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Alaska:When to buy Flights for Sept Hunt
Curios when you guys have found the best prices for flights? Looking now, round trip to Bethel, is roughly $680.00. Is this a good price? Using Alaska Airlines. thanks, Danny
I would believe the best prices are the day they release the seats. Like max number of days in advance for making reservations.
Airlines typically sell a limited number of seats at the cheaper prices. Supply in demand, less number of seats remaining, more they can charge.
Bethel, AK is a lot cheaper than Smithers, BC.
I am planning on flying to AK next fall also. In the research I have done, you will want to book directly with the airline you are flying, not with an online broker.
Reason: If you need to adjust your flight schedule, it is very difficult to contact with a broker as there isnt much for internet in Bethel or other out of the way places.
If you book directly with the airline, they are much more accommodating to adjust as they are right there.
I go to Alaska twice a year to guide. I have found that there is not a consistent "right time to buy". I have seen low fares anywhere from 10 months to 1 month before any given trip. If I were you, just continue to look until the rates seem affordable for you and then don't look again. Then you won't get your feelings hurt if you find them cheaper later:)
Depending on where you are flying from, $680 to Bethel is a good price. I would book that right now at that price but I am in Philadelphia. If you are going with someone else, and don't already have one, you might want to look into the Alaska Airlines Visa. You get a $99 companion fare, at least for the Anchorage leg, and your first bags will be free. We saved a ton on our recent trip to Kodiak that way.
I think I paid over that to Bethel last spring...from Fairbanks.
680$ is pretty darn good.
Good luck on your hunt.
I fly back and forth from CA to AK 6 times a year and I buy my tickets 2.5 - 3 months in advance. Tickets will sometimes run out between 6-8 weeks out for connections which can mean the difference between a 12-14 hour start to finish trip vs a 24 hour start to finish trip.
I've bought at all times and have payed between 300 and 600 for a one way ticket.
680 is a good price for a round trip ticket.
Get an alaska airlines credit card and the 25K miles you start out with will get you a one way trip and you'll be paying 1/2 that price to get back. Charge $15,000 in groceries and incidentals between now and the end of June and pay it off every month and by the end of June, if you've spent that much, you'll have 40,000 miles and will be able to get the entire ticket for free.
To ad to what Idylwild said, you also get one $100 companion fare per year with Alaska Airlines CC. So you can split the total cost with a friend of one full fare and one companion fare.
Not AK specific, but flying in general....
I don't have any proof, but let me put my tin-foil hat on for a second.... I think if you're checking flights often the software recognizes you and bumps the price the next time you check. Wants to panic you into buying the higher price right then "before it goes higher". Seems to do this every time. Wait a few weeks or clear your cookies and try again, the prices go back to the first time you checked them.
They for sure track general "interest" in flights and routes and adjust rates accordingly.
I think too far out they are more expensive. If they aren't filling at the rate they like they lower the prices. Seems to me I've gotten my best rates on average from one to two months out. Wait too long and it's a gamble.... they can either dump the prices or if the last few seats are getting some interest, bump them. Last minute I think I've had both my very best rates and been bent over a few times as well. Or even like Ike said, get caught scrambling for sold out seats.
Last May we shopped a good amount and found a round trip Maui to Anchorage around that price if I recall, it was 6 something. But it seems from there the short connecting flights add up costs REAL fast.
Seems like a good price. I've seen them vary too...but for sure at least 2 months in advance- about 3 is what I shoot for.
Definitely book through AK air if you can...and try to keep connectors on Alaska if you have the choice between Alaska or Raven.
I don't 'think the companion fare is usable right away. It's 6 or 12 months before you get it. Also has to be bought at the same time and has to be the exact same flight.
Companion fare is great for once a year flying somewhere with someone for essentially 35-45% off both flights (depending on the expense of the tickets).
As for $680 to Bethel... That's a hell of a deal depending on where you are coming from. Most trips to Anchorage average around there from many Lower 48 destinations, and it's a decently long flight to Bethel from here.
We (three of us) just bought for our August caribou trip for $710 each all in. We fly from a small regional airport with a "partner airline" so this added a little to the fare. It is the cheapest I've ever flown to AK.
I tried to use a companion fare but it did not work from any regional airports in ND. We would've had to drive to Minneapolis to use it, so that part is useless to me. I do have enough miles accumulated for a couple first class tickets but could not use them either as I would've had to fly separate from my buddies as we couldn't make flights match. That didn't bother me though as I have a couple more trips to AK planned solo that I'll be flying FIRST CLASS for free on due to the card.
If you can get the tickets for under $700, I'd book.
I agree the $680 is solid. If you wait you may do better, but I wouldn't want to chance it. I paid about $890 from Cleveland to Fairbanks when I went in 2012, you'll have enough to "worry" about getting ready for the trip. have fun and good luck.
I can't comment on the regional airport restrictions, but it looks like you can use the companion fare after 2-3 weeks, see below.
Course there could be finer print somewhere!
We bought ours in early June last year. About $500 from SoCal to ANC. I thought that was a bargain.
I booked flights today with Alaska air, round trip Abq to Fbks for 640.00, 2 NS flights each way. I figured since they will change the flights before 60 days out for free I would just scan flights once in a while and switch it out if it was worth it otherwise I am good to go without stressing out. Flying from Abq on Alaska isn't easy, there are very few flights from here that doesn't have me flying all over the country, I land in Fbks at 12:20 am and leave Fbks at 1:35 am, not very ideal but quick and direct flights.
Google it. I did. 74 days out, buy on a Monday/Tuesday, fly out on Tuesday. goggle flights com
I meant 47 days. I'm working all night, tired and half asleep. 47 days, buy on Tuesday around 3 PM, book your departure on a Tuesday. https://www.google.com/flights/
going for the Alaska Airlines Card, then booking. Thanks guys for sure.
FYI I believe there is an annual fee on that card.
There is an annual fee. It's still going to save him $600.