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Old 04.02.2010, 14:24
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Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

Hello,

I plan to fly to London in May. There are threads in EF discussing about SWISS or Easyjet or Air France flight for London from Zurich. For me, I just want to fly the cheapest way and I guess I just have to compare the dates individually. SWISS seems to be the cheapest, if we consider the fact that they fly to London City Airport instead of Gatwick and so for Easyjet. However it still large depends on the availability of offers.

My question about SWISS is...how early should one book the flight ahead? I mean if I find now a Economy Saver price, is it the cheapest possible or maybe I should wait for special offers on wednesdays or so?

Of course if you would like to add more about the best flight to London from Switzerland, I would love to hear your experiences. Do you have other options or maybe if it is cheaper to fly from let's saf Friedrichshafen in German? I mean who else should I ask if not the many english-speaking expats here that may travel to London regularly? :-) I don't care much about the comfort or chocolate, just maybe the departure time shouldn't be too early. (Some Easyjet flights leave at 7am or what. I am wondering if I just hav to overnight at the airport?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 04.02.2010, 14:31
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

I always fly Swiss because they are reliable and their prices are good and fair as long as you are flexible about what time you fly. More often than not it is cheaper to fly to LHR rather than LCY but then you need to take into account the cost of getting to and from LHR.

I find the earlier you book the better price you can lock in. For example I have already bought my sons tickets for the next 3 school holidays.
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Old 04.02.2010, 14:32
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

In general, airlines price tickets by demand. The more people book, the higher goes the price. So if you are the first to book, you typically get the best price. Unless of course nobody wants the same date as yours, so it would get cheaper. Or the marketing guys had too much red and decide to rund a campaign for city trips to london... or...

Generally: There is nothing, really nothing in marketing as intransparent as air fee prices. I even had a lecture on it as an example where it went too far for customers to understand what they are paying for. My bet would still be on booking early. If you wait you basically bet on a chance of a special offer. If it does not come, you will have to pay a higher price.
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Old 04.02.2010, 14:33
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

Take a punt on a date in the far future with EJ for some inexpensive fares. If there needs to be a change of dates then you will have to pay the admin charges and any difference in price of the flights.

Last edited by tiny_tim; 04.02.2010 at 14:48.
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Old 04.02.2010, 14:46
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

EasyJet operates a fairly straightforward pricing model where the first tranche of seats on any given flight are the cheapest and the last few seats are the most expensive. This defintely makes pre-booking in advance a good option. On the other hand the likes of Swiss, BA etc.. have standard rack fares, but then on an almost daily basis they apply/remove discounts which causes a lot more fluctuation in pricing. So for Easyjet the price of your seat will usually only ever go up (unless there is a major EJ promotion), but with Swiss/BA et al it could go up as well as down.
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Old 04.02.2010, 16:14
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

Yes, over the years I still could not figure out the best strategy for flight booking. I just hate the feeling after you buy the ticket, the airlines decide to launch some special offer or what and voila the rules of buy-early-is-good does not apply anymore. But as said, there can be no offers too. If only there is someone working in the marketing department for SWISS or Easyjet here? :-)

Btw, for London, how much is flying to London City Airport worth compared to flying to Gatwick/Stansted and co.? I mean if flying to London City Airport is 50 CHF more expensive, would you still do it? I know the bus from Gatwick, Stansted is more than 10 GBP or something like that while one can reach City Airport with a normal London Travel Card? And does the time saving justify the preference to fly to City Airport? If yes then Easyjet seems no match for SWISS as the price really not much difference (if it does, the flight with easyjet is in the wee hours of morning...)
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Old 04.02.2010, 23:58
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

I have used Aer Lingus and Swiss. For me, that only leaves Swiss via London City now that Aer Lingus are stopping their routes.

I am not a fan of the budget airlines such as Easy Jet as the prices can increase due to all the extras. That was the case with Aer Lingus to a lesser extent.

At least with Swiss you know up front exactly what the overall price is. Apart from distance from Central London, London City also has the advantage of quicker/easier access than Gatwick.

If you are quite flexible on the date/day of the week, and price is important, it is probably worth waiting till nearer the time to look for bargains.
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Old 05.02.2010, 00:11
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

Murphy's law applies. If you do not buy them today, all airlines will increase the price considerably tomorrow. If you buy them today, they all will have sales. You can't win..
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Old 05.02.2010, 09:18
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Re: Should I book my flight to London early (3 months before)?

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Murphy's law applies. If you do not buy them today, all airlines will increase the price considerably tomorrow. If you buy them today, they all will have sales. You can't win..

HA HA!! This is sooooooo true. The price of one of my tickets actually increased during the booking process with Easyjet. I was ordering whilst on the phone to a friend who was also booking. She entered her card details faster than me and hit buy and then when i hit buy i was informed the cost of the seat had gone up 5. What a joke!
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