NEED AN AIRLINE TICKETS
Here's Where To Book Your Flights and Buy Your Tickets
As With Any Endeavor, Planning Is The Key
Unless this is an emergency trip you are planning, we suggest that you plan ahead, at least two to three weeks ahead of your departure date, in order to get the best fares. Planning and booking even farther ahead is recommended if you can do it. Most of us planning our vacations know well in advance when we want to travel. But booking too far ahead may cause problems if you suddenly have to change your plans, because often the cheapest airfares are non-refundable. For a little more money you can buy refundable tickets if this is a worry for you. While you should be planning ahead, it's also a good idea to be somewhat flexible in your departure dates and/or times, because the lower priced tickets are limited and may be gone when you try to book. Checking for earlier or later in the day, or the day before or after, may save you some money if you're able to arrange your schedule to travel at those times.
Some of the better-known web sites for airline tickets include Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, and Priceline. If you are looking for tickets from Southwest or Jetblue, they write their own so you will need to go to their web sites. We'll cover a little about them, too. These web sites offer a place for you to enter in your departure and arrival dates, departure and arrival destinations, and number of travelrs. Up pops the available choices for flights, including airfare for everyone in your party. If you're ready to book, it's a simple process to click their "choose this flight" link and you will shortly have your reservations.
Online Airline Ticket Sources
Expedia will book your flight, hotel, rental car, cruise, or vacation package and save you money. There are some tools to help you with your plans, including a Flight Fare calendar which will show you the best prices and dates for your trip, and a downloadable Fare Alert, so you'll know when your best airfares become available.
Orbitz books air travel, hotels, rental cars, cruises and other vacation packages. The offer specials frequently, so if you are thinking of some future trips, signing up for their free newsletter and notice of hot deals is an option to consider. They also offer some last minute travel deals for the last minute traveler
You can get deals on airline tickets, hotels and rental cars from Travelocity. There are even some last-minute deals on vacation packages if you're a "spur-of-the-moment" type of traveler. For example, at the time we wrote this article, specials were being offered to Las Vegas for as little as $277 for airfare and 4 nights hotel accomodations. There were specials offered on cruises, New York getaway packages, several airline packages, and more. You can sign up to receive notice by email of any hot deals with Travelocity.
Another good place to check is Priceline. They book flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises and more. This is one site which allows you to bid for your own prices on airline tickets, hotels and car rentals. Submit the price you'd like to pay for your ticket, hotel or car rental and you'll find out shortly whether it's accepted. Some bids that were accepted at the time this article was written include a round trip flight from Detroit to Denver for $173, a round trip flight from Dallas to Los Angeles for $215, and some deals on car rentals--$15 a day for a compact car in San Diego, for example.
Because JetBlue does not sell their plane tickets on one of these ticket sites, we thought we'd throw them into the mix, as you can get some very good airfares from them. JetBlue services most of the major cities in the United States, and many destinations in the Caribbean, too--handy for booking a cruise. Key cities include Oakland, California, Boston, New York City (JFK Airport), and Ft. Lauderdale, but they actually serve more than 50 cities. Sample airfares that were available at the time we wrote this article include $79 each way from New York/JFK Airport to Orlando, FL (handy for that Disney World vacation) and $159 each way from New York/JFK to Portland, OR. Plenty of other airfares to choose from, taxes not included, some restrictions apply. Sign up for their informational emails on hot deals, too.
- Southwest Airlines
You'll have to go to their web site if you want any deals on airfares, but they do offer plenty, especially if booked in advance. Southwest will also book your hotel, rental car, cruise, and theme park tickets to Disneyland, Disney World, Univeral Orlando Resort, or Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks. Their "Wanna Get Away" airfares are low, and must be booked and purchased in advance. Ticket prices are non-refundable but may be applied to another trip if you decide to cancel. Sample Wanna Get Away fares include $179 round trip between Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah; $189 round trip between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. "Ding" fares can be even lower. For faster check-in at the airport, print your boarding pass from home and check in online.
With so many options available to you for booking your airline flights, buying tickets and even renting hotels and rental cars, you'll wonder how we ever got along without this option before. You can be your own travel agent with the help of these web sites and our article. Safe Journey!