Search for lowest airfare on specific dates?
August 30, 2010 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I need a travel search tool that will alert me when fares between 2 locations on my select dates drop below X. Surely there must be such a thing?

We've rented a villa in the Dominican Republic for our closest friends and family for my 40th bday in February - yey! The villa is all booked, and we're getting ready to book the airfare. At the moment, however, airfare is outrageously expensive - around $800 roundtrip. A year ago I checked for comparative dates in 2010 to get an idea (Sat-Sat 3rd week in Feb) and fares were around $350 on JetBlue.

So I'm looking for a site that will let me select 1) my location, 2) my exact dates, and 3) will notify me of sales when the fares drop below X. (I can find alerts for the city but not specific dates, or specific dates but not the specific location.) I've seen some previous threads but didn't find anything that does all 3 things.

Specifics are NYC (and LAX) to POP (Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) on Feb 19-26, 2011.

My friends and I thank you!
posted by widdershins to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
AirFareWatchdog.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:26 AM on August 30, 2010


roomthreeseventeen, I can't see anywhere to enter my dates, only the cities. Am I missing something?
posted by widdershins at 8:41 AM on August 30, 2010


I use Orbitz Deal Detector . You can enter your departure and arrival airports, dates (either exact dates or get weekend deals), number of traverlers and target price. You'll then receive emails when the price drops below your target.
posted by moshimosh at 8:51 AM on August 30, 2010


After you search for a flight on Bing Travel, there is a link to "Track Fares". It then sends you a weekly/daily email with the current price and the predicted future price (this is the old FareCast website that MS bought).
posted by smackfu at 9:00 AM on August 30, 2010


I thought that this feature was one of the reasons that people use kayak.com. During the search, a window pops up with a fare alert that will let you know if the fare drops. I haven't used Kayak in a long time--but it used to operate like a commodities futures database, with likely fares out through 10 months or so, and it would send an alert if prices dropped below the user's desired price, or started to rise over the previous floor. Now, it seems they've added booking utility and some of the "futures" hedging is not there, but I believe that if what you are looking for is a price drop alert, kayak is a good bet.

For international fares, I like to use skyscanner.com, which searches (obv.) the same databases everyone else does, but it neatly compares direct and indirect fares. LAX to POP can be had for as low as $583 right now. NYC to POP for $613. But, (big BUT) 2 stops for those fares.

I've looked at booking villas on the north beaches of the DR, and they look achingly beautiful, so I hope your trip matches your expectations. I do have to ask though, why you wouldn't want to fly to SDQ and drive the last 3 hours (120 miles)? To the LAX traveler, flying direct to POP makes more sense, because flying into SDQ only drops the fare to $556 (but only 1 stop compared to 2), but JetBlue will take the NYC traveler to Santo Domingo for $602 direct, or $547 for one stop in Panama City, Panama.

Skyscanner doesn't have the notification service, but checking in frequently might help. Additionally, the travel advisor Peter Greenberg said something I caught on CBS a week ago--he said that airlines put fares on sale the Wednesday after Labor Day that typically run for travel through spring, but the window for the best prices may only be a couple of days. So, I would check heavily next week.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:25 AM on August 30, 2010


In my experience, using Travelocity's farewatch, what happens is that airlines set a price for a given period, and not too far out -- after all, they have to worry about changes in their business which will govern the fares they can charge. So if I'm looking to travel on a given date for a given price, the strategy I use is to set the farewatch to the appropriate price, and to wait for listings at that price to creep into the correct period listed as "earliest travel".

I know that's not the answer you were looking for, but it is how I would accomplish the task as I understand it.
posted by endless_forms at 9:58 AM on August 30, 2010


Thx for the answers so far - I signed up for the Orbitz deal locator and that looks pretty good, but if anyone has any additional resources please share.

beelzbubba, thx so much for the post Labor Day tip - I'll definitely keep my eyes open.
posted by widdershins at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2010




^bouncing back. ahem.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:48 PM on August 30, 2010


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