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When to buy airline tickets to Minneapolis from Pittsburgh?

dmharris

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Hey all you airline experts! We are heading to Minneapolis Dec 5, returning Dec 7. Trying to go as inexpensively as possible. Current tickets are around $348 round trip. Any advice if this time is the best time to buy or should I wait?

Thanks in advance!
 

Dave M

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Now.

Pittsburgh will have lost 14% of its seat capacity from a year ago by the time you fly. That means more opportunity for airlines to increase fares even further from where they are now.

You could get lucky if the current unsettled economic situation causes manypeople to forego flying, but that would be risky, especially if Congress enacts a bailout plan later this week.
 

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Hey all you airline experts! We are heading to Minneapolis Dec 5, returning Dec 7. Trying to go as inexpensively as possible. Current tickets are around $348 round trip. Any advice if this time is the best time to buy or should I wait?

Dec. 5 - Dec. 7... Two nights in Minneapolis? For that kind'a money? It ain't worth it...
Unless, of course, its for a funeral for someone from whom I'm inheriting.
 

x3 skier

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When you have the money. :D

I agree with Dave M. Things are not going to get better at PIT.

You can use the charts at www.farecompare.com to see fare trends over the past year but in today's situation, its a crap shoot over when to buy. I checked and the lowest fare varied from $208 to $286. You two day turn around over a Saturday will probably allow some of the lowest fares. (Unless its a Vikings Home Game when the fare gouging is more likely.)

Cheers
 

dmharris

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Dec. 5 - Dec. 7... Two nights in Minneapolis? For that kind'a money? It ain't worth it...
Unless, of course, its for a funeral for someone from whom I'm inheriting.


Crazy, huh? That's what we devoted parents do! It's a special weekend at our daughter's college. We decided to not go to Parent's Weekend this year and go to their Christmas Fest concert at St. Olaf College which has a magnificient music program.
 

Talent312

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Crazy, huh? That's what we devoted parents do! It's a special weekend at our daughter's college. We decided to not go to Parent's Weekend this year and go to their Christmas Fest concert at St. Olaf College which has a magnificient music program.

Ah, well! AirTran prices seem to have dropped precipitously to $322!
Personally, for that kind of money, I prob'ly drive it... Its about a 12-hour drive... even if it meant renting a car.
 

stmartinfan

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Because of the limited competition in MSP, airline tickets are higher than other cities, according to some recent surveys. So I expect that's part of the issue you're facing. There's hopes that another carrier may try to enter the market after NWA and Delta complete their merger, but that won't help you. On the positive note, I'd expect the St. Olaf Christmas concert to be amazing, given the reputation of their choir. The concert often gets aired on the MSP public TV station because it's so good.
 

PigsDad

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Ah, well! AirTran prices seem to have dropped precipitously to $322!
Personally, for that kind of money, I prob'ly drive it... Its about a 12-hour drive... even if it meant renting a car.
Let's see -- $322 X 2 = $644 to fly.

To drive:
rent a car: $150
gas: at least $200
two extra nights at a hotel (due to 12-hour drive): another $200
two days lost wages at say $30/hr: $240 per person per day. So two people working = $960

And that doesn't even take into consideration of running into bad weather, with is a decent possibility in December.

I guess I just don't see it, unless you are retired and don't have anything else to do with your time. I think we have all just gotten used to such cheap airfare that we don't realize how much the alternatives can really cost.

Kurt
 
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dmharris

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We've driven this several times, and it is a grueling 14.5 hour drive and I drive fast! I cannot do it in one day, so there would be additional hotels (2 nights) and fuel which is about $200 plus tolls. We will rent a car in Minneapolis so add that, but I get great rates. We are both self-employed so can adjust our schedules as needed, so no lost wages.

We are committed to experiencing what we can of our children's lives, while we can. We've always been involved in their activities, often from the sidelines. But from my point of view, parenting is one of my jobs on this earth. So we're willing to sacrifice the cost and time to spend time with our daughter on her college campus, to see her life as a college student. Some may think we're crazy, but we are thrilled she found a school for her that has delivered 100% of its promises and provided a great experience for her, so far.
 

jd2601

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This will not help your trip to MSP in December but maybe a future trip? Southwest Airlines will begin service to the Twin Cities in April. Hopefully this will add competition and better pricing to the Twin Cities.
 

DJensen

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Good for you for being active in college life of your child!! As an alumni of St. Olaf the Christmas concert is a wonderful event (and I did not even sing in any of the choirs). Wish people would stop and think before they post their items!

UM YA YA!!
 

mterra

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348 round trip sounds like a deal to me. I'm in Alaska, we can't get anywhere for under 600pp. Flights in state are even usually 900+.
 

dmharris

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Good for you for being active in college life of your child!! As an alumni of St. Olaf the Christmas concert is a wonderful event (and I did not even sing in any of the choirs). Wish people would stop and think before they post their items!

UM YA YA!!

Your post made me smile and laugh = Um Ya Ya. This is Family Weekend and I feel bad that we're not there. I'm going to call our daughter later and gush all over her. She probably is oblivious and she'll be home next Friday for Fall break. For a small school, St. Olaf has been awesome in their academic offerings. We're very happy with the investment in her education.
 

dmharris

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This will not help your trip to MSP in December but maybe a future trip? Southwest Airlines will begin service to the Twin Cities in April. Hopefully this will add competition and better pricing to the Twin Cities.

My husband had heard this, so hopefully this will help us as she flies back and forth five times a year, fall break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, end of January term and spring break. and we fly up once. Seven round trips a year. YIKES!
 

dmharris

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okay, so we're going this weekend and I'm really dreading the drive. I've been watching fares and did a spread sheet of costs and driving will be cheaper including everything, including dog boarding. What are the chances that last minute fares will drop?
 

Toughbeat

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What are the chances that last minute fares will drop?

Unfortunately it looks like your chances are extremely slim. According to farecast.com, the current airfare is $501 pp. This price is at its highest point in the last 90 days. This fare was available on 11/19 for $180....ouch, what an increase. Good luck to you and have a safe drive.
 

dmharris

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Thanks Toughbeat; love your icon!

I am checking Akron which is two hours away. We're one hour from Pit so it's very doable. Any knowledge about Akron fares? Thanks,
 

djs

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If you can wait until tomorrow, airlines often announce weekend sale fares on Wednesday. Check out Smarter Travel. Since the airfares typically come out on Wednesdays, you probably would be looking at the "next weekend" section, though come tomorrow that would revert to "this weekend".

Good Luck if you decide to fly.
 

x3 skier

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Another deal is to check the last minute deals on Site 59 or Travelocity. They have weekend deals that are probably the best combos of airfare and either car or hotel around.

Cheers
 
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