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flights for september cheap now or wait?

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flights for september cheap now or wait?

I need to book flights from lax to jfk 4th sept to 7 sept. At the moment they are $500 return. Should i book now or will they go down in price closer to the date? I know its a long weekend but were flying late sunday night so didnt think it would have much impact on prices.

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1. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

If I could predict oil prices with a little more accuracy, I'd be at my villa on the beach with a staff of attractive people serving me beverages with umbrellas. Instead I ride public transport to work everyday and nobody serves me anything with any umbrellas (much to my disappointment). The only umbrella is the one hanging in my small NYC apartment. So, maybe I'm not the best person to predict these things.

I suspect that the whole thing with oil prices will eventually stabilize some. It has been a rollercoaster March / April. No airline wants to sell cheap tickets for September in May only to find themselves paying $150. / barrel oil prices. They'd sooner take a wait and see attitude. If oil is high and fewer people want to pay the fares that enable them to make money, they can cut capacity. You can't cut capacity if you already sold lots of cheap tickets you can't make money on.

So, if oil marches upwards, expect higher fares and fewer flight options. If oil slides downward, expect lower fares and plenty of flight options.

What will oil do this week? What will the market do this week? I wish I knew (I really do wish I could tell).

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2. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

There are several sites -- Orbitz is one -- that now have price assurance programs. They refund the difference if another customer books the same flight for less money. That's a very modest hedge, but at least it's something.

You can also track prices using Yapta or Kayak, but the trend this year has been up, up, and up again, so that might not be much solace. (About three weeks ago, we bought tickets to travel to India in November, and since then they've gone up almost 15%.)

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3. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

Virgin America is $446 and I think I'd book it if it were me.

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4. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

Prices will only go up at this point as seats get filled. My friend bought a similar flight a few weeks ago for $350. Sept 4th is still busy as it's the day before the last day off.

Also, I don't know if JFK is a must because there are much better prices available than what you're seeing. Take a look at www.fly.com and enter NYC for the airport code so that you see options for all airports in NYC. They start at $286 for your dates to LGA and $350 to Newark.

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5. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

But those flights all require a change of planes.

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6. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

All depends on your priorities. To many people, saving $200 is worth changing planes. And to many flying Virgin America isn't worth it because it doesn't get you miles in major networks. I'd rather take the direct flight on United for that reason for the same price. It's 6K miles. You get a one-way for free for 12.5K. I actually just booked one JFK to LA with that.

Edited: 11 May 2011, 02:38
7. Re: flights for september cheap now or wait?

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