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angelmizanchan
11-25-2005, 07:53 PM
OK, this is something both my boyfriend and I have both noticed, and I figured I'd ask for input. Hope it isn't too dumb an observation.

I've been looking for airfare for the two of us from New York to Las Vegas for early February (week before Valentine's, to be exact.) Looking around many of the travel sites, I'm noticing the LCCs (Southwest and JetBlue) have rather expensive fares, while some of the "Legacy" airlines are cheaper by up to $50-$75.

Here's our dilemma. He's paying for the airfare, and I want to make sure he gets a good fare on it. I found a decent one on Travelocity that's under $600 for us both, but I'm concerned that Murphy's Law of airline bookings will occur once he books those and the LCC fares will magically drop to something below $500. Yet, OTOH, I'm also concerned that if we keep waiting, fares will shoot back up, leaving us with nasty sticker shock.

Any explanation would be appreciated. :)

jfrenaye
11-25-2005, 08:00 PM
I think the LCC fare pricing game is a master plan. They made soem shrewd moved (fuel hedging) that will allow them to operate at less than ideal. Once you eliminate competition--from the routes or from being in business at all--you are free to determine the price and it is what the market will bear.

With Southwest, for February, I would assume that they are going to remain the same.

Look into alternate airports--JFK, LGA, EWR....also, I imagine that the new US/America West will probably have some of the more attractive fares---they need to survive.

angelmizanchan
11-25-2005, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Nov 25 2005, 06:00 PM
I think the LCC fare pricing game is a master plan. They made soem shrewd moved (fuel hedging) that will allow them to operate at less than ideal.* Once you eliminate competition--from the routes or from being in business at all--you are free to determine the price and it is what the market will bear.

With Southwest, for February, I would assume that they are going to remain the same.*

Look into alternate airports--JFK, LGA, EWR....also, I imagine that the new US/America West will probably have some of the more attractive fares---they need to survive.
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Yes, I've noticed that there's a limited few carriers who still operate through Las Vegas...and most of them have flights that are way later than we want.

AW seems a decent option, and I'm definitely keeping an eye on their fares in the event they should drop suddenly (and have me typing furiously to my better half, "BUY NOW!!!")

We're also definitely looking into all the different airports. So far LGA seems the cheapest of the bunch.

Thanks, John! :D

nobody122
11-26-2005, 04:57 PM
Heres a hint--use a search such as kayak.com or mobissimo.com but don't enter just one airport. if flying from new york, the airport code NYC covers all NYC area airports (kayak will usually do this for you)--it can save you some time if you aren't picky about your airports

angelmizanchan
11-26-2005, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by nobody122@Nov 26 2005, 02:57 PM
Heres a hint--use a search such as kayak.com or mobissimo.com* but don't enter just one airport.* if flying from new york, the airport code NYC covers all NYC area airports (kayak will usually do this for you)--it can save you some time if you aren't picky about your airports
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Thanks! We've been keeping an eye out at Kayak, but still don't see anything reasonable that's convenient for us. I'll take a look at mobissimo. Hadn't heard of them before.

Ned
11-26-2005, 05:49 PM
I don't think it's just you. I think that in some cases the legacy airlines are cheaper than the low cost airlines.

In Philadelphia, for example, when Southwest arrived, their prices were considerably lower than US Air. Since then, US Air has dropped their prices substantially where their routes are in competition. Now US Air's prices are sometimes lower than Southwest. I recently booked a flight to LAX on US Air which was a little less than flying Southwest.

I wouldn't worry too much about booking, I personally don't think that airline fares are going to magically drop. I think it's more likely that they'll go up, unless new competition is coming to the route you're booking before you go.

angelmizanchan
11-26-2005, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Nov 26 2005, 03:49 PM
I don't think it's just you.* I think that in some cases the legacy airlines are cheaper than the low cost airlines.

In Philadelphia, for example, when Southwest arrived, their prices were considerably lower than US Air.* Since then, US Air has dropped their prices substantially where their routes are in competition.* Now US Air's prices are sometimes lower than Southwest.* I recently booked a flight to LAX on US Air which was a little less than flying Southwest.

