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Topic # 217833 14-Jul-2017 10:08
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I know Air NZ hasn't been flying there for very long. We need to book flights to Houston for late Jan next year - which obviously is a fair way off - but unsure whether to book now (and hopefully get cheaper for early) or to wait to see whether there's a sale sometime later this year.

 

Would be disappointed if we book now and find it could have been cheaper later. I guess this is the perennial question with airline bookings.

 

Would appreciate comments.


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  Reply # 1822284 14-Jul-2017 10:08
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.

 

We hope to see you there!

 





I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.



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  Reply # 1822321 14-Jul-2017 10:42
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AirNZ's website lets you trawl through the dates - I can see that the flights towards the end of Jan are all about $1030 each way - I can't see them getting cheaper given it's school holidays.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1822326 14-Jul-2017 10:54
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Looking at a random date on skyscanner, 23rd-31st Jan, there is a deal flying the return leg on the Air NZ flight but booking under the United Airlines at $1400 return.

 

I have seen it a few times on the grab a seat page - it is on today for different travel period to get an idea of what it drops to:

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1822389 14-Jul-2017 12:07
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I've seen AirNZ deals to Houston, at the same time as deals to LA and SFO. Often the deals are just marketing hype; I bought a ticket at $649 to SFO. A couple of months later I was dismayed to see TV ads and other hype announcing large discounts on tickets to SFO. But the prices on these special deals were $649. Or higher.

 

LA always seems to be the cheapest flight from NZ... you might find it cheaper to fly to Houston via LA.

 

I used Hopper.com as well as Skyscanner. Skyscanner and Hopper don't give you good prices for inside-NZ legs of the trip, but they are good for international and inside-US legs. The general consensus seems to be that some time between 6 months and 6 weeks before flight is when prices will be lowest. 

 

Beware of AirNZ's (or any other airline) site... they track you, and once they've established what you're interested in, will give you *higher* prices.

 

For me, it was cheaper to buy 2 * one-way tickets separately instead of a return ticket. It seems that discounts only ever apply to one way of a return ticket. This did leave me for a couple of weeks in the position of having a ticket to SFO, and knowing that some time I might be forced to pay whatever the asking price was for the return leg. But eventually I got a good deal on the return leg too.

 

I can't remember whether it was Hopper or Skyscanner; one of them found really cheap deals flying via Beijing or somewhere like that. But instead of 20-odd hours, the flight would take 30+ hours spread over about 3 days.

 

The only flight I actually booked through Hopper was my return flight from Charleston SC-Chicago-SFO-AKL. Twice I got notifications that my booked flight had been cancelled, and I could have a refund or accept an alternative flight. First it was changed to a different flight from Chicago to SFO, then later to CHS-Washington Dulles-SFO-AKL. Of course, if you choose the refund, it will probably cost you, because you got the best price available originally. So you're stuck with accepting their alternative. The alternative was OK for us... it left a bit later from CHS, but the transfers, especially at Dulles (late arrival from CHS, no travelators :( ), were a mad dash across a huge airport, whereas the original flight allowed us a couple of hours at each place.

 

Beware just taking the cheapest price; often there are a whole lot of extras (checked luggage, choosing your seat, meals, entertainment) which are included in some fares and not included in others. I suspect that nowadays there is a deliberate policy of seating people apart if they haven't paid the extra for choosing their seats.

 

 


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  Reply # 1822394 14-Jul-2017 12:15
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Cheap flights to Houston are pretty regular along with other US destinations.

 

You will however not get any cheap fares in January due to school holidays.

 

 


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  Reply # 1822397 14-Jul-2017 12:19
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frankv:

 

 

 

Beware of AirNZ's (or any other airline) site... they track you, and once they've established what you're interested in, will give you *higher* prices.

 

 

 

 

If you can provide a single piece of evidence to back this claim I'll apologise for calling it fake news (which it is).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1822399 14-Jul-2017 12:21
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There are always deals outside the school holidays. The hard part is getting a deal in school holidays - jonb's one surprised me. 


