Help me get the cheapest flights to New York from Australia
April 28, 2009 8:37 PM   Subscribe

TravelFilter: Will the current cheap flights between Australia and New York remain into 2010? And what times of the year are considered off-peak travel to NYC?

Flights to New York from Australia have become really cheap this year (AUD1000-1500) as opposed to normal (AUD2500). This is due to the market opening up: instead of only United and Qantas servicing direct routes, Virgin Australian and Delta are flying direct to the US as well.

I am tentatively planning a trip to NYC in May 2010. (Gives me a full 12 months to save.) It looks like prices will shoot back up to the AUD2500 next year (according to airline websites right now), though most airlines are only listing prices through March 2010 anyway.

Are these prices likely to stay as low as they are currently? With the economic crisis, I suspect this might help to keep prices down AND if I wait six months I'm likely not to be stung by premium rates being offered to people willing to book 12 months in advance. But I'm not really sure how long-haul overseas flight prices fluctuate, if at all.

And is May a good time of the year to visit NYC? I'm flexible to travel between April-June 2010 - don't want to go in the depths of winter or the heat of summer. Is May considered off-peak? (I'll be traveling to other parts of the US, but NYC is my main port of call - everything else can fall in line behind that.)

I don't need suggestions of what to see and do in the city - that list is already LONG - just advice on when is the best time to stay and when the best time is to book the holiday. Thanks.
posted by crossoverman to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Two things. First, airlines won't sell tickets more than a year in advance. It just isn't possible for them to plan clearly enough out any farther than that.

Second, muck about with SkyScanner. You'll find the prices airlines are offering for all available dates. But remember that these are simply prices that airlines are offering now if you buy a ticket for then those prices can and do change pretty frequently, sometimes following the usual curve of things getting more expensive the closer you get to your departure date, but sometimes not. Farecast is the only site of which I'm aware that attempts to deal with not only cheap prices, but changing prices.

Ultimately, it's kind of a crap shoot. Though you can be relatively confident that the price you're paying is the lowest available, it's almost impossible to know with any degree of certainty that the price you're paying will be the lowest one. Do a little research and buy a ticket.

On the issue of when to go, I think you'll find that US travel prices tend to jump at the end of May and rise continually until August. This is because the "summer" as a travel season runs from Memorial Day (May 30) to Labor day (the first Monday in September), and those two three-day weekends account for a significant amount of travel for Americans. Things like pools and beaches are usually open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, etc. So early or mid May is probably your best bet for things being gorgeous without being terribly hot, crowded, or expensive. NYC really is lovely that time of year.
posted by valkyryn at 8:53 PM on April 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

The low prices this year did not drop until fairly recently. You may need to wait to buy a ticket to next January -- 8 months away.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 PM on April 28, 2009

Best answer: Yapta is another site which allows you to track specific flights in terms of how the price changes, also keeping in mind the duration of the flight and overall price.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:28 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

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