Redux

My trip to Atlanta from a few weeks ago was pretty uneventful - it was for work, and I was literally there for about 30 hours. But I liked the city, and packed in tons!

Hotel room - 7th floor and nicely air conditioned!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Airline tickets: Where to buy?

I have a question for you seasoned travelers out there.

Where do you buy your plane tickets?

Do you use one of the discount sites? Book directly through the airline? Whatever is cheapest?

I'm still looking at prices for next year's trip, and so far, all they've done is go up. They'd better drop at some point, or we could be blowing through our budget faster than we thought!

And then I ran into a dilemma.

See, Orbitz offers "price assurance." You buy a ticket, then if someone books your exact itinerary later for less money, you get a refund. Sounds great, right? But the catch is that little, five letter word - exact. What are the chances of someone flying from LA to Rome, then home from Dublin? Unless they're traveling with me, not very likely!

So, what to do? Do you try to find a cheaper flight, and spend the money, risking it dropping several hundred dollars later? Or do you to pay a little more up front, on the off chance that someone else books that same itinerary and you get a refund?

Right now I'm looking for the cheapest possible ticket, but I'm curious if anyone has used the Orbitz price assurance with success.