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LisaLisa87

Flights to MIA and FLL - $$$

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Hi everyone. We'll be sailing on the NCL Epic out of Miami in April, over DD's spring break. I realize that's a heavy travel period, but I'm still shocked by the air prices I'm seeing. We live in the DC area and have 3 airports we can fly out of, and we can fly into either MIA or FLL. I've been watching for a few months now, and prices keep hovering around $700/person. That seems really high to me! Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

 

This is the first time I've passed final payment for a cruise and not had flights booked, and I'm nervous. I'm wondering whether I should bite the bullet and buy now to make sure we get the best flight times or wait a little longer to see if prices come down. Any input appreciated!

Edited by LisaLisa87

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I would also price out flights into. Orlando (MCO) or even Tampa.  About a 3.5+ hour drive from Orlando to POM, closer to 5 hours from TPA.

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I have no idea what/where you are searching, but I'm suspicious it not coach seats.  Try different days.  Don't insist on non stop.  Don't insist on a specific airline.  Look at hacker fares.   Be flexible in your arrival and departure times.

 

I did a quick flexible search for April 15-23.  Here are the results with MUCH  lower fares. https://www.kayak.com/flights/WAS-FLL/2020-04-15-flexible-3days/2020-04-22-flexible-3days?skipapp=true

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7 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

I have no idea what/where you are searching, but I'm suspicious it not coach seats.  Try different days.  Don't insist on non stop.  Don't insist on a specific airline.  Look at hacker fares.   Be flexible in your arrival and departure times.

 

I did a quick flexible search for April 15-23.  Here are the results with MUCH  lower fares. https://www.kayak.com/flights/WAS-FLL/2020-04-15-flexible-3days/2020-04-22-flexible-3days?skipapp=true

 

I'm looking at coach departing 4/3 and returning 4/11. Lots of airlines. We have to leave in the evening on 4/3 (work and school that day) and we need to be home no later than early evening on 4/11. I realize that doesn't leave a ton of room for flexibility, but we've flown to those airports with similar parameters many times and I've never seen prices this high. I'll try again, looking at other airports and paying more attention to flights with connections -- which we usually avoid if at all possible!

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2 hours ago, capriccio said:

Have you also checked your cruiseline air program?

 

I hadn't thought of that since reduced air wasn't offered for this sailing. I may call just to get pricing, but we don't have a lot of flexibility this time, especially when it comes to our departure day. 

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50 minutes ago, JohninDC said:

I would also price out flights into. Orlando (MCO) or even Tampa.  About a 3.5+ hour drive from Orlando to POM, closer to 5 hours from TPA.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I like flying into Orlando, but I don't think we can make that work this time due to the distance. 

39 minutes ago, tompeter said:

Also look at West Palm.... 

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look at flights in/out of PBI. 

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Southwest has 3 seats at $532 round trip on your dates.

8:50p - 11:30p  BWI-FLL

8:30p - 12:45a  FLL-BWI

 

Delta has seats as follows for $494 p/p

Apr 3   DCA to FLL   7:53a - 1:38p  (2h 30m layover)

Apr 11  PBI to BWI   4:20p - 9:38p   (1h 41m layover)

 

What is causing this route to price high is the afternoon departure on 4/11.

 

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You may also want to consider pricing each direction as a one-way flight, using one airline southbound, and a different airline on the return.

 

On the southbound flights, jetblue has nonstops DCA to PBI for $224. and one-stops DCA to PBI for $179 p/p.

 

The 4:20 pm from PBI to BWI I mentioned earlier is pricing at $209 p/p one-way.

 

These 2 combined would give you a round-trip price of $388 p/p.

 

Edited by loanshark

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45 minutes ago, loanshark said:

United also has a 6:40p - 9:13p non-stop FLL to IAD on the return date for $255 p/p.

 

Thank you for taking the time to price various options! I’ll take a look at these and try to think more creatively!

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For our upcoming cruise during my kids winter break, I was running into the same issue. $600-700 roundtrip from ATL to FLL. I started pricing out one ways using different airlines and airport combinations. We will be flying down to PBI on  Delta at $66 and returning from FLL on Spirit at $59. 
 

Another thing we were running into was expensive hotels in the Ft Lauderdale area. Even a crappy Ramada was over $250pp plus taxes, making it close to $300 a night. Hotels along the lines of Hilton/Marriott etc were pushing $400 a night. Since we are flying into PBI, I looked at hotels up there and booked the Embassy Suites by the PBI airport for $125 plus taxes.
 

Get creative. Good luck! 

