Airfare question-timing

I know Tuesday is the best day to buy, and I can buy now for Oct. 2011, $200 round to San Diego, but is it way too early? I can’t find answer on Rick Seaney. Would you jump? I keep hearing how flights are going nowhere but up, given fuel prices.

Where are you traveling from?

Sorry, Phoenix, and yes, I could drive, but parking would be expen$ive.

FWIW, I recently priced airfare for an upcoming Delta flight. On the Tuesday the fare jumped up about 20 percent, contrary to the advice given above. The next day (Wednesday) the exact same flight fare dropped even below the fare price I was looking at the previous Monday. Two weeks later (today) the fare is five dollars cheaper than when I bought my ticket.

Southwest is currently booking only through September, with a round trip from PHX to SAN only $120, taxes & fees included. Personally, I’d wait until they opened bookings for October.

Fare compare is an interesting site. You can sign up for email alerts to let you know if the price is in a certain range. I would say that you can wait a few months to buy the ticket, which gives you plenty of time to figure out where the market is going and all that. You probably want to buy before the end of July unless things are still on a downward trend, is what I would say. Oh, and remember that Southwest isn’t on any of the travel sites except the airline webpage, so I reiterate the idea to search them separately.

Also, just doing some random searching, it seems that $200 is a bit much. You could probably get something for around $150, perhaps even less.

ETA: Oh, and I seem to recall that the lowest fares appear about three months prior to departure. Anything less, and they get you on the “immediate need to travel” thing, and anything more, they get you on the “peace of mind” thing. I could be wrong on this, but if I’m not I’ll try to dig up a cite later.