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Old 01-05-2016, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,856 posts, read 3,417,733 times
Reputation: 1801

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Hello all,

I live in Boston and am planning a trip in June to the West Coast. I'll most likely be flying into Seattle although Portland is also an alternate consideration. I am not at all a frequent flyer which is why I need some help in planning. Based on these premises:

  • When is the best time to purchase plane tickets to get the best deals? Right now, a month from now or sometime in April?
  • Is JetBlue the airline with the best deals to that part of the US? Having checked, it seems that way but did I miss anything. (Btw, never flown JetBlue before so I don't know how they're like)
  • For anyone who has flown to Seattle before, what is the average price of a round trip ticket from the East Coast?
Any help would be great. Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:21 PM
 
218 posts, read 179,621 times
Reputation: 135
I just bought my ticket, round trip, from Miami to Seattle for $340. it's the cheapest I've seen it. I'm flying in February.

Well, besides this one random day that it went down to $245. I should've bought it then. oh well.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 18,997,066 times
Reputation: 24167
It doesn't matter what the "average price" of a plane ticket from the "east coast" is. It's ALL supply and demand. The ONLY thing you care about is the price of tickets between Boston and Seattle (or Portland ).

Jet Blue is a very nice airline. They will charge extra if you check luggage - as will virtually every other domestic airline except SouthWest.

You need to consider those extra charges when comparing fares.

You need to realize that southwest airlines flights don't show up on the search engines. (I prefet kayak.) To view their flights and fares, you need to go to their website.

Don't book tickets with a change pf planes on two different airlines. Not worth the minor savings if things go wrong.

book your tickets on the airline website NOT Orbitz, Expedia etc.

Flights on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and sometimes Saturday are usually less expensive.

Sign up RIGHT NOW for price alerts for your trip (s) on airfarewatchdog.com. This is the only search engine that includes SWA and uses some human beings to find flight deals. If they send you something that works, book it quickly,
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:56 PM
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11,386 posts, read 10,513,096 times
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Boston is a JetBlue hub. Between now and June, you can definitely find a good fare. Just keep checking. If you find anything under $350 and especially $300, book it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,312,423 times
Reputation: 3600
Airfare has much more to do with when you fly rather than when you buy the ticket. Airlines use very sophisticated "yield management" programs to maximize revenue from every seat on every flight, and the computers never sleep. Supply and demand, local economic conditions or local events, price of jet fuel, price of labor, added or reduced flights by the competition... they're all factored in, and thinking you can beat them at this game is delusional.

Generally speaking, Seattle in June is an expensive destination, reflecting traffic for cruises and other summer activities. Flying into Portland can sometimes be a little cheaper, but Seattle has more service than Portland from more places around the world, which can balance things out.

Use a search engine like ITA - Matrix - ITA Software by Google - to see your options, and when you see a fare you can live with, buy it and don't be a Monday morning quarterback. Your chances of saving ten bucks by waiting carry a corresponding risk of adding fifty bucks; so don't waffle.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,965,178 times
Reputation: 3503
JKgourmet nailed it (well everyone pretty much did) I don't know how involved you want to get...you can definitely do A LOT of research and prep and potentially save up to maybe 100 bucks, but is it worth it? Especially if you don't think you're gonna be a frequent flyer in the future and use these tips often, it might not be worth the hassle to learn.

Anyway, just very simply and broadly I would suggest using kayak or google flights as they are a little more user friendly than ITA. remember to also double check southwest separately. If your schedule is flexible then use kayak's +- 3 days flex search. You'll want to avoid Fri and Sun, with Tues and Wed usually being cheapest. But the flex search will show you all your options.

You can set fare alerts so youre notified of price drops and don't have to re-search every day. But for a general rule of thumb try to book your flight about 3-6 weeks out. Once you start to drop under 3 weeks you're gonna want to pull the trigger as soon as you see an acceptable fare. Booking too soon sometimes causes you to miss sale fares and it also means you paid pretty early since flights aren't like hotels and you always pay at the time of booking.

Good luck and have fun!!
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