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Guesses on summer air fares??

Alpinista

100+ Posts
What are your thoughts on airline prices being discounted to encourage sales if the travel industry continues to be affected by the coronavirus? I just checked the United site for flights from Dulles to Rome and they are actually a little higher now than they were a couple of weeks ago. We already got a great price for our May trip a few months ago, but haven't bought our September flights yet.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
If I had to guess, I would say that fares will go up if things get really worse due to CV. If air traffic drops significantly due to people not traveling and some countries restricting incoming flights, then the airlines will mothball planes and layoff flight crews. The flights remaining will be in high demand and fares will be at a premium.

But that's just my guess.
 

joe

500+ Posts
If I had to guess, I would say that fares will go up if things get really worse due to CV.

I'm guessing too, but I'd wager that by summer, some of the present hysteria will have calmed down, bringing prices back to what they usually are. So both in NoSpin's scenario and mine - even though we interpret things differently - you might be better off purchasing tickets today. Maybe I'm overly optimistic.

I'm in the same dilemma, and can't even purchase "Cancel for Any Reason" insurance, because of the fact that Italy has been removed from the list of valid countries. I'm leaning to purchasing now and taking my chances (although our tickets are relatively cheaper than trans-Atlantic ones of course). In my case prices have gone a bit down since I started checking about a month ago.
 
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RojBlake

10+ Posts
I think it's incredibly difficult to predict what's going to happen with air fares. I instinctively agree with NoSpin that fares are unlikely to fall and that if they feel they need to do something, airlines will be more inclined to cut heir expenses back where they can and try to weather what will likely be a temporary storm.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
Well, this will teach all of you to NOT listen to me! :D

Those people who still wish or need to travel, however, may find themselves the beneficiaries of the deep discounts currently being offered across the sector.

The biggest discounts in international airfares were being seen between Australia and the US, Haydn Long from Flight Centre told Guardian Australia.


Here's the whole article -

 

joe

500+ Posts
Those people who still wish or need to travel, however, may find themselves the beneficiaries of the deep discounts currently being offered across the sector.

Interesting, but I have not witnessed this while playing the waiting game with the purchase of my tickets. For October to Italy, on a certain EasyJet flight that I have been considering, prices have not really changed significantly over the past two months that I have been checking - fluctuations of a few tens of dollars up and down.
I would have purchased already if not for the global uncertainty.
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
The United fare direct from Dulles to Rome has gone up by about $500 (business) since I posted the note above. However, there are now fares showing up for about 35% of the direct flight cost if you connect through Frankfurt. We tried that last year and were delayed out of DC; missed our flight out of Frankfurt; arrived at the spa in Italy we had booked for our rest day at 11 PM, so ended up with an expensive bed for the night. Just continuing to be uncertain as to next steps.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
One factor that is helping out airlines is the cost of jet fuel. Prices have been falling and in fact took a deep dive today.

A piece of useless information when you are trying to book a flight from your place to East Podunk. :D

......... arrived at the spa in Italy we had booked for our rest day at 11 PM, so ended up with an expensive bed for the night.
Oh boy, I could tell you quite a story along those lines. Instead of arriving in Nice at noon, we arrived at midnight ....... and that's where the mess just started. :(
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
Oh boy, I could tell you quite a story along those lines. Instead of arriving in Nice at noon, we arrived at midnight ....... and that's where the mess just started. :(

Always love good stories -- a little deviation from the thread is never a bad thing.
 

JMichael

10+ Posts
In case you're still looking at fares, I just received an email from United regarding how they are responding to the virus outbreak. They went into cleaning procedures and the like. They also stated, "when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination."
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
In case you're still looking at fares, I just received an email from United regarding how they are responding to the virus outbreak. They went into cleaning procedures and the like. They also stated, "when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination."

I saw that. Think I'm ready to book the low $$ connection from Dulles through Frankfurt, but just need to convince myself that the 1 hour 45 minute time between planes is going to get me there. As above, we always do a stop on the way from Rome to Lucca upon arrival and want to enjoy our spa day in San Casciano instead of waiting in Frankfurt for a rebooked flight ;-)
 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
On the other hand, View from the Wing story: it used to be that United fares were eligible for a refund on a schedule change of at least two hours. They've just made it that the schedule change needs to be at least 25 hours.
 

Mom83

100+ Posts
On the other hand, View from the Wing story: it used to be that United fares were eligible for a refund on a schedule change of at least two hours. They've just made it that the schedule change needs to be at least 25 hours.
25 hours?!? That is ridiculous! I can understand increasing it to anything from 4-6 hours, but an entire day?
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
Apologies for running a string of posts on this topic -- fare for direct flight had risen (leaving September 8) from $6,000 to $7,000 over the span of about 6 weeks, but today is listed at $4,500. Still cheaper to fly a connection through Frankfurt or Munich, but pulled the trigger on the direct fare so as to have more peace of mind absent connections and an earlier arrival (see "spa" above and insert smiley face).
 

