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Insane airline prices!

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Insane airline prices!

I am flying into San Diego for a business meeting in April. Decided impromptu to extend the trip further and fly onward to Hawaii (first time!!). Debated on which island and decided on Kauai based on the very useful info on these forums. Koa Kea has a nice offer on their website with base price for daily b'fast + $50 daily resort credit...think its an awesome deal...

Now that I have a plan, I can't seem to get over these insane airline prices! RT from San diego to LIH (Apr 17-21) is upward of $700 !! I am tempted to wait...but worried that it will only get worse. Help!

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
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57 reviews
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1. Re: Insane airline prices!

Last summer, we paid $700 RT LAX-LIH. About average over the past several years. THIS summer, we paid less than $600 RT LAX-LIH. I booked both trips via a travel agent in California. The Travel Agents seem to be getting better rates on both airfare and rental cars.

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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483 reviews
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2. Re: Insane airline prices!

I have noticed that air prices are really high this spring. Personally, I cannot imagine it getting any worse than $700 from the West Coast but who knows? However, your choice of Koa Kea is a definite winner.

San Diego...
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5,801 posts
50 reviews
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3. Re: Insane airline prices!

There was an article in an online newspaper re what the airlines are doing right from the shareholder's perspective. They've held down the # of seats such that planes are full and prices stay up.

The days of $350 seats from the west coast to Hawaii being typical seem to be over. Those Alaska Air specials this spring were indeed special.

That said, I'm a bit surprised at fare prices to the Caribs in May. <$1000 from LIH to Caribs and back from NY.

Might want to try to re-book your original ticket.

Edmonds, Washington
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2,363 posts
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4. Re: Insane airline prices!

$426 RT SEA to LIH 5/4/11 - 5/17/11 on Hawaiian quoted today.

Flexible dates and booking a head can still get you a decent price.

Edited: 26 January 2011, 09:17
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2,832 posts
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5. Re: Insane airline prices!

It would probably be more cost effective to purchase your ticket from Mass. try doing a multi-city purchase??

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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9,605 posts
53 reviews
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6. Re: Insane airline prices!

Last time there were "sane" prices they were offered by ATA and Aloha. Perhaps if they had charged what it cost to actually operate they would still be in business.

Since this appears to be a flexable trip do some more shopping around, check mid week flights etc. Specials do pop up now and then but nowhere near like they used to.

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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15,578 posts
71 reviews
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7. Re: Insane airline prices!


I agree with the others.. the overall *odds* that you're going to see real cheap fares on a regular basis is just not high.. Of course, 'cheap' is relative..

While AS and HA have added a fair amount of new mainland capacity to the marketplace, you do also have to subtract what AQ's demise took away.. but the the end, that's still a nett gain to the market.. so that's a plus for air fare competitiveness.

My thought is that so long these sectors stay with load factors better than 80% to 85% I suspect they'll be able to maintain this capacity *and* maintain a fair amount of pricing power over it... It's when you start to drop into the 70's and lower that price cutting become prevalent in order to fill seats.. but historically, the service to Hawai;i is a strong, albeit leisure, market.

The other issue that does not bode well for lower air fares is the rise (and continued rise) of oil prices.. We've already seen a number of upward adjustments to fuel surcharges this year alone and add to that three general fare hikes that have (so far) held.

All said, I think that the days of what we remember as "cheap" fares are not returning anytime in the immediate near future.. You'll have to be watching carefully for short-term fare sales or get creative with your planes.

Travel Safe,

Milwaukie, Oregon
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4,097 posts
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8. Re: Insane airline prices!

Sadly, Kauai is usually the most expensive island for flights. Do you think you could be happy on Maui? Flights are generally $200 or so less to Maui, RT. It's one of the main reasons I visit that island more frequently. From my home airport it is often even cheaper to fly to Maui than to Oahu. Checking a couple of April date on Hawaiian Airlines from San Diego, it appears that Maui is the cheapest destination. I love Kauai, but fortunately I also love Maui!

Carlsbad, CA
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for Carlsbad
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9. Re: Insane airline prices!

Whether we like it or not oil prices, and thus jet fuel prices, are going to continue to go up at a much faster pace than our wages. Unfortunately, unlike the semiconductor business, the technology to maximize efficiency of air travel isn't going to get us there any cheaper or faster.

Think about it ... during the big recession all of the hotels cut their prices and all of the airlines raised their prices. Hawaii will, with each passing year, become less available to a growing percentage of the population who will not be able to afford the airfare. As the number of customers drops, so will capacity.

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10. Re: Insane airline prices!

Not to hijack the thread but this is sort of related- as for waiting to see prices drop or buying now- when is usually the best time to purchase a flight?

We're going in September and I'd like to book it within a few months. April for chitrasri seems like cutting it close (but like he said, he's on business to CA and tacked on HI so there's no going back in time). Probably best for him to buy now but who knows.

When's the best time?