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 Post subject: International travel tips
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:52 am
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Location: Arizona, USA
How far out in advance do you typically make your airline reservation? I start to look as soon as possible, but is there a good rule of thumb amongst you seasoned travelers as to when you finally buy? For example, I see SA Airlines has had sales very regularly but require travel within a few months.

Thanks in advance. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:22 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I really start looking about 9 months ahead, but due to eh... Budget? can't always book then.
Which can be rather nasty, last year I could have booked two return tickets Amsterdam - Johannesburg for just under 900 euro. Which is around the price you pay two months before flying for 1 ticket normally.
This time I was lucky, 110 days before flying, so just under 4 months, 1130 and a bit euro.

So yes, start looking waaaay ahead, preferably with money at hand.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Almost forgot, at that period ahead you can sort of safely book Kruger (or another park) later, after you have secured a ticket, instead of the other way around.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
May next year... So it means you can look for bargains for a while.
There must be a couple of sites that grab prices from all possibilities? Or break up the flight, see it as two flight, like one Phoenix to London, and one London to JHB?
Or Madrid, Paris, Dusseldorf, well, long list indeed!

Edit: Amsterdam - JHB around that time is 844 euro via KLM (direct flight) 721 via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines.
But I can't look further than the 7th of june, so plenty time.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:19 pm
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Location: Portsmouth, England
I've signed up to individual airlines' emailing lists so I get notification of sales. Two years ago it saved me £175 pp on the exact flights I'd been looking at 2 days previously.

I tend to book the accommodation then sort out the flights later, but then from Europe I do get more choice so I can leave it later to book.

I've also signed up to a couple of travel agents mailing lists as well.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Try avoiding Friday, Saturday and Sunday night flights, day time flights are a lot cheaper. Monday through to Thursday are general much cheaper.


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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:39 pm 
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I routinely check Expedia....just for comparison purposes.....

Like you Stark..I have to fly to a major hub to get a connection..the most expensive are the short hops to get there.....Delta used to be the most reasonable, out of Atlanta.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Location: 10,000 miles from where I'd like to be
I usually start checking about 9 months out.

I fly from the US west coast and will book as soon as I find a good price. The earliest I've ever booked is about 9 months. The latest is about 3 months.

Delta has usually been the cheapest for me. I'm glad they fly direct from Atlanta now. I hated the stop in Senegal.


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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:39 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Arizona, USA
I was wondering if Delta was direct now. Agreed about the Senegal stop. :wall:

I've had to do that coming/going from Monrovia as well. Not fun. And it takes time that could be spent in SA.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:42 pm 
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I didn't know that they cut out that stop...... :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:55 am 
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I booked mine about 10 months in advance when I saw a 'good price'.

I did not find the SAA 2 for 1 deal a bargain - not that I had anyone to come with me, but still.

Booked through Vayama and got cheaper price on SAA than the airline would have charged me (by a couple hundred dollars)

Using Expedia only to check what airlines they advertise - going direct to the airline has proven cheaper more than once for me.


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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:04 am 
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
In my experience most airline companies departing from europe have sales for the shallow seasons
Saved me 150 euros this year flying with BA.
And then you have those who give discount when you book way in advance.
And as Foxy said: Try to avoid the weekends , certainly saturdays

And flights with stops seem cheap, till you have to buy a drink and something to eat at a airport :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:55 pm 
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I start to search almost in the same time than I reserve in the parks, to be sure all concord.
Search for the less expensive flight, and often is cheapper... months in advance :D
and one can pay 30 days before departure (less an advance... about 10-20%)

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Arizona, USA
I'm curious, how long is the entire flight to JNB for European mites?

From Phoenix I'm looking at anywhere from 21hrs to 30+ hrs in total.

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 Post subject: Re: International fliers - buying airline tickets
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:15 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth, England
Roughly about 10 hours Stark.

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