Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I need some advice...

I'm trying to fly from Portland, Oregon
to Kansas City or St. Louis, Missouri,
to Newark New Jersey or JFK or Long Island
Back to Portland, Oregon

I have 27,000 Delta Skyline miles (which I've never used and I'm clueless about), a fairly flexible schedule though I need to be in Missouri for my brother's wedding on Sept. 27th, and I'd like to be in the New York area for 5-7 days.

If it were incredible inexpensive to travel with a child I'd love to take Leeann with me... but it probably isn't going to make very much sense financially to take her along.

So, here are the X-factors regarding the trip that may or may not ever happen. I'm trying to get down to the bottom line price to figure out whether or not it's even an option for me to go.

So... the advice I need is: How do I maneuver the 'system' to get the cheapest possible airline prices and make the best use of my air miles? I'd really like to take this trip but it's going to have to be pretty stinkin cheap for me to make it happen. Do I have any seasoned travellers who can give me some great advice?


beachbirdie said...

Look for flights on more than one website...we usually check Travelocity and Orbitz. Then go directly to the airline website and check their prices too.

You will find many flight numbers and times of day to choose from. You might also find that your "travel day" makes a difference in price. You want to fly midweek to get a little better break, business travel is typically Monday and Friday and you don't want to be competing with business travelers.

You can also purchase each leg of your flight separately, so check different routes and see if you can get a trip that works better for you. For example, you might purchase a trip to Denver (a major hub) or Dallas (another major hub, or even San Francisco, and then see what flights go to your ending destination.

Just play with the flights a little bit. It seems overwhelming at first, but once you've checked out a few you'll get the hang of it. If you think of any really specific questions, ask away. Les is quite the traveler and does flies a lot. It is scary to think I have the airport codes memorized for half the aiports in the US and a few of them overseas as well (sigh).

Good you are thinking about it now, the sooner you get your tickets the cheaper it is. The price goes up a lot when you try buying tickets a week or two before your flight.

As for flight miles, I haven't a clue either, LOL. Les has almost 200,000 flight miles with another carrier. Glad HE knows how to use them, we'll be using them this fall to go to his dad's 90th birthday party.

becca said...

You can get some great deals online, as I'm sure you have been checking. It wouldn't hurt to talk with a live person at an airline, say Alaska Air... and explain the situation. Then you could either work your way into a good deal or just apply that phone conversation to more exploring:,, and the airline homepages (Southwest, United, etc). Most savvy travelers, like my mom, happen to just "find" a good deal on these sites and because their dates & times are flexible, the deal works.

Jennifer & DW said...

I'm no travel expert, but since you are pretty web savey, I'll bet you have looked at orbitz and travelocity. But, you could also try calling a travel agent, and seeing what they have to say. You don't have to take their advice, but you might get some good ideas.

Toby said...

I'm a little late on this subject, as a more recent post indicates you have already bought tickets, but I thought I'd share what I've learned from my recent experience.

IMHO, travel agents are worthless to the tech savvy. All they do is look stuff up online like you can do yourself. Orbitz and Travelocity are your friends, sort by price. Switching day of flight by a day or two can make a huge difference.

Not a fan of travel miles. Clark Howard hates them too. Can be useful, but so many restrictions, and the airlines can cut their value. I think they are more trouble than they are worth, and always a huge headache. They are like gift certificates to a store that is only open every other Thursday.

My $.02