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Thread: Booking Hotels/Airfare

  1. #1
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    Booking Hotels/Airfare

    I have a couple more questions, related to my post from yesterday. As I mentioned then, we're getting married in March in Aruba. I've been looking at the prices of airfare and package deals, and they all seem pretty pricey (based on what my mother says she generally pays) -- and Jet Blue and Continental don't even have their flights up yet.

    So my questions are: When is the best time to buy for travel in March? Is it the cheapest to book hotel and air fare together? Since we're getting married and have already sent the save the dates out, we have no flexibility with the dates.

    Thanks!

    P.S. Let me know if there's a better place to post this -- I have looked around the site much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
    I have a couple more questions, related to my post from yesterday. As I mentioned then, we're getting married in March in Aruba. I've been looking at the prices of airfare and package deals, and they all seem pretty pricey (based on what my mother says she generally pays) -- and Jet Blue and Continental don't even have their flights up yet.

    So my questions are: When is the best time to buy for travel in March? Is it the cheapest to book hotel and air fare together? Since we're getting married and have already sent the save the dates out, we have no flexibility with the dates.

    Thanks!

    P.S. Let me know if there's a better place to post this -- I have looked around the site much.

    Continental definately has flights avail for March. In fact they have up into July available right now.

    Jet Blue will not be up for a bit yet.

    Your best bet would be shop around and see what you can come up with. Some sites like Expedia and such sometimes have better rates. I have always been hesitant for some reason to book through them for a hotel and airfare (can't explain why).

    Have you tried to contact a travel agent to see what they can offer you? As far as i know most airlines really do not offer that great of an airfare deal with multiple seats. Might be easier to just have your guests book them themseves, unless you are paying for them. Just be careful since the Airline ticket must match their passport exactly or you might have problems at the airport.
    Decided to take down my timer!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    I would contact someone like MCM Tours http://www.aruba4u.com/ who specialize in travel only to Aruba and tell them what you are looking for and ask them for their suggestions. We have been using them for our Aruba travel for almost 10 years now and have always found them to have not only excellent advice but the best prices.

    They will also break out pricing for you to compare with their package with airfare and without. In other words, they will give you the option to purchase airfare on your own if you can find it cheaper, say booking directly through the airline. Usually nowadays it is the same price booking it on your own than what they can get it for.

  4. #4
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    Hi Marcia --

    Our wedding is in October but we had look into ways to try to get the best flight deal. For us to get a group rate with Delta we would have had to commit to a minimum of at least 10 flights out of the same location, leaving and returning the same time. The discount was only like 10%, so we weren't willing to make a commitment with such a small savings.

    We negotiated our hotel contract directly with the hotel but did have the help of a destination wedding travel agent. After the hotel negotiation was done, we asked if she could save the guests much on flights and the answer was "not really". They like to sell 'package deals' through vendors like Funjet, but our deal with the hotel was beating all the packages available. They weren't really able to get better pricing anywhere but offer 'special services' like free transfers (which could be $25 each way for a cab if you're up in Palm Beach) and upgrades...

    One thing you might consider is Orbitz... They will offer 'price assurance'. That means if you book the flight through them and someone later books the flight at a lower rate you get the difference back. We had never heard of this until we received an email that we would be receiving a check for a flight we took to New York earlier in the year. I believe there are other sites doing this too. We booked our May flights for our site visit only a couple of weeks in advance and I think paid $800 per ticket out of Indianapolis. Our October tickets booked 4-5 months out were just under $500. And one couple is flying direct out of Newark on Continental for around $370. Of course that's off season, but what has been a surprise is that in the last 5 months those flights haven't fluctuated more than $50-75. Even now, only 9 weeks away, the flights are the same price they were 2 months ago.

    One thing you may find out is that not all airlines fly every day. At least for October we found that Delta doesn't fly in/out of Aruba on Tuesdays and Contentinental doesn't fly in/out on Wednesdays. So if you see what looks like obscenely expensive flights, try a different day. We have found that it doesn't seem to matter what day you fly (as long as it is a day they do fly). Prices were the same whether we went Wednesday-Wednesday, Thursday-Sunday or Monday, Friday through Sunday or Monday...

    At least that was our experience. For a while we were watching flights every day!

    Good luck!

    Christene
    Last edited by christene; 08-26-2009 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    We negotiated our hotel contract directly with the hotel but did have the help of a destination wedding travel agent. After the hotel negotiation was done, we asked if she could save the guests much on flights and the answer was "not really". They like to sell 'package deals' through vendors like Funjet, but our deal with the hotel was beating all the packages available.
    Just for clarification purposes, MCM Tours does not use anyone else's "packages", such as Funjet or Apple. No middleman. They book the rooms for their clients directly with the resorts at their own negotiated rates.

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