We all want to get the best fare when we travel, but the early bird doesn’t always catch the worm. For regular travel, you won’t be able to score a fare deal until 45 days prior to your departure. This holiday season, you should start shopping 60 days out, which is right now. This week , Peter answers your airfare questions with three creative solutions to group travel, off-peak holiday travel days and package offers.
Peter answers questions online and on air on his weekly Peter Greenberg Worldwide broadcast. You can call (1-888-88-PETER (1-888-887-3837)), email him (email@example.com), tweet questions to @petersgreenberg (use #askPeter), or post questions on his Facebook page.
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Anton in Miami, Florida asked: We are trying to get to Barcelona on December 21. We have found tickets to be in the $1,000 range, but we are wondering if they are going to drop further in the fall. We are a group of 15 if that helps with anything.
Peter replied: First off, thank you for telling me you’re a large group that does help with things. First off, if you’re a large group you don’t have to buy 15 individual tickets and get no discount. Instead, you can call the airline sales office—not the airline reservation office and let them know you will be bringing a small group to Europe. For Barcelona, you will be talking to American or Iberian, the two code-sharing partners that will be getting you to Barcelona most efficiently. You can also talk to British Airways with a stop in London.
Let’s say for the purpose of this discussion that you were unable to get a group deal. Then you would book two separate sets of tickets, meaning that you book a cheaper ticket from Miami to London. Then once you are in Europe you would fly one of the third-tier carriers like easyJet or Ryanair to Barcelona. You won’t be flying from Heathrow. Instead, you will travel from Luton or Gatwick. The only thing I have to caution you is that you have to watch your baggage. If you think US Air charges you an arm and a leg, you have not lived until you try to check a bag on a third-tier European carriers. That said, if you can really pack light, you can save money flying to Barcelona.
For more information on holiday travel deals, check out Peter’s Budget Travel Tips for Holiday Travel Season.