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The complex world of booking flights. Help!

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The complex world of booking flights. Help!

Postby YoucancallmeAl » November 25th, 2010, 1:18 am

OK, I'd look this up in google but I don't even know what keywords to use.

Here's my plan:
I want to fly to Philippines and possibly stay the whole 2-year limit (where you renew a tourist visa every 2 months).
But in the past when I booked a flight to the UK I had to buy a round-trip ticket and the return flight had to be within 3 months. That sucked because I wanted to stay in Europe longer so I ended up wasting the return ticket.
Is that must-buy-round-trip-fare rule just an EU or wealthy-first-world thing? And can I legally buy a one-way to PH?
If I do, what would they say when I arrive and they see I have no planned flight back? Would they interrogate me about it?

On a side note, I just checked fares on several search engines for a one-way to Manila on Jan19. While all the others had lowest fares around $1300, Mobissimo offered several around the $780 range! Why such a huge discrepancy? Should I jump at this sweet deal while I have a chance or are $780-ish one-ways to Manila common? (booked under 2 months in advance)
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Postby Winston » November 25th, 2010, 2:21 am

I don't know about the EU, but you are supposed to have an onward ticket when you go to the Philippines. Sometimes they don't check, but sometimes they do. You take a big risk by not getting one.

Instead of booking round trip, you can just book one way to the Philippines and then another flight from Philippines to China or Taiwan for example. You can book one way flights from Philippines to Taiwan for around $40 during low season on http://www.cebupacificair.com . With that onward ticket, you will not have to have a return ticket and with such a cheap onward ticket, you can elect not to even take the flight.

$780 is an incredible deal. What city would you be flying from? The best deals are from the West Coast.

Usually the best fares I've found to the Philippines are through http://www.bt-store.com

You can also try the airfare search engines on my site:
http://www.happierabroad.com/airfares.php

Hawaiian Airlines seems to have the best rates.

You can book online with a credit card. It's simple and easy. Why is it complex to you?
Last edited by Winston on November 25th, 2010, 5:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The_Adventurer » November 25th, 2010, 4:17 am

I agree with the onward ticket plan. It doesn't have to round trip. Just get the cheapest ticket from Philippines to a nearby destination for $50 or so. You can toss it if you like.
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Postby zzzz » November 25th, 2010, 4:25 am

$780 is an insane deal from continental USA. I found one for a bit under $1200 within a few days of yours from Chicago, which is when I leave. I had to search pretty hard to find it and I did not see anything under it. I bet that $780 deal you found was pre-tax or fees however. Often you'll see that then when you actually go to pay for it or try to buy it, it ends up being quite a bit more.

AFAIK you can not buy a one way ticket into the Philippines as a foreigner and get in unless you have a flight to go somewhere else or return. I am not sure how hard they look at this however. I don't remember getting checked for it. You also can not stay a full 2 years unless you get a extension I think. I often hear it needs to be medical but I am not sure. Here is what I found with a quick search but I am not an expert on this -

After 16 months, a tourist must submit an application to the bureau’s immigration regulation division (IRD) if he wants to stay up to 24 months.


So basically it sounds like 16 months then take a few day trip to Thailand or something and start the process over. If you want I'll help you search for airfare but you'd need to say where you are leaving from. I've also see recommendations for http://www.asaptraveldeals.com but have not used them myself. You have to call in and when you do the prices increase since they don't list their online prices with all the taxes and fees, etc included. For instance I just did a quick search and found a quote on their site for $720 from Chicago which is insane. I might actually call them myself and check it out now. Cancel my other ticket!
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Postby Winston » November 25th, 2010, 5:51 am

zzzz wrote:$780 is an insane deal from continental USA. I found one for a bit under $1200 within a few days of yours from Chicago, which is when I leave. I had to search pretty hard to find it and I did not see anything under it. I bet that $780 deal you found was pre-tax or fees however. Often you'll see that then when you actually go to pay for it or try to buy it, it ends up being quite a bit more.