I wouldn't worry too much about booking, I personally don't think that airline fares are going to magically drop.* I think it's more likely that they'll go up, unless new competition is coming to the route you're booking before you go.
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True enough. My own experience with browsing airfares is they tend to remain steady for a while, maybe increasing/decreasing a few dollars here and there. Then when you hit the 2-week mark before a trip, fares start going up more rapidly. (Except of course for those "last minute getaway" fares they always seem to have.)

Ned
11-26-2005, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by angelmizanchan@Nov 26 2005, 08:08 PM
True enough.* My own experience with browsing airfares is they tend to remain steady for a while, maybe increasing/decreasing a few dollars here and there.* Then when you hit the 2-week mark before a trip, fares start going up more rapidly.* (Except of course for those "last minute getaway" fares they always seem to have.)
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Those "getaway" fares can be really great, can't they. We've taken spur of the moment weekend trips every once in a while because the air fare was sooooo inexpensive.

Many of the airlines offer a subscription where they will email you a list of their specials each week. For anyone who hasn't subscribed, I suggest you take advantage of it.

jfrenaye
11-26-2005, 08:23 PM
I have heard some good things about the Southwest DING program.

Ned
11-26-2005, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Nov 26 2005, 10:23 PM
I have heard some good things about the Southwest DING program.
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I've had DING! on my computer since August. It works great, although if they're updating specials often, which happens every once in a while, the audible ding on the computer can drive you nuts. I turn the sound off on those days. The same thing happens at times with another program I use, Weatherbug.

jfrenaye
11-27-2005, 05:43 AM
Originally posted by Ned@Nov 26 2005, 11:57 PM
The same thing happens at times with another program I use, Weatherbug.
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I had weatherbug for a while and according to my IT guy it is notorious for spyware. It collects all sorts of info about you. I can somewhat vouch his opinion as I did receive a lot more pop ups and unsolicited advertising after I received it.

I use Firefox as my browser and there is an Accu-Weather add in that is fantastic. It does not offer all the live cams (on weatherbug, when you look at the Las Vegas cam you are likely to get travel deals to Vegas), but has the satellite weather, offers alerts and warnings for severe weather, etc.

AaronK
11-27-2005, 06:54 AM
As an IT guy, I will also vouch for the spyware infested Weatherbug. I too use Firefox with the Accuweather plugin and think its sufficient. However, if you want a standalone program, I suggest Weather Watcher. You can get it at http://www.getweatherwatcher.com. I don't use it myself, but have a few friends that do.

I also run DING. My only complaint about it is that you have to see the deal when its happening to take advantage of it. If I miss a deal because I'm at work, then I'm out of luck. Of course, the only flights I'm starting to look for are to get to my cousin's wedding Memorial Day weekend. I don't think it matters which airline I fly, its still going to cost me.

Ned
11-27-2005, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Nov 27 2005, 07:43 AM
I had weatherbug for a while and according to my IT guy it is notorious for spyware. It collects all sorts of info about you.* I can somewhat vouch his opinion as I did receive a lot more pop ups and unsolicited advertising after I received it.

I use Firefox as my browser and there is an Accu-Weather add in that is fantastic.* It does not offer all the live cams (on weatherbug, when you look at the Las Vegas cam you are likely to get travel deals to Vegas), but has the satellite weather, offers alerts and warnings for severe weather, etc.
14379

Everyone says that about weatherbug, but I have had no problems with popups on my computer. I use a product from TrendMicro call AntiSpyware (Catching name, huh?) which is always running on my computer. A couple of months ago when I started to play a CD which one of my son's gave me, which I didn't notice was a Sony CD, AntiSpyware caught the Sony rootkit DRM and prevented it from being installed. I use the latest Norton as well and my whole network is protected by a good firewall. I have the windows messenger service turned off and disabled, and have enabled a group policy to not allow it to be run. Other than a few cookies (I'm not prepared to turn off cookies), I haven't had any spyware that I know of on my computer. I run Adaware, Spybot, and CW Shredder every week and they find nothing, except for a few cookies, so I just don't see the Weatherbug problem. Also, over the last year, except for the persistent hgh, viagra, and rollex watch ads, my spam has actually dropped off a bit.

