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Luggage Transfer Correos

Long Haul Flights - How Far Ahead Do You Book?

How Far in Advance Do You Book to get the Cheapest Long Hail Flight Prices?

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  • Total voters
    30
2020 Camino Guides

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I need to pay more attention I think to getting better deals on flights.
To keep 'the boss' happy :oops:

So I'm curious to know if there is a 'sweet spot' in terms of how far out you book your long haul flights?

For those living in Europe you have a wide choice of discount airlines and some great deals.

But for those of us living further away, it can be a considerable cost just to get to Madrid, or Paris or another 'port of entry.
From Australia for example it's hard to get a return flight under $2,000. Or maybe I've just been doing it wrong!

So in your experience of booking 'long haul' flights, i.e. starting outside Europe, How Far Ahead Do You Book to get the cheapest fares?
.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
It really depends upon "where" you are departing; who you are prepared to fly with; are you prepared to accept stopovers or do you want a "straight-through" flight. Me I usually book 3-6 months in advance if paying; if I am trying to use a combo of cash and miles I start looking 9 months in advance. Hope this helps. Cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2020
I need to pay more attention I think to getting better deals on flights.
To keep 'the boss' happy :oops:

So I'm curious to know if there is a 'sweet spot' in terms of how far out you book your long haul flights?

For those living in Europe you have a wide choice of discount airlines and some great deals.

But for those of us living further away, it can be a considerable cost just to get to Madrid, or Paris or another 'port of entry.
From Australia for example it's hard to get a return flight under $2,000. Or maybe I've just been doing it wrong!

So in your experience of booking 'long haul' flights, i.e. starting outside Europe, How Far Ahead Do You Book to get the cheapest fares?
.
I usually book mine as soon as they drop into the system, around 11 months out. Mostly to help with organisation of everything else, and just because I’m so excited to be off somewhere again!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
So in your experience of booking 'long haul' flights, i.e. starting outside Europe, How Far Ahead Do You Book to get the cheapest fares?
I am heading in the opposite direction tomorrow - Dubai, Japan and then Australia. I am a great fan of the Kayak.com flight comparison site. One of its very useful features is the "Explore" option which allows you to specify your starting airport and budget and then displays the cheapest flights already found in other peoples' searches to a large number of destinations around the world. It may suggest a routing you had not considered before at a low price. For my journey beginning tomorrow I found a possible route on Kayak and then booked it direct through the Emirates website six months in advance because I thought it unlikely that I would find anything significantly cheaper than the £750 / AUS $1400 I paid to travel London - Dubai, Dubai - Osaka, Tokyo - Sydney and Adelaide - London with three weeks in Japan and six weeks in Australia.
 

anthikes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2018 Portuguese
2019 VDLP
I have booked long haul flights literally the day before and got great deals. This high risk strategy would not work for normal folk (I am currently a full time traveller so extremely flexible and probably not normal, lol).

I read that booking about 6 weeks before can often throw up some great deals and is a bit of a sweet spot for airline sales.

Try and actually buy the ticket midweek rather the weekend when most book. I mean making the actual transaction - flying weekends is more too, of course.

I always book direct with the airline and use Google flights. Skyscanner is not as good as it use to be for some reason.

Also consider long haul budget airlines like Scoot and make up your own itinerary, if you have time.

If money is no object then ignore my post!

If you are booking during christmas then also ignore my advice, but book as early as possible.
 

Walli Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances '2009',Portuguese '2015', Ingles '2015', Fin and Muxia '2015'. Camino from Granada '2017'.
Hi Robo, coming from Australia hurts. Both in terms of money & jetlag! It usually costs me about $1350 - $1550 Aussie dollars return. I like to book about 8 months in advance (I love the anticipation of a Camino) and go with whichever airline has the best deal that suits at the time. By the time I fly out I’ve forgotten that cost.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
When the flights first come out they often have a sale and that’s the sweet time to buy. BUT I’m still secretly hoping I’m going to find a last minute flight for late November at a ridiculous price and I’ll be tempted to announce to the family that I’ll see them at the end of January!
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
Last minute does not work very well, at least here in Europe. Most tickets are sold, so the airlines hope for last minute business flyers that are likely to pay more, not less than average. Like a month before should be OK, but real low cost tickets should be booked a few months before.

Airlines usually have same sweet spot every month, like celebration of St. Valentine, Mothers day, Black Friday... Sometimes even more regular like "bargaining weekends" or specials on Wednesday (or any other day) night.

To get the flights cheaper, you could go to Asia with one airline and continue with another to Europe/Spain.
Try major airports first and compare with local airports like Santiago later.
SYD - MAD is about 1200Aus$ (seen with google flights for June 2019). Sometimes the travel time for such price will be 48h, but 30-35h is also shown. 24h travel starts from 1500Aus$
Santiago adds e.g. 300Aus$. Most of the time you'll get a better price if you look for land transportation in Spain/Portugal.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I'm in oz too. ..royal brunei typically have melb lond melb for just under $1000. I was very late this year but still paid only $1200. Then booked lond granada madr lond for $220
 

RedRuby

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2017)
Le Puy to SJPP (Sept 2019)
Coming from Oz I book early, this time 8 months in advance. I have noticed they are getting very expensive within 6 months of the travel date. I booked during a travel expo... what a joke! Still expensive and nothing particularly special. Only upside was a brief stop in Singapore. I go on WebJet then compare with individual airlines. I try and book online to save booking fees. Sometimes Flight Centre have deals for free stopovers that aren't available online. Just depends on your time, how many stopovers and airline preference. My long haul flight experiences and jet lag have taught me to be air line and stop over selective. I don't fly on a Friday, weekend or a Monday, these flights are more expensive. I also book my interEurope flights on line and got a good deal booking directly with British Airways recently.
 

