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Air fare curtailing trips

jp10558

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The first thing is to widen the airport search -- Newark has loads of nearby alternatives. (Although it's usually the best option.)

I'd include LAX and Burbank on the other end as well. Why? The Pacific Surfliner train from Union Station to San Diego is lovely.

Jet Blue will get you from Newark to LAX for around $150. Flyaway shuttle to Union Station. Train to San Diego. Have a picnic lunch on the train. Or a French Dip at Philippe's Original near Union Station.
This sounds like something my sister would love... I'll try and keep it in mind.
 

emeryjre

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I figure the average coach airfare has risen by $200 for a round trip ticket
This is for non holiday periods of high demand
What use to cost $400 is now $600
For high demand weeks it is $1000 plus
 

VacationForever

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We only fly first/business class. It used to be when flights were first released, the prices were high and it would drop to the lowest level between 4 to 6 months before the flight. Lately, the prices were the lowest when the flights were first released and it would climb quickly and bounce up and down quite a bit but never as low as when the flights were first released. I use Google Flights for alerts and this is the pattern that I have been seeing.
 
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Ken555

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I see very inexpensive flights to Europe lately, which often seems to make a flight to Europe less expensive than Hawaii (from the east coast), etc.
 

chellej

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I was just checking hawaii using my companion fare. In years past the combined fare for 2 has been $700 to $800. For next feb it is over $1200. That's a pretty big jump especially when you add in car rates have doubled and the fees resorts charge have gotten ridiculous. I think we will do drive to locations for a while
 

Superchief

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I've travelled a lot over the years and am accustomed to finding the 'best' itineraries for various destinations. I prefer flying Delta due to million miler Gold status, prefer non-stop flights, and avoid Frontier and some other discount carriers. I've definitely noticed higher fares from CVG to many destinations this year, and have to shop around more. Fares can vary greatly by day and airport. An example is my upcoming trip in October to Marco Island and Singer Island. The Delta non-stop fares round trip to Ft Myers are reasonable on Saturday. I originally needed to fly back from PBI or FLL on a Sunday, but PBI had non non-stops and FLL fares were outlandish. Sunday fares were more than double the same flights on Saturday (likely due to cruise passengers). I found reasonable fares from Orlando and learned I could take 2 hour Brightline train from West Palm Beach to Orlando airport for $50. I ended up exchanging my Oceana Palms week to Marco Island so we will now be there for 2 weeks and can fly back from RSW on Saturday.

Some airports have much higher fares on Sundays than Saturdays, so it is good to check alternative days. I learned to avoid Sunday check outs on Singer Island due to FLL fares. It is also getting more difficult to use companion tickets on Delta to popular destinations even when booking 11 months in advance.
 

moonstone

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We drive to almost all of our continental USA vacations, which are almost all east of the Mississippi. We live about a 90 minute drive to the Toronto airport so combine that with a 3 hour timeframe we are supposed to be there before departure, then a 2-2.5 hr flight to Florida, then wait for a rental car, then a 2+ hour drive to our condo, it comes out close to 10 hours, and by driving we would be almost half way to St. Augustine (19hr drive time). The cost to fly into Jacksonville is much higher than flying into MCO and there isnt a lot of difference in a rental car cost from JAX, which is why we fly into MCO. Our cost to drive to Florida including gas, meals on the way and 1 night in a motel, is much less than the price of 1 airfare, and then I can bring as much stuff as I want and we have a much more comfortable seat. Yes, we arrive a day later but now that we are retired and dont go on just a 1 or 2 week vacation anymore, we dont mind and appreciate the reduced stress. We do fly home for Christmas (then down to Belize, then home 2 months later, then back to Florida 3-4 days later) but I search for flights as soon as the dates open and watch for cheap flights. Since we fly from and back to Florida with only a backpack each or even just a personal item each, we usually choose one of the bare bones discount airlines. That backfired last spring when Lynx Air that we were booked with went out of business just before our departure date. We have an AirMiles (Canadian) Mastercard that we charge almost every single thing we buy as well as many utility bills, home and car insurance and some subscriptions. We get enough miles over the year to cover our flights to Belize as well as the flight back to Florida (from YYZ) in March, we just pay the taxes, which for the 2 of us to Belize last Dec. was just over $200. Cndn total.


~Diane
 

easyrider

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We usually fly Alaska Airlines and I haven't considered other airline reward credit cards. In the winter our flights often get cancelled due to weather so we need to drive to Seattle at the last minute. This became a tiresome pain because we need to drive and park at the last minute. I like driving to Seattle or Portland and spending the night so we can wake up at a decent hour to catch the flight.

We like to drive and will drive to many of our destinations. Can't drive to Hawaii. The one thing I noticed reading all of these posts is that maybe I should be looking at other airlines reward programs.

