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Answers (5)

Should I wait to book my trip.

Should I wait to book my trip.

  1. Weymar Osborne

    I’m 17 years old and have been planning a trip to Nepal to be taken this summer for over a year now. Being 17 years old and not having a lot of money, I’ve been keeping an obsessive eye on fares (checking multiple times per day) including splitting up reservations between multiple airlines and transiting through more airports. Being an avid reader of the blog as well, I’ve been trying to figure how to earn the most credit card points and FFP elite/award miles with this trip; which on Asiana are pretty much the same thing. My plan was to fly from DAY/CMH-ORD on UA, ORD-ICN-BKK on OZ, and BKK-KTM on TG for about $2200. For an extra $300, I could make that last segment in business class which I was seriously considering because a.) it would be my first ever international premium cabin experience, and b.) the bonus miles I’d earn would put me over the qualification threshold for Asiana Club Diamond/Star Alliance Gold. Alternatively, I could fly Air India, which is the cheapest option for me but I consider a little less desirable because of a.) their bad reputation b.) I would earn about 5000 less miles c.) it’s only about $100 cheaper anyway.

    I’ve been holding off on buying my tickets because I wanted to be able to wait ’till my 18th birthday on May 15 to apply for a couple of credit cards and get the meaty sign-up bonuses on them. Of course, it’s very possible that I won’t be approved for some or all of the cards I want. If it helps, I’m probably going to apply for the SPG AmEx, a good airfare card like the Citi Premier (I’m already an authorized user on my mom’s Premier card.) or AmEx PRG, and then a long-term, no annual fee card like the Chase Freedom or Citi Double Cash. However, I was checking fares on Asiana’s website today and found that their ORD-ICN-BKK fare had gone up by almost $200. I’m earning the money for this trip working a minimum wage job so needless to say price is a very big factor for me. I don’t really know a whole lot about how airlines price their fares and how often they change, but I’m starting to think I should re-evaluate my whole approach and start piecing together an itinerary again from scratch. I don’t really want to wait even longer and have the price go up even more. Does anyone here have more experience with airline pricing algorithms and credit card approval processes?

  2. David W

    Airfare fluctuates pretty often and there isn’t a set schedule for when prices are the absolute cheapest. I think Kayak has some indicators and recommendations for when a particular route might be worth buying or waiting so definitely check that out. If you’ve been constantly looking at airfares, you should already have a general idea of what tickets may cost so I’d purchase when you find a particular fare affordable.

    In terms of crediting to OZ, have you checked out their earnings chart? Not all fare classes earn full miles. I’d also check other Star Alliance airline programs and see if crediting there is a better option. SQ Krisflyer might be a good choice.

    Since you’re just about to jump in to credit cards, I would start small, like get the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card first, build up some history before applying for more premium cards. I dont know your financial situation but the cards you listed all have an average of $3k spend before getting the bonus and that could be tough.

  3. Weymar Osborne

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 15903, member: 29″]Airfare fluctuates pretty often and there isn’t a set schedule for when prices are the absolute cheapest. I think Kayak has some indicators and recommendations for when a particular route might be worth buying or waiting so definitely check that out. If you’ve been constantly looking at airfares, you should already have a general idea of what tickets may cost so I’d purchase when you find a particular fare affordable.

    In terms of crediting to OZ, have you checked out their earnings chart? Not all fare classes earn full miles. I’d also check other Star Alliance airline programs and see if crediting there is a better option. SQ Krisflyer might be a good choice.

    Since you’re just about to jump in to credit cards, I would start small, like get the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card first, build up some history before applying for more premium cards. I dont know your financial situation but the cards you listed all have an average of $3k spend before getting the bonus and that could be tough.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks, I have checked OZ’s earning chart. Discounted economy (V,W) on TG doesn’t earn mileage but Q does and it’s really not all that much more expensive. J earns 125% . On AI, even discounted fares earn 100%, which I find kind of strange but am definitely not complaining about

    As for minimum spend on the cards, I’ll pay the program costs (just under $3000) with the SPG AmEx. When it comes to buying the tickets, the more I think about it, the more I feel I should get the AmEx PRG over the Citi Premier because the minimum spend for the PRG is only $2000, which I’ll easily clear buying tickets. Plus, I forgot about it when I wrote the original post but it seems the Premier isn’t even offering a sign-up bonus for the time being. Only problem is that that would leave me with two AmEx cards, which a lot of businesses don’t accept. That’s a reason why I’m looking at the Freedom/Double Cash in addition to the age of accounts/credit score thing.

  4. Gaurav

    [USER=1177]@Weymar Osborne[/USER], the most important factor for you should be building up your credit history and getting cards no or low fee cards that you will hold long term. So as [USER=29]@David W[/USER] suggests, I would consider cards like the Unlimited, the Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred, AmEx Everyday, Citi Preferred/Preferred for college students. Maybe ONE rewards card like the CSP or SPG (CSP preferably with your upcoming international travel expense and the ability to work in tandem with the freedom/unlimited).

    With regards to OZ the other factor to consider is how useful the miles will be long term. If you have a plan to use them relatively quickly that’s fine but SPG is the only transfer partner for Asiana and you may find it limiting to actually build up miles to actually make a redemption.

    With regards to airline pricing, as said above, no one knows exactly how they are going to go but as a general rule of thumb prices rise as you get closer to departure. The longer you wait the more you are likely to pay. Summer is almost here and it is a heavy travel season to boot so I would book my tickets sooner rather than later if I were you.

    Lastly, the BKK-KTM leg is blocked at 3:25 which means the flight is likely to be shorter. I’m not sure I could justify paying for a premium cabin for that short of a flight unless you have the money to spare and really want to experience it on this trip.

  5. David W

    TG BKK-KTM looks like it’s served by TG’s 777 with angle flat seats. It’s not something I’d pay a premium over, especially for a short flight.

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