Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do airline tickets to Japan get cheaper as the flight gets closer

Do airline tickets to Japan get cheaper as the flight gets closer?
I am leaving for Japan on August 26th for my study abroad outside of Osaka, but I looked at STA Travel today and the cheapest ticket was $1450. I'm going in May and tickets were only around $900 on Northwest, but NWA wasn't even a choice on Expedia or STA (yet). Plus, there were only options for two layovers. I'm flying from Raleigh (North Carolina) and I would prefer not to lay over in Charlotte and San Francisco, so if anyone has any information that would be great. In may we are only having one layover in Detroit and that would be much preferred to multiple ones! I'll be in Japan until December. Another thing I found - Northwest on Travelocity says $2300 for one stop. Is that normal? It's...$1200 more than in May roundtrip. Another thing - I do not need a hotel since I am going to school in Hirakata (outside Osaka).
Air Travel - 3 Answers
Random Answers, Critics, Comments, Opinions :
1 :
Book as early as u can Ticket pricing is a horrendously complex and messy business, with armies of programmers working overtime to extract every last cent from passengers. It all starts to make some kind of sense when you understand the airline's basic motive: Make people in a hurry pay. To achieve this end, the plane is divided up into fare classes (or buckets), some cheap, some expensive. As a rule of thumb, the higher the ticket prices, the less restrictions there are on the ticket. Keep in mind the following: Last-minute flights are expensive. Book as early as you can to get the best deals, as the cheap fare classes fill up fast. (Very occasionally, airlines do offload excess inventory at cut-rate prices at the last minute, but it's foolhardy to rely on this.) Quick trips are expensive. Many cheap fares require staying at least three nights, and the famous Saturday night stay requirement — designed to trap businessmen who want to return home for the weekend — is still in force in many places. Monday morning and Friday evening are the most popular times for businessmen to fly, which makes seats hard to find. Holiday seasons are bad times to fly, because everybody else is also on the move. Worldwide biggies include late December to early January (Christmas/New Year and southern summer vacations) and July-August (northern summer vacations), but watch out for local holidays as well, such as the Golden Weeks in China and Japan. Direct/non-stop flights (see box for the difference) from A to B may be expensive, as some people will pay a premium for the convenience and there is little competition. Transferring at point C is a time-consuming hassle, but it can save you a bundle, as there are many options and airlines compete to undercut each other. Avoid alot of connections, less problems, delayed flights, lost luggage etc...
2 :
Yes and No. If there is a sale, then you may find that prices go down, but except for sales then the least expensive tickets are usually available at the very beginning, and these inexpensive tickets can sell out, leaving only more expensive tickets. Generally, if there are going to be sales, they tend to happen about 3 months out on international fares. But August is a popular time for travel, so the prices are bound to be more expensive than in May. I generally wait until about 3 months out and start watching and waiting. DO NOT under any circumstances book any closer than 21 days out. At that point costs go up, up, up!!!! Also Try Northwest's own web site. Often you can get less expensive thickets on the carrier's own web site. And check out, or for comparisons of various airlines.
3 :
Ticket prices are affected by a number of factors that are completely out of our control such as fuel, strikes, FAA regulation issues but there is one we can help - buying our tickets. Buy early and never within two weeks of departure, Buy to fly during the week and off hours also combine with a hotel and save even more. This web site allowws you to pick your flight and get a hotel anywhere you want. Also good rates. Good luck! - click on book travel.

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