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When are discounted air fares released for Feb 2018?

Posted by PathMan on 6/2/2017 at 01:37

Hi Everyone,
My wife and I are planning to take a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia (20 days or thereabouts), and have found an ideal private tour package with Tonkin Travel.
I have been looking at flights from London Heathrow, flying into Hanoi (or or around the 18th Jan 2018) and returning at the end of the trip from Siem Reap to Heathrow (on or around the 7th Feb 2018, ahead of the Tet holidays).
My problem is that many of the airlines are currently offering discounted fares for 2017 but none of them seem to be offering the same for Jan/Feb 2018. For instance, with Singapore Airlines I could do this journey in November 2017 for £477 but if I chose to do the journey in January 2018 the prices is almost double (£930).
My question is. when do the major airlines offer there discounted fares for January & February 2018? I can't book the tour with Tonkin before I have booked our return air flights, and I would like to get these booked (at the discounted prices!) asap.
Can anyone advise please?

#1 PathMan has been a member since 4/2/2017. Posts: 3

Posted by nadirahmed on 6/2/2017 at 16:29

Hi pathman,

Airlines load their seats at different times and a lot of airlines won't even let you book a ticket this far ahead. For example, British Airways release tickets 355 days before travel, while Air France and American Airlines don't let you book more than 11 months ahead. Other airlines release seats around a year before travel so tickets for your return date won't be available for a couple more days.

However, you don't always get the best deal simply by booking so far ahead. The pricing of airline tickets, and the constant fluctuation, is pretty complicated. Time before travel is only one factor, but also demand - both historic and contemporary, as well as things like competition from other airlines, price of oil etc. all impact airfare.

The advice I normally give is that you should wait and book during an official sale. Airlines usually hold sales every 3-4 months (and their competitors often follow suite really quickly) and you should be able to nab a decent deal during the next one. If you're happy to wait a month or so (as its calendar only goes up to 2nd Jan right now), you'll be able to use ITA Matrix to compare fares. I use it all the time and it's a pretty nifty tool. Google Flights is a less complicated version (but with fewer features; you'd still have to wait a month or so to compare flights on your dates).

If you definitely want to book now, you should wait a few days until more airlines release seats on 8th Feb 2017 (for tickets for 8th Feb 2018). Best to check on 10th Feb onwards to pick up seats from airlines who are lazy with loading seats...

#2 nadirahmed has been a member since 26/2/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 19

Posted by amnicoll on 7/2/2017 at 08:15

Basically I agree with the above.

I would wait until mid March and search around for good fares as by then most airlines will have released seats for the return portion by then. I would also register with the airlines that you are interested in flying with to get notifications of promotions and special deals.

You already have an idea of fares and the sort of deals that are around so set yourself a target price and if you see something with a decent airline at or around that price snap it up - you may miss out on something cheaper but you will at least have a flight

Have to say the prices look very cheap for flying into one city and out of another and Singapore are also a very good airline

#3 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976

Posted by PathMan on 8/2/2017 at 01:18

Thank you for your advice nadirahmed and amnicoll! I shall just have to wait a few months before I book my air tickets and subsequently my tour package.

#4 PathMan has been a member since 4/2/2017. Posts: 3

Posted by PathMan on 8/2/2017 at 01:18

Thank you for your advice nadirahmed and amnicoll! I shall just have to wait a few months before I book my air tickets and subsequently my tour package.

#5 PathMan has been a member since 4/2/2017. Posts: 3


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