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Best time to buy KLM air tickets

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Best time to buy KLM air tickets

I am planning a trip to Tanzania in late September/early October 2018. We will fly KLM from London to Kilimanjaro Intl airport. I have 2 questions:

1. Does anybody know if it is generally cheaper to travel in September? The prices for this year seem lower but I don't know if this is because we are getting closer to the flying dates or if October is generally more popular, therefore more expensive.

2. Would I be best to buy the tickets as soon as they are released to get the best price, or should I play the 'waiting game' in the hope that I may get a better price further down the line?

Many thanks in advance

9 replies to this topic
W Yorkshire
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1. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

Ah,

The fabled, mythical $64k question of cheapest airfares.

The computer algorithms that control prices are hideously complex and impossible to predict.

Fares are rarely cheaper when released, but you have a 100% chance of buying a seat.

If sales are slow then cheaper buckets might be issued to encourage demand. If sales are strong then there'll be little chance of discounts.

Buy when your happy and don't look back is the most sensible advice I can give.

Edited: 23 August 2017, 19:48
UK
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2. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

Just looking through KLM's prices for LHR-JRO and they do vary considerably between about £350 and £800 even for flights next month.

As you appear to have some flexibility in your dates I would wait for a few months and use a tool like Google Flights https://www.google.co.uk/flights to find the cheapest fare.

Edited: 23 August 2017, 20:00
Liverpool, UK
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3. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

Would I be best to buy the tickets as soon as they are released to get the best price, or should I play the 'waiting game' in the hope that I may get a better price further down the line? - In my experience fares can be at their highest when first released, your desire to buy is greater than the airlines need to sell.

I've generally found better fares around 6 months pre travel but have also bought before and after this point when the fare is in line with what I'm prepared to pay.

UK
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4. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

If you haven't done it already... I suggest you sign up for an account with KLM. They will put you on your mailing list and email you about special offers ("seat sales") which they seem to hold, for different destinations, once every few weeks.

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

Good advice above.

In very general terms, legacy carriers release airfare routes/prices/schedules, about 330 days out. LLC's often offer those, later, at about 180 days out. Exceptions apply.

Usually, fares are high, upon release, then fall (sweet spot can be ~ 4-6 mos out for legacy carriers), then begin to rise, as less-expensive Fare Buckets sell out, rising to their highest, right at date of travel.

Note: routes/schedules can be exceptions, with spikes for holiday travel on certain routes.

If routes/schedules are not selling at a predetermined, "secret" level, the airline might have a "sale," but usually just on certain routes/schedules. Your desired route/schedule might/might not be included.

Usually, flexibility in travel dates/times, and maybe even near-by airports, can often yield better prices, say move departure date by a week, and same for the return. Flexibility can be important, to getting lowest fare.

Good luck,

Hunt

Port Townsend...
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6. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

The last two years KLM has had late winter sales for Africa for tickets from the US. I'm not sure if they also have one for the UK or not.

Stuttgart, Germany
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for Air Travel
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7. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

As said join Flying Blue (if you haven't already) and watch for the sales, though I suspect that for next Sept they will not happen before the Spring or later. Also keep an eye on Air France website it can happen that they offer cheaper seats, though other conditions can differ ie luggage and miles given

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

There is no way to predict prices. I have seen prices take a jump and a fall just a couple of days before the flight - probably based on how many seats have already been sold. What day seems to be more important than when (except for holidays) - I have seen as much as a 12% difference between Wed and Thurs prices.

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9. Re: Best time to buy KLM air tickets

Thank you all for some great advice... I am now a member of KLM and will be able to keep an eye on the prices. I was originally going to book the flights as soon as they were released but now will wait, monitor and take the plunge when prices seem favourable. So long as they don't sell out (most unlikely!!) then hopefully I'll be able to save some money to put towards a balloon flight over the Serengeti!! Will post here when tickets purchased!

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