Now, you have made that reservation at your favorite Disney hotel. You’ve bought park tickets. All you need to do is buy your plane tickets. You go online to find flights…..THEY WANT HOW MUCH?!?! I can’t afford that. When did airfare get so expensive?!?!?!?
Yes, airfare like everything else as gone up in price and it can be a massive drag on a vacation budget. It can turn standard dining plans into quick service dining plans. A stay at Port Orleans into a stay at Pop Century.
What can you as the consumer do to combat this higher and higher cost of airline tickets? There are many to find lower airfares and have those fares on flights that aren’t first thing in the morning on late in the night. Dad For Disney is going to explore some of those ways.
1) Always be looking for lower fares
Fares go up and down during the course of the week. In some cases, fares can go up and down during the course of a day. If you want a low fare, you need to be actively looking for that low fare. It’s not going to sit up and say, “LOOK AT ME, I’M RIGHT HERE!” It’s going to hide. You’re going to need to go find it. It’s a big game of hide and seek.
If the fares aren’t low in the morning, check back later in the day to see if they have drop. Check before you go to bed at night for low fares. They do exist. It may take a long time for you to find them and you may never find them.
2) Fares do have a natural fluctuation in price.
If you watch fares long enough, you will notice that they have a natural fluctuation in price. Fares will start low when the plane is empty. As the plane fills up, the fares will start to rise. As you get closer to your departure date and plane isn’t full, fares will start to drop again as the airline wants to fill the plane. Flying a plane that is 75 percent full isn’t optimal for the airline. They want a full plane so to entice people, the airlines will start to drop the fares to fill up the plane.
3) Look for alternate airports
Not everybody lives near a hub airport. This large group of people will have to make a stop at a hub airport before getting to Orlando. Some non-hub airports are cheaper than others.
Shop around your airport. The closest airport to you may not be the cheapest. In my case, the Albany airport is rarely the cheapest airport even though it is the closest airport to me. As a result, my family has only flown out of Albany once in the many trips we have taken to Disney World. We’ve flown out of Newark, Philadelphia, Hartford, JFK and Westchester County over flying out of Albany. When we flew out of JFK, it was cheaper for us to take the train down and spend a night in a hotel than for us to fly out of Albany.
If you can drive to hub airport, that’s ideal because those flights are usually on bigger planes which have more seats to distribute the overall cost of flying the plan and, in turn, keep fares down. Hub flights are also non-stop, in most cases, which means there are fewer airport take-off and landing fees in the cost of the ticket. That helps to keep fares down.
4) Join Frequent Flyer Programs
Even if you don’t fly a lot, you can still join a frequent flyer programs and get benefits from those programs. The easiest way to get benefits is to get a credit card affiliated with an airline. Most award programs with these cards have $1 = 1 point. So it may take time to earn enough points/miles to get a free ticket for your travelling party but one free ticket every couple years is still a ticket that you don’t have to pay for.
Also by being part of the frequent flyer program, you can still participate in any promo deals (reduced award tickets, multiple points per $1 spent deals). These deals can help you reach the points/miles needed to get a free ticket.
5) When find a deal….JUMP ON IT!
When you finally find that deal which fits your budget, jump on it. Don’t wait to see if the fare will drop any more. I’ve played that game. I’ve lost more times than I’ve won. It’s not worth the gamble. It could only cost you money in the end.
Fares rarely continue to go down. More people are flying now as well which means the flights are getting fuller and fuller which only helps to drive fares up NOT down.
So, once you find that fare don’t refresh the screen. Don’t wait until that night or the next day. Buy the tickets. Call Disney’s Magical Express to let them know what your flight information so they can mail out your booklet.
All that is left is to what for departure day, take your flight, and……
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Thanks for reading!