Friday, February 11, 2011

Oy, When and How Should We Buy The Tickets?

We're going to have to go to the states in a few months for family reasons.  Decades ago, we'd get those tickets as presents from our parents, who were willing to pay anything to see the grandchildren.  Those were the days when you got "real printed tickets," not the print your own e-tickets of today.  Ticket delivery was always a hassle, but we neither paid nor chose the airline.

Now, my in-laws are buried here in the Shiloh Cemetery, my parents are in a senior citizens place in Arizona, and I have to get out there.  It's no longer a simple non-stop El Al flight to JFK Airport, as I had done for a decade.  Going to AZ is much more complicated, expensive and requires that I deal with lots of confusing options.  And I also have to be in New York for about a week or so, so it's not just a trip to Arizona.

Should I just go to some travel agent, use either the El Al or American Airlines frequent flyer clubs or do an internet search for the cheapest travel deal?  The latest news is that it's very complicated to find a reliable cheap deal on the internet.  Yes, and another option would be to learn how to use credit card points.  I feel like a total imbecile.  Maybe I am.


Ed Greenberg said...

One thought.

Here in the US, it's easy and usually the best price, to get from anyplace to Phoenix, Arizona via Southwest Airlines. Coming in from abroad, booking SW separately would be a big mistake.

Definitely book your international and domestic (us) travel on a single ticket and itinerary. This way, if the airline blows a connection, it's on their head, not yours.

Batya said...

Ed, yes, I do need to book the whole package together. I wonder if it's worth trying it all on the internet or to use an agent who can also be a trouble-shooter if necessary.

Hadassa said...

I am equally an imbecile when it comes to airlines. I haven't flown in over eight years, and the next time that I do, I expect to order El Al tickets, TLV-NEW, a destination that is good for both my family and my in-laws. I would suggest talking to friends who have recently flown to your destination or a similar one. Perhaps a friend could recommend a worthwhile travel agent? B'hatzlaha!

Batya said...

A friend insists she gets the best deals online with the Continental site to go all over the USA. The more you fly with the same airline the better the prices from what I understand. I used up most of my El Al points a couple of visits ago. It was the first time I had used any. I wish there was someone I could trust to help me combine all the points from credit cards etc.