So we are getting closer to being just over 1 yr + to our scheduled 20th Wedding Anniversary July 2014 safari. I have been camping out on various airline search websites to get a general idea of international airfare from Chicago to JRO. Turkish is always the cheapest but find their early arrivals to be less than desirable but doable for the savings over say KLM. Would love to experience the service of Emirates or Qatar but with the 2 of us, it appears to be price prohibitive.
What I am asking today is for advice on whether to book immediately when our last travel date passes the magical 331 waiting period for airline bookings or should we wait a little while longer to acquire better pricing? From some initial tests it appears hit or miss to really cheaper immediately to savings of about $300 more a ticket for some dates if you want another 30 days. Based on your own experience what were your findings and proximity to your travel dates that you locked in on? Right now rates can range from $1200 to $1800 for 2014 (mid-May to June) from what I can use for testing.
I know if we do Turkish I might as well factor in at min 1+ night lodging inbound + 1 day room outbound to my price comparison or even another full day lodging because of early am departure time. To complicate it more we are thinking of getting off for a 3-4 day stop in Europe (Venice or Paris) or Istanbul for those days homeward bound. Those stops can add about $200-$500 more but might be worth it to us. If Turkish Airline had a clue they would arrive around 8 or 10pm as KLM does and for that price would lock up in my opinion a greater mkt share of the North America traveler than they have. Darn it Turkish, change your flight schedule already for 2014 would you.
I do know that with the migration and our travel dates from mid-July to early Aug this is a very popular time so not sure I want to really wait too long and miss the limited "cheap seats" for our dates on either airline option. I also have the itch to get this booked and want it in the bag cause the project planner in me can't stand sitting idle on my "to do list"