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Airfare strategies??

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Cleveland, Ohio
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797 posts
28 reviews
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Airfare strategies??

Any strategies for obtaining airfare to KW at the most reasonable price? We're considering a March or April trip. Dates are flexible right now

We've always driven down from the mainland. Hoping to fly in next year.

Marathon, Florida
Destination Expert
for Marathon, Islamorada
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14,664 posts
33 reviews
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1. Re: Airfare strategies??

That is high season, so specials will be unlikely. Traveling on a Tues or Wed are your best bet.

key west
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3,350 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Airfare strategies??

I have cheaper airfares flying into Mia and out of kw rather than roundtrip to kw so you might want to consider the drive down and not worry about the time when leaving.

Syracuse NY
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570 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Airfare strategies??

I've become somewhat of a pro at this over the years. First of all, use Kayak.com, where you can see fares from most of the airlines that fly in to EYW. Then, use the flexible dates option +/- 3 days, then put in some dates. You'll get a nice grid that shows 49 different fares for all the arrival/departure dates. You canvery easily try a lot of different scenarios this way.

Once I get a feel for how the rates are going, I wait until I see them drop (it's usually sometime between a Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning) and then jump on the rate I want. Sometimes this takes several weeks, so it's good to start looking early and check it often.

Working with flexible dates is a great way to find an excellent fare. The past 3 trips from upstate NY (it takes 3 planes each way for us) have been $398 (last November), $298 (March 2011), and $368 coming up this November.

The multi-city option (i.e. fly into FLL or MIA, depart EYW) is another way to play it, if you want to rent a car and enjoy the drive down. We've done that too, but find that cost-wise, if we find the kind of great fares we've had lately, it costs less to fly into EYW that to rent the car, possibly stay a night up the keys, etc. We do love to do the drive and sometimes do as part of our trip, but for cost alone, not sure you really save.

Hope this is helpful!

Michigan
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905 posts
30 reviews
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4. Re: Airfare strategies??

Depending on where you're flying out of, and which airline, it can be cheaper to fly into FLL than MIA, by as much as $100/ticket. We used to be able to find good fares & schedules on AirTran, but since they merged with Southwest it costs more and takes a full day's worth of connections.

Gallatin, TN
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1,744 posts
24 reviews
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5. Re: Airfare strategies??

Yep...use the fare schedule available on all booking engines. Southwest to FLL is a good option. I found a better deal Delta 1 way to EYW then on the return AirTran to ATL. My boyfriend had free ticket on AirTran so we drove back from ATL. Not too bad. $323 RT

Montgomery, MN
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44 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Airfare strategies??

Now may be a good time for flying directly in...for us in Minnesota is was actually cheaper by about $80 to fly in directly to EYW vs driving from Miami for Feb 12-doesn't make any sense as we actually connect in Miami but whatever! lol...American Airlines doesn't always advertise on all travel sites so if they're an option for you, you may want to check their site separately.

charlotte
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27 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Airfare strategies??

Flights now from CLT to EYW for $236 thru July 2012 if your dates are flexible. I go a couple time a year and this is a great deal. Used Orbitz and their flexible dates option

NJ
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153 posts
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8. Re: Airfare strategies??

Sign up for a "Fare Alert" with TripAdvisor or any of the other travel sites. They will let you know when the fare drops. Also line to use Bing Travel. It has a tool that shows if it is a good time to buy or if they expect the price to drop or go up. Have to admit I usually just keep checking prices several times a day

Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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5,777 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Airfare strategies??

We fly from Chicago ORD to Key West via Miami. We choose American because they have so many daily flights to Miami and from Miami to EYW. Some of the flights are much less than others.

Also I do what Bluewater suggests and usually find better fares on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.

Central PA
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3,842 posts
59 reviews
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10. Re: Airfare strategies??

Check out Matrix by Google, used by many online travel sites,including Kayak and Trip Advisor, has some flexible search options as well

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Edited: 12 September 2011, 20:41