Q. We will be flying from Philadelphia to Kalispell, Montana next August. The plan is to pay for half of our family's tickets with frequent flyer miles and half by cash credit card. Should we book now, 10 months ahead, because the most frequent flyer seats are available early on, or should we wait to see if the air fares might go down? Do they ever go down as the date gets closer?
A. On a route with such limited service like Philadelphia to Kalispell, I'd book the frequent flyer seats now, especially for peak summer travel. As for the paid seats, I would monitor prices. Currently fares are in the high $500s for round-trip August travel. That route rarely goes on sale. If you have the miles available, or think you might have them later in the year, I'd grab as many seats as you can using miles since this is a typically expensive airfare. You might also want to check departures from Newark and/or flying into Missoula as alternatives. And sign up for free alerts from your favorite airfare sites (cough cough...Airfarewatchdog...cough).
Kalispell image via Shutterstock