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How far in advance to buy flights to Orlando/Disney over Thanksgiving 2020?

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  • How far in advance to buy flights to Orlando/Disney over Thanksgiving 2020?

    My family will be flying to Orlando the week of Thanksgiving 2020 (11/20-11/28) from the East Coast for a large family reunion and also to go to DisneyWorld. I just looked at flights and they are $600+ for main cabin on American. I realize that is a crazy week to fly so my question is in general is how far in advance would people wait to buy tickets? Is it best to take the plunge now thinking that flights will go up or wait it out longer. I know there are some predictor apps out there but I know that happens to be a crazy week for travel and wasn't sure what other people's experience has been during that timeframe. Of note, we have young kids so we'd all want to be able to choose our seats and ideally a "good" flight time.


  • #2
    as you said, it's going to be expensive no matter what. But in my experience, flight prices this far out actually aren't at their lowest point. Usually advance planning leads to saving money but not in this case, this far out. I used to fly from the NE to FL (where I grew up) and now fly from the midwest to FL annually. For thanksgiving I tend to find the best prices show up in July or August. Also consider at least looking into flying into Tampa instead of Orlando. One might be cheaper than the other and the cities are only about an hour apart

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    • #3
      make sure you use google flights and hopper. both can give you a sense of past pricing trends.

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      • #4
        I would be more concerned about fast passes and other Disney stuff. People book as far as a year in advance

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        • #5
          If Southwest is an option, their wanna get away tickets are a big value. We booked flights to Orlando during Christmas for a really low amount

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          • #6
            you can also look at TPA airport...it's about an hour drive but potentially save money. i have no idea...it's just another thought.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
              I would be more concerned about fast passes and other Disney stuff. People book as far as a year in advance


              if staying on property dining reservations open for you 180 days before day 1 of vacation and fast passes at 60 days

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SerrateAndDominate View Post
                If Southwest is an option, their wanna get away tickets are a big value. We booked flights to Orlando during Christmas for a really low amount
                southwest schedule isn’t open out that far

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bean1970 View Post
                  you can also look at TPA airport...it's about an hour drive but potentially save money. i have no idea...it's just another thought.
                  Sanford is a smaller airport in Orlando also

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                  • bean1970
                    bean1970 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    yes. not sure how easy to get into Sanford direct....pretty easy to find nice direct flights into TPA though. i'll do anything to fly direct if i can.....

                  • Brains428
                    Brains428 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    allegiant flies direct to Sandford.

                  • jacoavlu
                    jacoavlu commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think it’s serviced by smaller regional airlines. Close to me it’s actually the best direct flight but only available seasonally. Worth including in a search

                • #10
                  We do this every other year to Orlando and I always hem and haw about when to buy our tickets. I have gotten them almost a year in advance up to about 5 months in advance. Each time I have purchased our tickets I would keep checking to see if we got the best "deal" we could have have gotten and I noticed that, while there certainly is some fluctuation, I never noticed anything too egregious to make me regret when we purchased them. The old adage of checking on Tuesdays/Wednesdays for the lowest prices seems true enough as generally it seemed tickets were lowest on those days. Even a couple months in advance didn't change the price all that much.

                  Edit: We primarily fly Delta since we are out of Minneapolis so this certainly will qualify my statement. Other airlines may be different.

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                  • #11
                    You have a wildcard coming into play regarding pricing and reservations on air travel:
                    737 max.
                    Airlines will cancel flights and reallocate planes.
                    Surge holiday pricing may have surge equipment implications as well. Fewer connections the better. With little time flexibility on travel dates, I would lock them in and hope for no delays.

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                    • #12
                      Holiday flying stinks. I have to go from NY to FL over presidents day and it is $500-600 as opposed to $150-250 in the surrounding weeks. I have been watching it for a couple months but it only seems to go up

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                      • #13
                        You could try Kayak.com which allows you to put in surrounding airports and dates. They also will alert you when prices go down.

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                        • #14
                          I use google flights to track the prices on the routes I am interested in, and when the price drops enough I book. They will send you emails when it rises or drops. Typically about 3 months out works, but I would be inclined to book earlier for Thanksgiving.

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                          • #15
                            I also use Southwest and book the first sale after they open the dates. In my experience waiting increases prices and reduces options.

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