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Return flights advice please

Return flights advice please

Old May 1st 2008, 2:44 pm
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Default Return flights advice please

Ok, this might seem like a no brainer to some, and normally I am quite capable of booking flights without supervision however I thought I would ask here for some advice as many of you may have been in a similar situation. If all goes well and we get our visas in June (we have an appointment at the embassy) then we will be leaving hopefully in August, 1st or 2nd week probably.

1.) I realise that it's peak season, but does anyone have any helpful tips for getting the best deal? We will probably do London - Atlanta.

2.) The online sites will not let me book the return leg any later than March 2009 which is no good, do you know if having an open return will hike up the cost? I am happy to call and discuss it with a rep in person, but I thought I would get clued up before I did.

Thanks!
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Old May 1st 2008, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
1.) I realise that it's peak season, but does anyone have any helpful tips for getting the best deal? We will probably do London - Atlanta.

2.) The online sites will not let me book the return leg any later than March 2009 which is no good, do you know if having an open return will hike up the cost? I am happy to call and discuss it with a rep in person, but I thought I would get clued up before I did.

Thanks!
1) Check Delta.com 1st as ATL is their hub. Failing that, the usual suspects (kayak / travelocity / orbitz) would be worth a butcher's and don't travel at the weekend.

2) Why do you need a return flight? Are you not coming over for good? The price of a roundtrip will probably be the same as a one-way flight (not sure you can even get open ended tix anymore), simply don't fly on the return leg.
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Old May 1st 2008, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
1.) I realise that it's peak season, but does anyone have any helpful tips for getting the best deal? We will probably do London - Atlanta.
Check with a couple of travel agents too... my sister is coming over in June, she looked at the usuals online and decided to stop at a agents while she was out shopping. She got her tickets for $200 less than she could find online. She is flying with Delta, via ATL
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Old May 1st 2008, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by HoosierDaddy View Post

2) Why do you need a return flight? Are you not coming over for good? The price of a roundtrip will probably be the same as a one-way flight (not sure you can even get open ended tix anymore), simply don't fly on the return leg.
I thought we could use the return leg next year to come home but it will likely be in May and not August, maybe a one way ticket to the states in may next year will be cheaper, I don't know.
Is a one way ticket always the same price as a return in your experience?
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Old May 1st 2008, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

One ways are often more expensive than returns.
Have you tried checking to see what the fee is to extend the ticket once the May/June dates open up? Usually it's no more than $100 or so per ticket but it varies vastly by airline and ticket class.
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Old May 1st 2008, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
Is a one way ticket always the same price as a return in your experience?
It's usually not a kick in the ar$e off it.
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Old May 1st 2008, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

as we were on L1A & 2 visas - the company paid for our one way flight when we came (and i guess the same back if we ever officially repatriate).
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Old May 1st 2008, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

kayak.com
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Old May 2nd 2008, 12:53 am
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
I thought we could use the return leg next year to come home but it will likely be in May and not August, maybe a one way ticket to the states in may next year will be cheaper, I don't know.
Is a one way ticket always the same price as a return in your experience?
One ways are a bloody ripoff usually - they are not discounted tickets like returns can be so 99% of the time you are always better off with a return, even if you don't fly the other leg.

Have you tried booking direct on the carriers own sites (in particular Delta for Atlanta)? They sometimes let you kick the return out a long long way - I remember we did this with my wife's when we moved to Europe for a year - we set the return 10-11 months later than the outbound.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 2:13 am
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
One ways are a bloody ripoff usually - they are not discounted tickets like returns can be so 99% of the time you are always better off with a return, even if you don't fly the other leg.
Just check the small print that they don't charge you the extra for not using the return portion...
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Old May 2nd 2008, 2:22 am
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Unless you are traveling during a peak period, such as Christmas holidays, I think that you'll tend to get better fares starting 6-8 weeks prior to departure. If things go as they have before, most of the discounting hasn't begun just yet, and the fare breaks start popping up sooner than that.

You will probably also save money if your flight involves a connection, as the software algorithms often discount your fare in order to put you onto an underutilized leg that needs filling. Don't worry about where the connection is, as it will vary depending upon the airline and shouldn't make much difference.

The great unknown, though, is knowing whether rapidly increasing oil and fuel prices will lead to substantial fare and fee increases between now and then. This is an unusual time, so it's hard to know whether this summer may prove to be different from most. Also, flights are flying at higher capacities than they used to, so the delay-and-save strategy may not work so well going forward as it did in the past.

Open returns are very costly, as are most one way tickets. You're probably better off if you can book a normal round trip ticket that includes a modest date change fee.
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Old May 2nd 2008, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Return flights advice please

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP View Post
You will probably also save money if your flight involves a connection, as the software algorithms often discount your fare in order to put you onto an underutilized leg that needs filling. Don't worry about where the connection is, as it will vary depending upon the airline and shouldn't make much difference.
In the past yes, now, probably not because of the airport taxes being so high...used to save a bucket load having a connecting flight from Boston to Montreal and then London, now it's no cheaper...though if you lived in Maine, it's easier to head down from Montreal and avoid Logon, less hassle at least
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