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32 replies
Summer airfare to London - Should I book now?
redshoe
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I’m planning to travel from IAD to London departing on July 18, returning August 29. Cheapest I get is $782 on BA.

I’ve been researching exhaustively on the subject, but can’t decide if this fare is likely to get any better? Does anyone predict an airfare sale for those dates/destination in the next couple months? You expert opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

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You can get $686 IAD-LHR on Hotwire for those dates. But I wouldn’t get a Hotwire ticket unless you’re 100% comfortable with the terms and get insurance. I’m not sure the tradeoffs are woth $96.

You can get July 18-Aug. 28 for $552 on BA for BWI-LHR.

Is it worth it to you to save $230 and go to BWI?

Are you eligible for student tickets?

redshoe
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I don’t know why BWI never came to mind. I looked on Mobissimo and could find only $601.85. Can you tell me where you found the $552?

Unfortunately not eligible for student travel anymore. Frown

And sorry for 1 last question. I just keep hearing that one shouldn’t book earlier than 6 weeks in advance of departure for the best fares. Is this accurate for high season travel in your experience?

Thanks a million in advance for taking the time to help!

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I don’t think that the six-week rule is true at all for high-season fares, but I can’t give you any other rule either. There’s just no way to tell for sure. It does seem like airfares are somewhat more than they were last year.

The cheap $552 fare might be gone now. It showed up on Orbitz, but when I clicked on it, it was gone. If you see it for $601, that’s pretty good, IMO, but I don’t really know much about east-coast US fares. (I did see $601 for July 18 – Aug. 30.)

Try the BA web site too again with BWI.

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$552 BWI-LHR fare already came up in another post. It’s rather elusive – BA claims it does not exist. However Don claims he’ve seen it not only on ITA / Orbitz but somewere else too.

redshoe
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I see a $563 on Orbitz. I suppose it’s one of those phantom fares that always disappears when you click on it.

I was hoping someone might be able to answer a question for me. I see the $601 fare listed on Mobissimo directing to Opodo. But I need to book for 2 adults, 1 child, and 1 infant. Unfortunately, if I do a new search on the flights section for Opodo (not directed from Mobissimo) to specify passengers, I get a higher fare. Any ideas on how to catch that fare while specifying all my passengers?

Maybe an alternate aggregator website? I’ve been to a few and I just can’t seem to specify 2,1,1 without the fare ballooning.

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Right, $563=$552+$11, with $11 being Orbitz booking fee, so that’s the same phantom fare Traveler told you about.

As for price going up, it could be because there are not enough seats in the corresponding booking code left.

By the way I see it for 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant at this very moment! (GBP 971.90)

redshoe
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Seva,

What site did you find that fare, please?

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Sometimes these cheap prices are only good for one or two seats, so they disappear if you try to book several.

If you are feeling very adventurous, you might set up a situation where you and your spouse have separate computers, each do a search simultaneously – one for the adult and child, and one for the adult and infant – and then book them separately on two computers. I’d much prefer if you were all booked together, but it’s possible that scheme might work. It’s quite possible that if you try this, only half of you will get the booking for the low price, which would not be too great.

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Good point. I’m still searching high and low for the fare Seva mentioned. The lowest I got was on Orbitz for about $2072. Does anybody see that GB 971.90 fare? I see you wrote it in pounds sterling, so assuming it’s a site catering to the UK? If you could please point me in the direction of that super secret web source, I’d appreciate it.

Don
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probably www.opodo.co.uk found with www.mobissimo.com

redshoe
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Found it, thanks!

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www.travelprice.be found it available at 471 euros total.
If you can indeed find this fare, book it with confidence. I doubt you will find cheaper with outbound mid-July and stay longer than 30 days.

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That rate looks great. But I get a $601 rate when entering 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant. Was the EUR 470 rate for just 1 adult perhaps?

I guess if opodo.co.uk is 314GBP, that would work out to $601. While EUR 470 would be about $622. Would you suggest going with Opodo then? Just double-checking to be sure I’m not misunderstanding you.

I can’t thank you enough for all the assistance.

