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Old 02-16-2010, 09:07 AM
 
302 posts, read 1,507,010 times
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Traveling from Charlotte NC to Jacksonville Fl early March 2010 for a 5 - 6 day stay near the beach area. So far, disappointed with how high round-trip ticket prices are ($250 - $300), think that should be lower!

Don't have time to search hundreds of threads already here, just wondering about the best websites to get the cheapest airfare, the best bargains Have already checked some big ones-- Kayak, BookingBuddy & TripAdvisor, what have I missed? And why do you prefer a particular website? Any tips/tricks to pass on?

Prefer a site that compares ALL the other websites & gives results without dozens of other windows popping up! Also, any advice on tracking lowest fares over a period of time? I'm flexible with my travel days, just has to include the weekend of March 6th-7th-- how about waiting till close to that time to pick up last-minute bargains? Best way to do that?
Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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Feeling your pain, don't forget to check the lower fare airlines that do not have tickets thru those venues.

Southwest
Airtran
Jet Blue
Spirit
Frontier

And then don't forget to check surrounding airports- if they are close enough.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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Cheapest website to buy airline tickets will ALWAYS be the airlines website. Don't be fooled by The Shat (Williams Shatner) or the expedia sites, etc. Those are for people that don't know better.

But you can use tools to check the lowest fares. I like ITA site, but I am not sure they include all the lowfare airles (Spirit, Frontier, etc). The key to get the cheapest airfare is not a special hidden site, but yourself - be flexible on departure times and what airports you can use. Use the flight search tools, find the cheapest flight, then go to the airline website.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:10 AM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
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There is no "ALWAYS" in travel. There are times when travel agents and consolidators have far better deals than you will find on the airline websites.

Back to the OP's question. When I need tickets from a particular airport, I sign up for AIRFAREWATCHDOG.COM which will give me all of the air fare specials available out of a particular airport and those nearby.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
There is no "ALWAYS" in travel. There are times when travel agents and consolidators have far better deals than you will find on the airline websites.
Yeah, well, OK there are consolidators and wholesalers, yeah. You can also ask your cousin's freind's in-laws cousin who is a flight attendant to get you a non-rev ticket, or try to win the lottery, and have better success. Sure consolidators exists, they might not always be cheaper, they tack on a middle man charge, and some of the consolidator web tactics seem to be bait-and-switch like (same as published fares once you sign in and register). I think most are international or at least between major hubs as well.....but it is a viable option for those who want to work at it.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Lafayette
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Priceline bid on your tickets. you must be flexible to flight times and stopping to change planes to get the best deal.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Yeah, well, OK there are consolidators and wholesalers, yeah. You can also ask your cousin's freind's in-laws cousin who is a flight attendant to get you a non-rev ticket, or try to win the lottery, and have better success. Sure consolidators exists, they might not always be cheaper, they tack on a middle man charge, and some of the consolidator web tactics seem to be bait-and-switch like (same as published fares once you sign in and register). I think most are international or at least between major hubs as well.....but it is a viable option for those who want to work at it.
It is a choice.

You can sit and ***** about about high fares between two cities ... or you can actually do the work and find yourself a lower fare.

Personally, If I were the OP, I would rent a car out of JAX - Hertz is renting cars for $2/day on OW rentals as long as the car is returned OUTSIDE of Florida during that period. Then I would find a OW ticket out of CLT or RDU back to Jacksonville.

Either way, the OP better make a decision quickly as the 14 day period is coming soon.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:15 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
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Here is another bargain fare to/from Jacksonville from AIRFAREWATCHDOG:

Charlotte, NC (CLT)
$168 RT No min. stay, One-way for half the roundtrip fare, Travel through 5/26/2010 AirTran...See All Details

Another fare sale from Airtran.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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ITA, Airfarewatchdog, Farecompare, Kayak, Yapta etc etc etc.

Agree with everything everyone else said here: there are indeed airlines that do not show up on ITA. You need to have some flexibility.

Also agree with Jlawrence: The bottom line is that if you want to save money, you have to do the research. You have to look every single day until you see what you like, and book it right away--airfares do not have a long shelf life.

I would have begun looking a long time ago--but it's true that this year has been pricier.
Air Tran has been having some good fares, though.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:57 PM
 
12,273 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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I also use this as a very quick simple search, yahoo travel using flexible dates:

Cheap Plane Tickets - Yahoo! Travel

All the databases, including the above are picking up that Airtran rate of $164, United, US air, and Delta are about $20 more if you want to pick up FF miles.

But, dude, I just realized it can't be more than a 5 hour drive from Jax to Charlotte. Could be even quicker to drive when you consider parking at the airport, security, etc.
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