Viggen

Vigo
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
I need to pay more attention I think to getting better deals on flights.
To keep 'the boss' happy :oops:

So I'm curious to know if there is a 'sweet spot' in terms of how far out you book your long haul flights?

For those living in Europe you have a wide choice of discount airlines and some great deals.

But for those of us living further away, it can be a considerable cost just to get to Madrid, or Paris or another 'port of entry.
From Australia for example it's hard to get a return flight under $2,000. Or maybe I've just been doing it wrong!

So in your experience of booking 'long haul' flights, i.e. starting outside Europe, How Far Ahead Do You Book to get the cheapest fares?
.
I just tested online booking flight from Sydney Australia to Madrid and back for Sep. 25, return after 35 days. It came to $1003 USD. Can you do the same?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
With fuel prices going up, there will be more pressure on air fares. From the US, booking seats with miles becomes possible 10 months out. Unfortunately this means waiting until the homeward-bound leg is within that window, by which time many of the better options have already been taken for the outbound leg.
 

tomishy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2019
I need to pay more attention I think to getting better deals on flights.
To keep 'the boss' happy :oops:

So I'm curious to know if there is a 'sweet spot' in terms of how far out you book your long haul flights?

For those living in Europe you have a wide choice of discount airlines and some great deals.

But for those of us living further away, it can be a considerable cost just to get to Madrid, or Paris or another 'port of entry.
From Australia for example it's hard to get a return flight under $2,000. Or maybe I've just been doing it wrong!

So in your experience of booking 'long haul' flights, i.e. starting outside Europe, How Far Ahead Do You Book to get the cheapest fares?
.
We flew launceston tasmania to paris $1248 return booked september 2018 for april 2019 departure :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
One of its very useful features is the "Explore" option which allows you to specify your starting airport and budget and then displays the cheapest flights already found in other peoples' searches to a large number of destinations around the world.
I use this site a lot and like it a lot. But I ever knew about that option...thanks, @Bradypus !
buy the ticket midweek rather the weekend when most book
Didn't know this either...

Like @anthikes, I travel a lot, and normally end up having to book a month or two in advance. So I can't really answer your question, Rob. But just to agree that kayak.com is a wonderful resource.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
So I'm curious to know if there is a 'sweet spot' in terms of how far out you book your long haul flights?For those living in Europe you have a wide choice of discount airlines and some great deals.
Hi Robo
I'm a Scoot Airlines convert. They fly fm Gold Coast or other OZ cities, via Singapore, to either Athens (spent 10days there last year on the way up) or Berlin.
A$700 return Athens, A$800 to Berlin.
Then about A$300 return will get me to Spain or anywhere in Europe.
Scoot is a discount carrier, but all extra classes & services are available at extra cost. Close watching of fares show best to book 4 months ahead of departure.
Regards
Gerard
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I've watched the prices for my flights to Bayonne for almost half a year.
They varied around 30% for the average price with a premium carrier.
Even the so called "low cost" carriers got sometimes higher prices than the carrier I did choose.

I will fly to Paris, change the airport and after that I fly to Bayonne, both flights with AirFrance from my Hometown in northern Germany. I've booked the flights 2,5 months prior to my Camino. I did pay 186€ for both flights.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 
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Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Can you do the same?
Easily ;)
Depart Melb. 25/9 ...return 29/10

Virgin [ 787/900 Dreamliner] $1260 [ $870 US ]
***Qatar [ A380 ] $1460 [$1000 US ]
Both with one short stopover.
 

Northernlights

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
I booked my flight for my Camino Portugués about two months ago. Coming from the arctic circle through to BARCELONA, using my air dollars it is just under 2000 CADfor two people. If I had done cash only, for one person would have been about 3400.00 CAD
 

Viggen

Vigo
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
Easily ;)
Depart Melb. 25/9 ...return 29/10

Virgin [ 787/900 Dreamliner] $1260 [ $870 US ]
***Qatar [ A380 ] $1460 [$1000 US ]
Both with one short stopover.
Try Multicity, Melb-Madrid. Then return, SDC to Melb. In most cases it is cheaper, plus you save transportation from SDC to Madrid. I got $833 USD. Qatar/Norwegian
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Try Multicity, Melb-Madrid. Then return, SDC to Melb. In most cases it is cheaper, plus you save transportation from SDC to Madrid. I got $833 USD. Qatar/Norwegian
We stay away for 8-10 weeks and normally have a stop over in Asia on the way back.
Qatar allows us the opportunity of many "departure" airports on the way home.
We love the 7.....7.....7 hour flights going home , thus the stop over.
Norwegian and Korean we have used prior and were very happy with them .
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I've noticed some have quoted cheap airfares from oz but I'm guessing they are getting quotes from outside oz. My experience has been that airlines align fares to your isp location. Friends in the uk have looked at same routes as me and got much cheaper fares...the qatar flight is a case in point...at least 50% dearer if i booked that in oz
 

Viggen

Vigo
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
Try Multicity, Melb-Madrid. Then return, SDC to Melb. In most cases it is cheaper, plus you save transportation from SDC to Madrid. I got $833 USD. Qatar/Norwegian
Very nice.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
Depends on the time of year too. When we flew last yer in April, I booked in the October sales the year before - around $5K to 2 adults, 2 chn. This yer we are going in December - the travel agent said we wouldnt get anything under $2K a head due to the Christmas Holidays. I booked in January this year - 12 months to the date of our return! 3 adults and 1 child (over 12 years is an adult!!) and paid around $7K which apparently was very good.

We fly Melbourne-CDG-Madrid-Melbourne

The October sales in Oz are generally pretty good.
 

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