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Old 04-02-2009, 09:36 AM
 
2,377 posts, read 4,853,837 times
Reputation: 1698

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I checked Air Tran fares on Monday night...$69 each way per person...Great bargain!! Confirmed my hotel reservation on Tue AM and went to book the flight..Departing flight was now $81...I called AT and they pretty much said "too bad"...OK.. I'll take it.. while I was making out reservations.. it went up to $139 ...Is this normal??? I don't travel that much, but changing the price while I'm booking at the lower rate???
I ended up opting for Jet Blue...1 free checked bag and I can pick seats with no extra fee... And I get the good biscotti and Blue Chips!!! And TV...guess it worked OK after all!!
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,249,254 times
Reputation: 5787
Yes, that is normal. Each airline sets aside x number of seats at each price level. After those seats are sold out that is it unless they lower fares or spike them due to other things that may come up. Even for 1st class or business class seats there are different levels. Depends on if one wants a ticket w/ a refund option or not. If you could see the airlines computer system it would show something like this:

Airline Flt # Fare Code, Fare & Seats Avail:
AA 1234 XY $69 8 - W $89 2 - C $159 10 - XYC $275 10 - F $1200

Each fare is a different "product" so to speak because each fare has a different set of restrictions. After all 2 seats left of fare "W" or gone then you either buy XY or C. If you were wanting W because it had a reusable feature then you'd have to go up to the next fare level that offered that. If you didn't care you could buy the cheapest one that is totally nonrefundable and no changes can be made. What is availble can change in the blink of an eye. Depends on if there are others at the same time booking those same flights.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
Reputation: 13245
What mom said.
Change is the name of the game.
And Trudy Rose, it did work out for you, didn't it?
We had a similar scenario with our France tickets.
I must admit that this year, the fares seem more changeable than I remember, and overseas flights have have listed some very cheap fares for summer.

I think this might be because for the first time in years, the airlines have been flying half-empty planes--and I presume that is because of a weak economy coupled with fuel costs. Maybe now they are trying to make up for lost income.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Ballwin, MO
366 posts, read 1,582,559 times
Reputation: 226
I learned the hard way that when you find a price, get it, and don't get it at night from a place like Travelocity or other travel agencies, go to the airline site or call the airline and buy it. Here's my quick story.

I was on Travelocity one night and made reservations to Paris r/t for a certain amount of money (I don't remember what it was). I went to the airlines site and it was the same price, so having always made my reservations on Travelocity and never having a problem I figured I should get it from them (heck I found the rate only because of them). Well the next morning I got an email from them that they couldn't get the rate. I called and was told that they get the reservations made the night before when they open up in the morning and the rate expired at midnight. If I would've called the airline when I first saw the rate, I would've gotten it. So now, I use Travelocity for my hotel and car reservations, but if I want an airline ticket I search Travelocity but call the airline direct to buy it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
Reputation: 386
Yeah, they can change quickly based on number of days til the flight date and number of seats remaining. Usually you dont see a lot of movement in one day so you did get a little unlucky. But the moral of the story and what i do - i only look at flights when i'm ready to buy and then when i see what i want i book it right away. That way i dont get discourage when i come back a week later and the flight price has shot up.

G Man
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,877,253 times
Reputation: 33476
I had been watching RT coach and 1st class fares for a number of months to LA from MSP. Didn't really think the 1st class was an option but the couple times we were able to get them made a big difference to my wife who is extremely apprehensive when it comes to flying. Months before the 330 day window to purchase and for about a week after, the 1st class fare did not budge from the $2,033 price. About a week after the 330 day window on the return flight, the price went to $1,129 and we bit the bullet and purchased the tix. That price stayed there for about 2 weeks and is now back up to the $2,033. My advice would be to be dilligent on watching the fares, be prepared to buy at your target and deal directly with the airline.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
My advice would be to be dilligent on watching the fares, be prepared to buy at your target and deal directly with the airline.
That's good advice.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:26 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
Reputation: 20051
Or you deal with an airline like Southwest where there are no change fees. In January, I booked a RT MDW-OMA for $185RT. I have rebooked the tickets twice and the fares are now $103RT.
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