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  Reply # 1822403 14-Jul-2017 12:30
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Since they spam me with offers, this list from my emails shows you the rough frequency:

 

29th May 2017: $699 each way

 

3rd April: $699 each way

 

20th Feb: $500 off return (worked out slightly more than $649 but in the same ballpark)

 

9th Dec 2016: $649 each way

 

15th July: $649 each way.

 

Travel periods differ, on the 15th of July last year the sale applied to these dates: 20 Aug – 28 Aug 16, 16 Oct – 27 Nov 16 & 10 Feb – 06 Apr 17 

 

On the 29th of May, the dates were NZ to Houston: 08Oct-23Nov 17. Houston to NZ: 30Jul-18Sep, 22Oct-06Dec 17. 

 

I like using fare hold, for $10 to hold it, it gives you three days to find a better deal, and more time to double check against booking errors.


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  Reply # 1822435 14-Jul-2017 12:54
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sbiddle:

 

frankv:

 

 Beware of AirNZ's (or any other airline) site... they track you, and once they've established what you're interested in, will give you *higher* prices.

 

 

 

If you can provide a single piece of evidence to back this claim I'll apologise for calling it fake news (which it is).

 

 

 

I apologise. I guess it's an urban legend.

 

I did a Google search and the consensus seems to be what you're saying... individuals aren't tracked, but interest in each flight is tracked. Prices are increased on flights that lots of people show an interest in.

 

[tinfoil hat mode] But then Google would say that, wouldn't they? [/thm]

 

 


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  Reply # 1822448 14-Jul-2017 13:08
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Check out the really helpful review of the AirNZ flight from Auckland to Houston in NZ Herald today, by the Herald travel editor.  He downed two prescription sleeping pills which would have made him sleep for most of the flight.  I am chuckling at the point of reviewing a flight that he mostly slept on!  I guess it is The NZ Herald though...

 

 

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=11889597 


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  Reply # 1822462 14-Jul-2017 13:29
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Satch:

 

Check out the really helpful review of the AirNZ flight from Auckland to Houston in NZ Herald today, by the Herald travel editor.  He downed two prescription sleeping pills which would have made him sleep for most of the flight.  I am chuckling at the point of reviewing a flight that he mostly slept on!  I guess it is The NZ Herald though...

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=11889597 

 

 

A totally generic "review". Edit a couple of sentences and it could apply to any international flight. Right up to NZH's standards.

 

Interesting that he didn't review the Houston "Airport Experience"; maybe he was still asleep when they wheeled him off the flight.

 

 


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  Reply # 1822477 14-Jul-2017 13:56
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Houston is a great airport to fly through. I've flown both into there and out of there since Air NZ started flying there.

 

 


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  Reply # 1822481 14-Jul-2017 13:59
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frankv:

 

sbiddle:

 

frankv:

 

 Beware of AirNZ's (or any other airline) site... they track you, and once they've established what you're interested in, will give you *higher* prices.

 

 

 

If you can provide a single piece of evidence to back this claim I'll apologise for calling it fake news (which it is).

 

 

 

I apologise. I guess it's an urban legend.

 

I did a Google search and the consensus seems to be what you're saying... individuals aren't tracked, but interest in each flight is tracked. Prices are increased on flights that lots of people show an interest in.

 

[tinfoil hat mode] But then Google would say that, wouldn't they? [/thm]

 

 

 

 

Such a concept isn't really compatible with the way airline bookings work - they're actually incredibly open with all data being available in GDS platforms which is how travel agents book flights.

 

This issue has already been discussed numerous times on here with some pretty good explanations - https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=48&topicid=208980

 

If you want to see dynamic pricing try booking a room at any Caesars entertainment property in Las Vegas.




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  Reply # 1822560 14-Jul-2017 15:53
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Thanks to all who responded - very helpful.

 

One more qn: I guess Airpoints Dollars are OK to use as payment/part payment for 'deal' fares?


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  Reply # 1822562 14-Jul-2017 15:55
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Airpoints Dollars are good as folding money and credit cards as far as I can tell - apart from maybe you don't earn on flights you purchase with them.

 

 


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