Edited by Tapi

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2 minutes ago, Tapi said:

For our upcoming cruise during my kids winter break, I was running into the same issue. $600-700 roundtrip from ATL to FLL. I started pricing out one ways using different airlines and airport combinations. We will be flying down to PBI on  Delta at $66 and returning from FLL on Spirit at $59. 
 

Get creative. Good luck! 

 

That’s inspiring! I’m going to try again tomorrow using all these suggestions. 

 

Thank you to all who’ve replied!

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1 minute ago, LisaLisa87 said:

 

If only it wasn’t a 15+ hour drive!

 

Doable.  What's your time worth! 😃

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1 hour ago, LisaLisa87 said:

 

If only it wasn’t a 15+ hour drive!

 

Having lived in Arlington and driven to our condo half an hour north of Port Everglades many times,  the + in your 15+ hours estimate could be additional hours especially since you would be leaving on a Friday evening after school and work.  Getting to Fredericksburg alone during a Friday rush hour - especially if that is the beginning of spring break for lots of school districts - can take a couple of hours.  It would take me more than half the cruise to recover and then I would spend the second half dreading the return trip.  I hope you can find  reasonable air fare!

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Kayak does a really good search that finds those one way flights using different airlines - that's what I was talking about when I mentioned "hacker" fares.  But remember that SW will not show up on kayak (or virtually any other consolidator search engine).

 

A couple of other suggestions if I may? 

 

Don't book thru any search engine.  Go directly to the airline website and purchase your tickets from there.  Much safer if you have problems like a missed connection or cancelled flight.

 

When you go to the airline website (especially if you're searching on the airline websites), eventually you'll notice that prices and or seats have suddenly disappeared.   You think to yourself "damn, somebody else just bought those seats."  Now, open another browser and go to the airline website.  More often than not, the seats and prices will magically reappear.   The airline sites are very smart - particularly the legacy airline sites.

 

If you cant get a non stop and have to change planes, try really, really hard to just bring carry on.  Having a lost bag the night before a cruise departure usually means you're not getting your bag until the cruise is over.  If you MUST check bags, cross pack with other family members, put your name, cell number AND email address on the outside and inside of the bag.  No home address.  Also put a copy of your itinerary and name of the ship inside the bag.  (But honestly, for a 7 day cruise, everyone should be able to just use a carry on.)

 

Have a wonderful time - and next year, schedule your family's cruise for summer break instead of spring break.  🙂

 

 

 

Edited by jkgourmet

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I did Quick search for hotels for april 3 but CC blocked my link.  🤒  Using booking dot com and limiting my search to only hotels, sorting low to high.  Plenty of budget but acceptable choices.  Note that I only searched for one room for two adults.  You'll have to change the parameters for your needs.  You'll save yourself tons of aggravation (and probably money) if you give up on "family" rooms.   Put four people in a single room with two double/queen/king beds.  Or buy separate rooms.  Don't sweat finding a hotel with a port shuttle because uber/Lyft is easy and cheap.  

 

Again, check the hotel site before booking thru a consolidator - though I've often found that booking.com DOES have cheaper prices.  I've never had a problem with anything booked with them.  (Dont get me started on Travelocity.  That company is schlocky.)

 

Were it me, I'd make those hotel reservations NOW.  Non- refundable will often be cheaper.  

Edited by jkgourmet

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On 12/13/2019 at 3:34 PM, LisaLisa87 said:

Hi everyone. We'll be sailing on the NCL Epic out of Miami in April, over DD's spring break. I realize that's a heavy travel period, but I'm still shocked by the air prices I'm seeing. We live in the DC area and have 3 airports we can fly out of, and we can fly into either MIA or FLL. I've been watching for a few months now, and prices keep hovering around $700/person. That seems really high to me! Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

 

This is the first time I've passed final payment for a cruise and not had flights booked, and I'm nervous. I'm wondering whether I should bite the bullet and buy now to make sure we get the best flight times or wait a little longer to see if prices come down. Any input appreciated!

Likely due to Easter Sunday being April 12.  Possibly a busy weekend for travel.  My friends ran into this last year and flew back from Fort Myers. I had booked my flights early.  It was much cheaper for them to book a car and drive there for departure.

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The weeks before and after Easter tend to be busy for south Florida. 

 

Lots of relatives off for school breaks, etc

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Another thing to keep in mind when looking at flights is that all the airlines are missing the 737 MAX jets.

This is causing a severe plane shortage. It has just been announced that they will not be back in service any time soon.

Due to this I don't expect prices to drop.

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