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Great Fares / Hot Deals Post COVID Fare War Coming or Not?!

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by dcarter4, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Hey All,

    Crystal ball time for all you travel warriors....

    I know we've never seen anything like this before (Covid), to this magnitude. My favorite way to travel to Europe is no more (Norweigan Air) and I am looking at 40-60% increase in prices from the usual airlines (AA, BA, Delta, Virgin partners) for the same Premium Economy/Business experience. We are planning a trip to London and Dublin in October 2021.

    Once most of us are vaccinated and the world returns back to semi-normal, I'm guessing that leisure travel will pick up? I'm wondering if the airlines will be battling for business (fare wars) or keeping prices high, to make up for all the lost revenue. I know no one has the right or wrong answer...just curious about your thoughts? Buy tickets now...or wait til' late spring and summer??
     
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  2. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    It's hard to tell indeed, but also remember that JetBlue is supposed to enter the London market very very soon. There's a good chance they will have some amazing fares when they launch the route!
     
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  3. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    I feel like prices are pretty competitive right now. Yes, the occasional hard-to-believe fares pop up sometimes, like American to South America from last week. But, for the most part, I think we're in a really good spot. I actually think domestic airfare pricing is what's relatively expensive right now, since that's what most people can do for travel based on border closures/comfort level/etc.

    I think as borders open up and vaccination becomes more common, we may see prices go up a bit. Nothing crazy like +50% overnight, but as demand goes up, I'd be surprised if prices didn't start inching up by 10 or 20%.

    Out of curiosity, what did you typically pay for Premium class on Norwegian?
     
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    Tiffany likes this.
  4. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Good Info Clem! I've never flown them, although I've looked at their fares a lot. What type of planes will they fly to LON?
     
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  5. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Hi Ricky,

    Wow...I was hoping for the opposite. I was hoping for low fares to entice people back to flying? On Norweigan, Premium from LAX- Rome was usually $ 600 - $ 700 each leg. We would catch it on sale and my wife and I would fly roundtrip for $ 2k or so, total. I've been looking at AA/BA and Virgin/Delta for about $ 3K for Premium Economy. I felt like Norweigan offered a PE/Business mix for what they called Premium. Business class RT from LAX-LHR is running $ 5,600 for two people right now....so...that's not happening.
    Since we aren't fly until October, I will wait a few months and see what's happing..then I will have to pull the trigger on something. At 6'1"..I will miss the semi-reclined Premium seat on Norweigan.
     
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  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    I agree with Ricky. Like, yes, we may eventually see fare wares, but I'm pegging that for 2023 travel at this point.

    Airlines have reduced capacity, it's more expensive for them to operate with quarantine and testing requirements, etc., so the competition we're seeing right now is more in waiving fees and making tickets more flexible. They know there isn't a price that will (or should) get people to fly during a pandemic.
     
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  7. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Thanks Tiffany. BUmmer...I was hoping this might be more affordable so I could upgrade to a better seat. 10 hours in Premium Economy will be a bit rough. I know you guys mostly travel with points..but if I'm traveling in Oct...how many months before the flight, should I buy the tickets?
     
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  8. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha on the Norwegian pricing. When I said I thought fares were pretty competitive right now, I was assuming it was around there. Admittedly, I don't know when in October you're traveling, but I plugged in a random Friday-Saturday trip. You can fly the nonstop on Virgin for about $650 each way, almost any day of the month. I agree with what you said on the full-on business class. You may occassionally find that for $2,500 per person, round-trip... but those sales are rare.

    In terms of when to buy... if you have the cash and know your dates for sure, there's no need to wait. Airline cancellation policies are so flexible right now.

    RE: JetBlue and their London planes... here is what we know so far. Aside from the obvious (dates being pushed back) not much else has changed: https://onemileatatime.com/jet-blue-london/

    upload_2021-1-18_16-37-52.png
     
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  9. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Thanks for the info! If it was just my wife and I going....I could pull it off, but Oct is my daughters college graduation and this is her present. She's taking a friend..so 4 tickets is not doable (in Business). We will probably let them fly Premium Econ and (maybe) I can get us un Business. Do you know if Virgin and other airlines offer the ability to upgrade AFTER you purchase a lower class?
     
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    rickyw likes this.
  10. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    Yep! Upgrades are definitely possible. Typically you have to be in a flexible fare bucket, which usually means the base fare is higher anyways. But, certainly possible, especially if you have a good deal of airline (or transferable credit card) points.

    I don't know if Ben has done a post, but Gilbert, who's based in the UK, wrote an outline for Virgin.

    https://www.godsavethepoints.com/how-to-upgrade-virgin-atlantic/

    American lets you upgrade as well, but it tends to be costly because of the cash co-pays. https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/redeem/award-travel/upgrade-with-miles.jsp
     
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  11. dcarter4

    dcarter4 New Member

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    Thanks Ricky! I think we will have to go with Premium Economy and fund the rest of the trip first, then see if we have any $$ left over to upgrade my with and I. The 23-year-olds can "survive" in PE. Thanks again for the info. Man...I really miss Norweigan already.
     
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    rickyw likes this.