Pati

10+ Posts
I bought a United round trip to Rome for departure on Sept. 14 for $663. Of course it was one of those very basic deals and I had to add $63 to be able to chose a seat, and because I’m staying awhile , my sister in law, whose a United Flyer, is going to check my bigger bag on the way over. Who knows how much it will cost to bring it home. Then came the announcement about the March 1 change waivers, etc. , so I called to see if they were extending that courtesy to those who booked earlier, (a 55 minute wait for an agent, made worse by having to listen to whoever turned Gershwin’s beautiful music into that trashy theme ), and was told to call back near the 31st or check the website to see if it changes. I think many things are going to change before September, so I’ll hang on.
 

Tbk

10+ Posts
Being ever optimistic about my September trip to Italy, I nabbed a $582 RT SFO-LHR. Lowest I have seen for a while. Fingers crossed things calm down by then.
 

Alpinista

100+ Posts
Next question is, "What are your Italy plans for this year?" We haven't canceled anything yet (first trip scheduled for May 11; second one for September 6). The fallback for the May trip is to try to get there by June 1 since we then have a number of reservations in place for a side trip to Berlin. In addition to trying to judge the lifting of restrictions in Italy, also looking at the conflicting medical and political directions we're seeing here at home. One thing my wife and I plan to do is to ask her relatives and our friends in our village what they think the sentiment would be for us to show up -- very concerned that no one wants to see outsiders coming into the midst of their post-lockdown environment who might potentially be bringing in the virus. Right now, thinking we're at about a 20% chance of going in May; 30% for June; 80% for September, but all of those could drop to zero depending on circumstances.
 

joe

500+ Posts
Next question is, "What are your Italy plans for this year?"

We have accommodations booked for early October in Italy - an AirBnB host who I am in contact with directly, not using the site. He has agreed lately to hold the apt. for us pretty much indefinitely, even though I have warned him that the chances of us making the trip are pretty slim. He's been very nice about it, has not asked for any type of down payment, and I really appreciate this.
I've been following the flight ticket prices, but haven't purchased anything yet. Except for small fluctuations and the dynamics of the somewhat volatile currency exchange rates, the price of the flight we're looking at has not really changed much since I started checking in January, and is still being offered (EasyJet).

But to tell the truth, I believe that there is no way we will be making the trip. I still don't see how we will be able to take a chance of getting infected with the virus, with no known treatments or vaccines on the horizon. I am even supposing that we - like many others - will still be practising some level of social distancing in our daily routines, until there are more definite medical answers. I don't think that by October the data available will enable to calmly go back to life as it was in pre-corona times. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my best guess right now.

The only possible way out, perhaps, is getting inadvertently infected if/when the lockdowns are eased, and hopefully having mild symptoms. That way we'll at least know that we can maybe allow ourselves to get sick, like we do with the flu. Most models are predicting that 60-70 percent of the world's population will get it eventually. Even then, there would have to be answers about if one indeed develops immunity this way to the current virus, and if there are new mutations going around.

What a mess. Too many unknowns.
 
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Sharon J

100+ Posts
Our trip to Italy, starting on May 19th, Savannah to JFK to Paris, ending in Naples, will likely be cancelled. However, we are waiting a few more weeks before changing anything. We were staying a few nights in Positano, then driving to Montepulciano for our normal week stay at Sant'Antonio, returning home on Saturday, May 30th. We have already had Nico pencil us in for October, just in case. At this point, I'm not sure October will be safe. We live in South Carolina, which is prone to Hurricanes late summer, early fall. so a bit limited to months of the year we can travel to Europe. We had to hurry home from France a few years ago, to pick up our pets, and evacuate. We actually live on an island, and if they close the bridge, we are stuck. No one will come to rescue us....much too dangerous for them.

We are now at the age, where we don't know how many trips we can still take in the future. This has been very upsetting, especially for me, as who knows what is in store health wise! Guess we just wait and see how this goes.
 

Tbk

10+ Posts
I have 3 weeks scheduled at beginning of September. 1 week in Bologna, 1 week Tuscany and 1 week Piedmont. Two of those weeks are with a walking tour, it will be interesting to see if they cancel. Luckily all of my non-tour accommodation can be cancelled. And I have insurance for the tour, although if they cancel it would be refunded. I have already been to all of those places but would be meeting my friends there for our yearly vacation. It would have been difficult a month ago to imagine the world today. Even harder to predict what will happen travel-wise with the world in the fall. As someone with unrelenting wanderlust, don't feel much like traveling at the moment
 

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