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Old 04-20-2012, 01:02 PM
 
5,009 posts, read 8,009,841 times
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Wow, I wanted to take a trip to the area this summer to check out for retirement possibilities and the air fares into Raleigh are very high...I was really surprised. SWA was about $350 each way, from San Diego. I was hoping for about $450 round trip, but I guess maybe those days are over. I figured summer (July) fares would be at their lowest.

I was thinking maybe of flying into Dulles, checking out Fredericksburg, Raleigh area and Charlotte in one trip and spend like 2 days in each area. Mapquest tells me its about a 560 mile trip one way to hit them all but if I have to pay so much in airfare, I want to get my monies worth because I won't be able to flying back and forth to make a decision.

Does this seem do-able? Should I wait until closer to July to make reservations with the possibility that prices will be lower?

thanks!
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
452 posts, read 974,235 times
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I am a BIG fan of kayak.com and its search tools that will show you fare differences day by day for a whole month at a time. You can easily step through the months to see what days are cheaper for flying. I found some flights in May roundtrip from San Diego to Raleigh for $450 + taxes. Give it a go, it really is easy to find the best deals.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:52 PM
 
5,009 posts, read 8,009,841 times
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I've heard of kayak but never used it but I'll give it a try...thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
17,641 posts, read 23,423,879 times
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sign up for airfarewatchdog.com They will send you an email that tells you when prices drop on the route you select. Unlike kayak and most other search engines, the DO include SouthWest. As far as I know, airfarewatchdog.com is the only fare alert program that includes SW.

Kayak, however, can be very good for finding flights that may be cheaper by purchasing two one-way tickets instead of one round trip ticket. Which can be a nightmare if any of your flights are late.

Generally, Tuesday morning is the best time to purchase airline tickets.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,613 posts, read 12,851,984 times
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Another site I've foud to be good is Hipmunk: Better Flight Search and Hotel Booking . They compare price and duration of flight and layover in an easy to read grid so you can more easily see if that cheap fare is really worth it.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:09 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 24,837,870 times
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Raleigh flights are ALWAYS full. I would possibly suggest Greensboro, maybe Richmond, or something similar. Fayetteville as well possibly.

Raleigh is a huge business market with a ton of business travelers buying last minute fares. I have seen, on just one flight at 5:30 AM, 30 seats bought in the previous 8 hours. It's crazy.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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I just bought tix for end of oct from.cali and I git the last couple of Sears. It's insane. And I had to pay almost $400 one way.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:15 PM
 
9,680 posts, read 25,741,649 times
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Air fares everywhere plain stink this year.

Southwest sometimes does last minute deals. See their website to sign up for fare alerts.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:58 PM
 
11 posts, read 16,007 times
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Deals can be had, but you have to work for it. Be flexible and keep checking. And one Californian to another - Its nice out here.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:29 AM
 
662 posts, read 1,529,933 times
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I use Kayak and highly recommend it. They have a free mobile app too. Definitely sign up for the price watch alerts. They do change frequently.
But I'm shopping for flights out of RDU myself and recently found even better deals through cheapoair.com. Not sure if there are any catches yet; finalizing our plans this weekend.

As for seeing both cities in two days - it's doable but I don't think that's enough time to shop for homes. It might give you the flavor of each area so you could concentrate on one or the other on a future scouting trip. Good luck!
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