Cheap(ish) fares to Bangkok over Christmas?
October 25, 2011 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Did we miss the magic window for buying affordable tickets to Thailand? We'd be flying out of NYC around December 22nd and arriving back after the New Year.

My husband and I are attempting to fly to Thailand over Christmas. Tickets that are usually $950ish are now about twice that amount. I know some of the price bump is due to the American holiday traveling season, but I was hoping we could still snag something for around $1300. We found some tickets for $1600/each but sat on our hands, hoping for something a bit cheaper. Now our only options cost at least $1800/seat. Should we continue waiting for a cheaper option or will tickets get pricier the longer we wait?
posted by Hwaet to Travel & Transportation around Bangkok, Thailand (7 answers total)
It's not just that prices will be higher--Christmas high season lasts until the second week in January--but flights will be full.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2011

I think tickets are only going to get pricier unfortunately. I travel from the north east corner of North America to Australasia at Christmas time and I normally have to buy tickets 3-4 months in advance to get the prices, dates and times I want. I waited a little longer this year, booking about 10 weeks in advance, and some flights were already full. Flying after approximately the 18th Dec also increases the cost. I know it's not possible for everyone, but flying out on the 16/17th should drop the price a little.
posted by unlaced at 11:54 AM on October 25, 2011

You may want to consider a different destination for your vacation.

You know about the flooding, right? The situation in Bangkok is expected to continue getting worse over the next 2-3 weeks. It will take time to clean up the mess that is currently still being made.

That being said, if you are set on going to Thailand, I would say your best bet is to set up an alert on to monitor fares. Tickets might go down in price as you get closer in to Christmas....or they might not. Just depends on whether people are buying at the seasonally higher prices and whether the airlines have open capacity etc.
posted by netsirk at 11:57 AM on October 25, 2011

I've always had good luck with cheaper fares flying on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day ... you might check that.
posted by cyndigo at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2011

Tickets that are usually *ish are now about twice that amount

This was also my experience, arranging air travel to Japan this year, although it seems like domestic tickets haven't undergone such a dramatic price jump.
posted by Rash at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2011

Ticket prices vary greatly according to season (peak / shoulder / off peak) and the $950 figure you mention probably only ever applied to off peak. It's a standard kind of bait-n-switch that travel companies do to get you in the door. The peak season for Thailand is always Dec-Jan roughly, so expect to pay a premium for these dates.

In my experience, the longer you wait the more prices rise. The flights at that time are usually booked 100% solid, with waitlists, so the airlines have no incentive to drop prices.

(That's from Australia, by the way, but I can't see why things would be radically different from the US)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:06 PM on October 25, 2011

A month ago, I was looking at tickets from another major US airport to Bangkok and they were coming up at $1800 each. We concluded that Asia was inaccessible this year at this time of year and will be meeting in Europe instead.

Don't forget to try using a service like ITA software's "search over a month" feature to see if flying on a different day will give you a better price
posted by whatzit at 2:50 AM on October 26, 2011

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