Bill
 

beejaybeeohio

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Don't discount the discounted Basic fares offered by some airlines.
I was surprised to learn that AA allows regular carry-on + personal item included in their basic fare. This works great for us since we travel this way when possible. Even more surprised that our AA Barclaycard allows us checked bag and priority boarding since we paid using the card! Seat purchase was $10 per leg.
With our Chase United card booking basic fare we could have checked bags free but no regular carry-on or seat choice. IDK if group 2 boarding was included or if seat selection at a fee was possible.
I don't know about Delta.....
 

TolmiePeak

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Generally good advice here. However I would avoid using your airline credit card to rack up miles. Most have devalued the mile so they are only worth between 1 to 1.5 cents a piece. I just use our 2% cash back card instead.
 

Janann

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I'd include LAX and Burbank on the other end as well. Why? The Pacific Surfliner train from Union Station to San Diego is lovely.

Jet Blue will get you from Newark to LAX for around $150. Flyaway shuttle to Union Station. Train to San Diego. Have a picnic lunch on the train. Or a French Dip at Philippe's Original near Union Station.
Newark - LAX - Union Station - San Diego - transport to a hotel would be an incredibly long day.
 

PcflEZFlng

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Generally good advice here. However I would avoid using your airline credit card to rack up miles. Most have devalued the mile so they are only worth between 1 to 1.5 cents a piece. I just use our 2% cash back card instead.
It depends. We generally don't use our credit card miles for domestic flights. But if you travel internationally and can plan well ahead, you can get excellent value, saving tens of thousands.
 

Ken555

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Don't discount the discounted Basic fares offered by some airlines.
I was surprised to learn that AA allows regular carry-on + personal item included in their basic fare. This works great for us since we travel this way when possible. Even more surprised that our AA Barclaycard allows us checked bag and priority boarding since we paid using the card! Seat purchase was $10 per leg.
With our Chase United card booking basic fare we could have checked bags free but no regular carry-on or seat choice. IDK if group 2 boarding was included or if seat selection at a fee was possible.
I don't know about Delta.....

Great reminder. I forgot about the boarding benefit with the credit card applies for basic econ seats. Just purchased round trip Maui for $237 and just $13 each way for an aisle seat. Group 5 boarding, which I receive with the credit card, is perfectly fine for me. And, the free checked bag shows on the booking.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

BingoBangoBongo

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I'm still able to find pretty reasonably priced flights for most of our trips, but the rental car prices are still obscene. I do use AutoSlash to track bookings and even check other providers from time to time.
 

montygz

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I'm still able to find pretty reasonably priced flights for most of our trips, but the rental car prices are still obscene. I do use AutoSlash to track bookings and even check other providers from time to time.
The variance in those rates can be outrageous. On one trip, an 8-day rental was $300 more than a 7-day rental. We decided to Uber to the hotel and pick up the car the next day.

The rental car situation adds another layer to picking where/when to fly.

It does seem to be getting better, however. Each trip since the pandemic has seen rental cars rates fall for us, anyway.
 

ScoopKona

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Newark - LAX - Union Station - San Diego - transport to a hotel would be an incredibly long day.

Indeed. Just like Hawaii to Europe is always a long trip for us. So we break it up with stops in SEA and KEF.

Part of the opportunity cost of living someplace so remote. So Europe has become a back-burner destination for us. And Japan has moved to the front burner, being only 8 hours away. We'll still visit Europe -- we have too many friends there and still have enough EUR and GBP to have a couple fine vacations. No point switching that to JPY.

If the NJ>SD trip was mine, I'd go just the way I described with a stopover in LA -- which is one of the best food cities in the country. Daikokuya, Philippe's Original, Pioneer Chicken (one of my favorites), Chinatown, the little stalls in Grand Central Market, Here Fishy Fishy -- take your pick.

The Unattainable Triangle absolutely applies to travel. In fact, it is more rigid for travel than anything else I can think of. Most of the travel problems I see here are people who want the Unattainable Triangle to stop being so unattainable.
 

1Kflyerguy

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Similar to Superchief, I have have lifetime status due to my business travel earlier in my career. In my case its with United, and they also happen to be the dominate carrier at SFO. I usually check airfare on United and few other carriers out of both SFO and San Jose. We live close to SJC, but it has a less flights, and a lot fewer options for direct flights.

Travel in general has gotten a lot more expensive, hotels, rental cars, and flights.

As for credit cards, I use a variety of cards, and do find value from airline, hotel and many bank travel cards.
 

