- Anne Spears
Searching for the best flights?
If you are flying from Louisiana to Orlando, my go to is of course Southwest! They are the only carrier with reliable non-stop options, bags fly free, seat selection is free, and you can modify if a sale is released and stockpile a credit for another trip!
However, they don't always offer flights to everywhere you might want to fly. When this happens, I like to check here: https://matrix.itasoftware.com/#search:research=LFTYVR-YVRLFT. this site checks almost all of the major airlines (except Southwest), and it allows you to check either round trip, one way, or multi-city options. Sometimes it is not the cheapest or best option to book roundtrip on one carrier. Sometimes either one carrier has better times or another has better prices. Buying one way options from different airlines can actually be cheaper than a roundtrip! Also, don't forget to check surrounding cities, sometimes it is worth the drive to get better prices or times. All of the airlines know that most of Louisiana wants to either go skiing or go to Disney World during Mardi Gras, so prices will reflect this! Make sure you check prices from Baton Rouge or even Houston.
Another big question is when to book? Most airlines will open 331 days prior to your flight. Southwest and Jet Blue do open their schedules about 4-6 months prior to their flights. If it is not a spur of the moment trip, check the same days a few months prior and get an idea of pricing. Then, once opening day comes, you can get an idea of whether it is time to book or not. If the pricing looks good to you, there is really no reason to hesitate. However, if it looks a bit high, take a step back and wait. Sometimes airlines open up high and then adjust to more normal pricing. You can also download a pricing app like Hopper, to receive alerts and advice on when to hit that purchase button! Don't forget though, Southwest is the only airline that will let you modify to a lower price and retain the credit for a future flight. If you book through another airline, don't look back as you won't be able to get a lower fare...