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Hey, what are you waiting for? (Sorry, my network was out – hope it did not cause you to miss this one!)
Yes, it is on opodo.co.uk, like you’ve said yourself.
It’s seems to be no longer available for Jul’18 Aug’30, but you can still get it for Jul’19 Aug’31.
It’s GBP 314.30 (close to US$602) per adult and GBP 971.90 for 4 of you.
Expect that your total will be 2-5% more on your credit card bill because of GBP/USD conversion, but that’s a rather good deal, especially if you indeed get into World Traveller Plus section of the plane.
Besides, it seems to be some Opodo exclusive fare, may be that’s why it does not show up elsewere.

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Isn’t that how it always is? I scrambled to go book it yesterday afternoon (Sun.), thinking that by midnight Sun., the fares might move higher, and sure enough – poof! Gone, before even Sun. afternoon.

I’ve been surfing all day long to no avail. Just saw your post and ran to check for the alternate dates. I guess it went poof also. I don’t consider myself a fence-sitter. Once I decide to go for it, I just do it. But these fares really disappear fast.

If anyone sees anything comparable, I’m eternally greatful? I suppose I need to start lacing up my sprinting shoes.

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Just play around with the dates and get those shoes out the closet!
Right now the fare seems to be available for Jul 17 or 20 to go, Aug 31 or Sept 1 to go back.

redshoe
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Well, I booked my family of 4 tickets for GBP 941…I think. I had some difficulty on opodo.co.uk, getting to my confirmation screen. I did finally get a flight confirmation page, with an itinerary reference #. But, I never received an e-mail confirmation. So, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to triple-check.

I’ve never booked airfare departing from the US through a UK travel site before, so things seemed a little backwards. I had to enter a UK address to complete my booking, could only use an International Visa card or AMEX, etc.

Also, I selected the "World Traveler Plus" tab and then "Book this flight," but don’t see any notation on the confirmation of such. I don’t know if that’s normal or not.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

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Good luck! Please let us know how it works out.

You could phone up AMEX now and see if they can tell if there’s been any activity on your card.

Also, is there anywhere to log in with that itinerary reference number?

I had something similar happen with Destina.ca. I used this site, which works for most airline bookings, to enter my reference code and last name and confirm I actually had the booking (although I also phoned Destina to double-check).
https://www.virtuall…

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Congratulations!
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that all goes well.

If running your booking code on virtuallythere.com does not work, you can just call British Airways. Tell them you’ve booked your ticket with a travel agent and want to know if they’ve got your details right. (This never hurts, even under normal circumstances.)

Morever you can ask them if your seats are "booked," that is the agent – opodo – have entered your details in the system, or alreday "ticketed" that is transaction is complete and you are all set. And also ask them whether you are ticketed in "World Traveler Plus," because that would be even better.

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Just found this on opodo help pages:

quote:Question:
How can I check my trip?
Answer:
To check your trip simply go to www.checkmytrip.com and input your six digit reference number and the surname of the passenger. Check my trip will then bring up your flight details, from here you can print or email your itinerary, or simply view the details on the screen.
Aparently, Opodo runs on Amadeus (www.checkmytrip.com), not on Sabre(www.virtuallythere.c…)

redshoe
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Thanks for all the advice. I took it, and called BA after virtuallythere couldn’t quite manage to find our booking #. After 20 minutes on hold – I’m booked, ticketed, and in World Traveler Plus for GBP 971 (+ a few extra pounds for booking and cc fee)!!

In case you were curious about the family you all helped book this great deal for…we’re traveling for two months from mid-July through mid-Sept. We’ll be home exchanging with a family from Maida Vale, London, another from Amsterdam, and a third in Ireland (we added them yesterday, since the cost was the same to extend our dates). We home exchange annually to Europe and elsewhere, but this is the first time we’ve gone to Europe during high season. Hence, my turning to your expertises. You all should go into business doing this, you’d make a mint. I was quoting rates for our exchange families abroad, directing them to Mobissimo and Opodo. The rates beat what they were getting by lots. Since my dot-com days, I’ve always been driven to be a more empowered consumer through the use of the Internet/community think tank. That’s what led me here. My love of travel, and my love of being an empowered consumer. You guys (and gals) rock! Thanks again. Wink

Cheers from Carmel, Calif.
P.S. Congrats to Clint on the Oscar!
http://www.halfcode….