Ken555

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Bought nonstop flight on AA LAX-MIA for just $130 after all fees, including seat reservations. Certain routes are most certainly not more expensive these days, but you need to look around for them and be flexible. I have a United credit for a flight I expected to use on this particular trip but their fares were much higher than AA.
 

kwhit

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I hear your complaints about airfare, but we just returned from a trip to the Caribbean, and all four of my flights were packed full. We always get there early, and as flights departed, I kept hearing overhead announcements that all flights were full. I've never seen the airport's parking garage so full. It seems like the cost of tickets are high, but people are still traveling.
Hi there! I completely agree, I have flown quite a bit over the last year to different destinations and the airplanes are always full. It seems folks are willing to spend money on airfare, or have airmiles to burn!
 

bnoble

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I just hit 1MM on Delta, and live in a hub city. Most any destination is a nonstop on DL. They aren’t usually the cheapest but between the better routes and having permanent status it’s an easy call.

And yes the planes are full. I just got back from Tokyo. Packed both ways.
 

WaikikiFirst

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Europe has become a back-burner destination for us. And Japan has moved to the front burner, being only 8 hours away.
Now in Japan. Inside tip: go to Kamakura not just for the shrines/temples. From wherever you are in Japan type "takeru quindici" into google maps. Get a reservation. Go there. Shinkansen. Local train. Fly. Whichever. Go there. That (Italian, sort of, a Japanese spin, which is often "better than in Italy") restaurant is worth the trip, as is Kamakura generally. We had an awesome 4 course lunch for $20 (LOL!). Heavy travelers / gourmands would be happy to pay 2x that in Rome or 3x that in Manhattan for the same meal. Heck, make it the 5 course dinner and be even more impressed.

Just type it in and go. It is a few blocks down the street, taking the left out of Kamakura's train station. TQ has specific seating times. Reservation a must.

They also have a place in Shinjuku, also TQ initials. Trattoria Quinto I think it is. We'll eat there later today. If it is half as good as orig TQ, I'll be smiling. Though I am still smiling anyway from the awesome sushi lunch yesterday (cost $14 iirc). LOL. It would cost 4x that in CA, Seattle, etc. You couldn't duplicate it almost anywhere in the US off the West Coast today with the sorry, declining state of sushi in much of the US today.

Travel is expensive? Go to Japan. lyao at that
 

ScoopKona

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Travel is expensive? Go to Japan. lyao at that

I agree completely. I have an added bonus that my neighbors "the coffee farmers who we share equipment together" still own a house in Japan, and there aren't any locks -- just go there and spend "however long you want." It's walking distance from a train station close enough to Kobe that steak is definitely on the menu.

Standard procedure is Kappabashi street and spend a fortune -- mail all that home to avoid customs scrutiny. "That's an awful lot of knives you have." (Yeah, officer. I ran out money.)

And then out of Tokyo in any direction and get to someplace small and utterly devoid of tourists. Since we're not into anime, maido culture, J-pop, and similar, Tokyo doesn't really offer much for us. A visitor has to try hard to get a bad meal in Japan. And it's always a refreshing change to go someplace where it's not a race to the bottom on quality standards.

Even before the JPY plummeted, a visitor always got their yen's worth. Now, like the UK after Brexit, Japan is a serious value for the traveler.
 

Ken555

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Great reminder. I forgot about the boarding benefit with the credit card applies for basic econ seats. Just purchased round trip Maui for $237 and just $13 each way for an aisle seat. Group 5 boarding, which I receive with the credit card, is perfectly fine for me. And, the free checked bag shows on the booking.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Checked late last night again and found that AA had lowered the price of the trip to Maui. Was too tired to deal with it then but when I woke up this morning I went ahead and canceled the purchase, and since it was within 24 hours of purchase I will receive a full refund, and then bought it again. New price was just $210 round trip plus seats, with an all in price of just $237. Worth 5 minutes of my time to save a few $$. I think this is the lowest I’ve ever paid for a round trip ticket to Hawaii on a legacy carrier.

So let this be a reminder that even after you buy a flight it pays to check within the cancelation period in case fares change.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

CalGalTraveler

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Norse is having a sale 139 Euro coach OW nonstop to London or Paris. Wow.


I flew Norse recently ow to Europe in Premium. Well worth it and as good as UAL Premium Plus. Norse plus French Bee and Level will be our new go-to's for Europe and will augment with United as fares permit. Competition is good to keep prices low.

We flew home on United because it is cheaper to travel from Europe to USA (only 50k UAL miles nonstop FRA to SFO vs. 180k ow outbound). My DH and I (as companion) now have million miler on UAL. We will fly United when reasonably priced but will use these other carriers if not. We enjoy using the international star-alliance lounges and elite benefits but not worth hundreds (if not thousands) of additional flight cost. With RCI exchange ($800 all in for a 5 star 2 bdrm in Algarve, PT) and 10 nights of free hotels with FNAs and points, flights were still 2/3 of the cost of the trip.

I was surprised how inexpensive meals and car rentals were in Portugal and Spain. We had a fancy white tablecloth meal with drinks and it came to 77 Euro for two including tip. Most sit down meals were 25 - 35 euro or less for two including drinks. Our compact rental car for 3 nights to visit Porto only cost 46 Euro.
 
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