I am a weather bug subscriber so I have no ads directly from it and use their "plus" version, not the one which requires you to accept some ads and rotate whose ads you take. You do get all kinds of popups, etc. when you use the free version. Weatherbug doesn't monitor your computer or collect any data, or track keystrokes that I can see, and the company has repeated denied all that. The company does say their freeware version is adware as it's obviously supported by ads and they make no bones about that.

I primarily use Firefox as my browser and I too use the Forecast Fox extension to rotate through family locations and future travel locations to see what's happening with the weather there. I happen to like Weatherbug and the live conditions location I have configured is physically less than a mile from my house and the traffic map has helped me avoid problems on many occasions.

I'll look into weatherwatcher.

By the way, I'm an IT guy too.

Ned
11-27-2005, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by AaronK@Nov 27 2005, 08:54 AM
...I also run DING. My only complaint about it is that you have to see the deal when its happening to take advantage of it. If I miss a deal because I'm at work, then I'm out of luck. Of course, the only flights I'm starting to look for are to get to my cousin's wedding Memorial Day weekend. I don't think it matters which airline I fly, its still going to cost me.
14380

Actually, from what I can tell, the DING! specials reflect the way Southwest specifically decided to run them; Here this minute, gone the next. I guess they think it's enticing. It certainly makes sure they don't sell many of them. I suspect that's a big part of DING! They look good to the public without costing them much.

They have other specials of a longer duration. You can get their weekly email of specials, for example. Go to the Southwest Specials (http://www.southwest.com/hotfares/) web page where you can see the current specials and subscribe to their email list as well.

hwyman
11-29-2005, 08:17 PM
Recently, my girlfriend and I went from BWI to Las Vegas. My best deal was on American. They were $20 cheaper roundtrip than Southwest and America West from BWI.

Ned
11-29-2005, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by hwyman@Nov 29 2005, 10:17 PM
Recently, my girlfriend and I went from BWI to Las Vegas.* My best deal was on American.* They were $20 cheaper roundtrip than Southwest and America West from BWI.
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I have found that Southwest isn't the cheapest anymore out of PHL. I've just made several reservations on US Air which were cheaper.

nobody122
11-30-2005, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by Ned@Nov 27 2005, 11:38 AM
Actually, from what I can tell, the DING! specials reflect the way Southwest specifically decided to run them; Here this minute, gone the next.* I guess they think it's enticing.* It certainly makes sure they don't sell many of them.* I suspect that's a big part of DING!* They look good to the public without costing them much.

They have other specials of a longer duration.* You can get their weekly email of specials, for example.* Go to the Southwest Specials (http://www.southwest.com/hotfares/) web page where you can see the current specials and subscribe to their email list as well.
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How come I've never heard of DING!? I fly at least once a week--I guess maybe it is I don't like Southwest--although if prices are good it might be a way to take a quick trip somewhere fun (Pittsburgh really has no selection of fun) for a weekend--now only if United would do something like this.

Ned
11-30-2005, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by nobody122@Nov 30 2005, 08:38 AM
How come I've never heard of DING!?* I fly at least once a week--I guess maybe it is I don't like Southwest--although if prices are good it might be a way to take a quick trip somewhere fun (Pittsburgh really has no selection of fun) for a weekend--now only if United would do something like this.
14569

I've never seen any publicy on DING! anywhere. I've never seen any travel site mention a word about it either, at least until John mentioned it in this topic. I found it this summer when I was comparing pricing between US Air and Southwest for flights out of PHL.

hwyman
11-30-2005, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by nobody122@Nov 30 2005, 08:38 AM
How come I've never heard of DING!?* I fly at least once a week--I guess maybe it is I don't like Southwest--although if prices are good it might be a way to take a quick trip somewhere fun (Pittsburgh really has no selection of fun) for a weekend--now only if United would do something like this.
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I think I saw maybe 1 or 2 commercials on tv about DING, but they definately are not trying to market this thing, unless you go to their website often!

AaronK
11-30-2005, 07:43 PM
As a Rapids Rewards member, I got an email about it when it came out.