AFAIK you can not buy a one way ticket into the Philippines as a foreigner and get in unless you have a flight to go somewhere else or return. I am not sure how hard they look at this however. I don't remember getting checked for it. You also can not stay a full 2 years unless you get a extension I think. I often hear it needs to be medical but I am not sure. Here is what I found with a quick search but I am not an expert on this -

After 16 months, a tourist must submit an application to the bureau’s immigration regulation division (IRD) if he wants to stay up to 24 months.


So basically it sounds like 16 months then take a few day trip to Thailand or something and start the process over. If you want I'll help you search for airfare but you'd need to say where you are leaving from. I've also see recommendations for http://www.asaptraveldeals.com but have not used them myself. You have to call in and when you do the prices increase since they don't list their online prices with all the taxes and fees, etc included. For instance I just did a quick search and found a quote on their site for $720 from Chicago which is insane. I might actually call them myself and check it out now. Cancel my other ticket!


$1200 from Chicago? That's a lot. You might save by booking a one way ticket first from Chicago to LA, then from LA to the Philippines. The LA to the Philippines route is where the best deals are. Of course it's going to be more trouble to do it that way though.
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Postby zzzz » November 25th, 2010, 6:43 am

Winston wrote:$1200 from Chicago? That's a lot. You might save by booking a one way ticket first from Chicago to LA, then from LA to the Philippines. The LA to the Philippines route is where the best deals are. Of course it's going to be more trouble to do it that way though.


I looked, it couldn't find anything better using all the online flight search engines. This one goes straight to Korea then to Manila. I also hate LAX and avoid it at all costs.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » November 28th, 2010, 4:25 am

"$780 is an incredible deal. What city would you be flying from?"

It was from Austin, TX to Manila, January 19. Hopefully when I'm ready to buy the ticket in a few days I'll still be able to find a similar deal.
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Postby Winston » November 28th, 2010, 4:28 am

From Austin? That's a lot less than I would have thought. You should jump on it.
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Postby adam917 » November 28th, 2010, 7:25 am

Try http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ & play around with the settings. This place isn't advertised but they can find pretty darn cheap rates. It seems to be the same system travel agents use to search for flights. You then take the codes to a travel agent or even the airlines & can get the rate the site says.
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » November 28th, 2010, 9:36 am

I got a buddy who is retired military and he can travel anywhere the military travels for free.
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Postby djfourmoney » November 28th, 2010, 5:31 pm

Northamericanguy wrote:I got a buddy who is retired military and he can travel anywhere the military travels for free.


Just a host of things you get from the US Military when they WANT to give them too you.

G.I Bill, Job Retraining, Low Cost Home Loans, Free Health Care.

A friend of mine was in Desert Storm (in fact 3 of my friends have been), he used his G.I Bill to go to St Mary's here in the LA area. He bought his first house with the home loan assistance program that's though the military and FHA. He uses the the VA for health care include the birth of his son. Now he's getting job retraining and because he was sent home from DS injured he gets disability for the rest of his life.

Still not worth it if you ask me and especially not now.

Back on topic -

Use http://www.kayak.com for booking flights. I've found it to be cheapest, its a search engine for all the travel sites including the ones they airlines own.

If you can go down to PH for less than $1,000 with fees and all, I'd say that's pretty good.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » December 1st, 2010, 11:26 pm

Well, the deed is done. I just bought my one-way from Austin, TX to Cebu. 3 planes. Total travel time 33 hours (!)
Total cost with taxes: $863.
I'll be arriving in Cebu Jan.19. Anyone else gonna be there around then?
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Postby zzzz » December 2nd, 2010, 1:09 am

Not in Cebu, but Angeles, I might travel around however.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » December 2nd, 2010, 11:37 pm

I told the girl I'll be meeting in Iloilo that I plan to take buses/taxis/ferries from the Cebu airport to Iloilo (2 islands away), which of course would take a day or two and allow me to make some stops along the way. She said that it is dangerous w/o a companion and that I should fly there from Cebu instead. Is she right?
And if I decide to fly from Cebu to Iloilo, how far in advance should I book the flight to get a decent deal?
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Postby zzzz » December 3rd, 2010, 12:57 am

I am sure you can do it but I don't know if I would want to. If I was going to take a trip like that I would fly. A quick search showed flights for $26 just now via Cebu Pacific in January (leaving 27 coming back 31).
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