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Congrats, redshoe! Just make sure you aren’t double-charged for this. You shouldn’t be, and it should be easy to fix if that does happen, but that’s a possible pitfall based on what you described. I envy you getting to fly in WTP! Sounds like a great trip.

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Welcome to the club, Redshoe!

Stay with the board, and you’ll find out that your own knowledge and experience will be highly demanded. Not to mention the vast number of usefull things you can learn about, and tons of cool people you can meet.

As for making a mint, well, our expertise is priceless, how can we possibly put a price tag on it?

N’est-ce pas, everyone?

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Yes, double-charging was a concern of mine initially. That’s why I waited nearly 20 minutes to press refresh. Once I did, it didn’t actually take me straight to the confirmation page. Instead, it took me to a special page that asked me to verify cc information by entering 3 digit code on back and last 6 digits of ss#, plus set up a username and password. It was called Chase Visa "Secure." I guess they have some proprietery program set up to boost security for Internet transactions or something. Only after jumping through those hoops – then it proceeded to a confirmation page. If I had pressed refresh and it proceeded straight to a confirmation, then I would have balked. But, naturally I’ll double-check today anyhow.

Now I’ll be hanging around to make my domestic flight reservations. Probably just OAK to IAD on JetBlue. But if there’s cheaper straight shot, I’m sure you all know it. Maybe stowing away in the wheel well? Smile

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Whatever you do, I’d leave at least an overnight near BWI. It would be pretty expensive to miss your transatlantic flight and have to buy walkup ones on the spot!

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Sure you must have enough money left for a nice spot in a beverage trolley
I wouldn’t worry about double-charging. The way it usually works now is that the agent (Opodo) checks your cc info, but then transmits the data to the airline (BA) that subsequently charges your card. As a result you’d get double-charged only if you’d managed to book eight tickets instead of four. That’s not likely given the fact that finding even four was not at all easy.
(From recent personal experience. Only after six attemps Orbitz finally managed to actually book a ticket for me. That resulted in about $5000 in "temp authorizations" on my account, in addition to the correct charge.)

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I actually have my entire family in VA to visit. (I don’t have any family West of the Mississippi). So that’s what makes this work so well. I can massage all of my travel dates because of coinciding a visit to VA that’s sandwiched around the entire travel to Europe.

In fact, I’m thinking of volunteering to get the entire family bumped for my BWI to LHR flight. Show up, volunteer to be bumped to the next day if overbooked, and if successful, just have my folks pick us up and take us back home. I suppose the question is whether it’s likely to be overbooked during that time. If so, maybe travel free next year. Anyone have any experience with that?

I did wonder something about seating. I looked at your seatguru link and noticed they list the bulk head World Traveler Plus seats as great seats. Do you think it would be too early to call the airline and try to request the bulk head seats?

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No, the sooner you call about the seats, the more likely you’ll get those you want.

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Bumping does happen, but on a percentage basis, with four family members, your chances are perhaps 1/1000. You could read some more about that on FlyerTalk.com .

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Well, then I suppose I’ll pack my toothbrush. I do fully intend to go out on that date, but will volunteer at check-in to get bumped in any case. Couldn’t hurt. 1 in a thousand. Yikes!

I’ll call this evening to see about bulkhead seating. One less thing on my mind. I did do some reading regarding World Plus Traveler, and it seems a rare find to pay the same rate as economy. All that was needed was to click on the tab and get a free upgrade. People seem to highly recommend it even when having to pay hundreds extra to upgrade. So I feel warm and fuzzy.

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I think you should look around

I just got my ticket to Europe a couple of weeks ago
I’m flying from Toronto, Canada to London England in May and it was $213 Canadian after tax. I got it from mytravel.com

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No wonder mytravel.com went out of business…