Booking travel and in need of advice.

ScribbledScribbled Registered User regular
Hey, everyone. This year I will (hopefully) be attending Prime for the first time. I've done a bit of traveling to Vegas and Anaheim (from NJ), but never to Seattle. I wasn't quite expecting it to be this expensive.

Any advice for booking flights/hotels for PAX Prime? I checked Travelocity and Priceline for deals and I'm having a really hard time finding what I need (flights that don't cause me to miss most of the convention, hotels that are closer than 14 miles away, a price <1,000). I don't mind long flights or long layovers. I'm trying to leave any time Thursday, check into the hotel on Friday, check out Monday, and leave Monday afternoon after things wrap up. Any suggestions?

I've heard a lot of people recommend booking travel packages 45-56 days out. Will that be ok for Prime? Any suggestions on good travel sites?


  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    I think the problem you will be facing at this point is that while flights are falling in price, hotels have pretty much already sold out. For most times, I agree about doing a package deal but since the hotels are in such high demand, the close hotels go out within minutes of being released.

    As far as flights, I've personally seen flights from PIT > SEA actually lower in price by $60 in the last two weeks. So, seperately, waiting for a ticket might be a good bet.

    As far as where to stay, you need to find a place asap. I don't mean right this minute, but constantly be on the lookout with onpeak (look for the hotel thread in this forum). I just looked and Airbnb has some alternatives near the convention, but as allways, ymmv. people change their mind all the time and I've seen tickets pop up on onpeak but you're going to have to be vigilant at this point unless you get a hotel further away from the event.

    others with more experience may have different advice, but that's just my two cents.

    edit: which airport are you leaving from?

    belligerent on
  • ScribbledScribbled Registered User regular
    Either Newark or Philly.

    As long as I can find a hotel with a shuttle running to/from the convention center the distance won't be that much of a problem.

  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    Well you're going to have a hell of a time finding such a hotel because there aren't any shuttles. All of the PAX partner hotels are within walking distance of the center.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited June 2014
    You might be able to find someone doing a hotel room share too if you're ok with that sorta thing:

    TOGSolid on
  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    So using kayak I found a flight for about 500 from philly leaving thursday and coming back monday. Using airbnb I found a couple private rooms for 80-250/night.

    it's doable, but not going to be ideal. take ToG's suggestion and look into sharing a room.

  • OysterPrimeOysterPrime Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Like belligerent said, the lodging aspect will be a little challenging since most of the hotels with convention rates are pretty much sold out. The normal rates for the convention hotels can be nearly double that of the PAX rate. Your best bets would be to continue looking online, constantly check the PAX Prime Hotels site, or using the room share thread that TOGSolid linked to.

    As for flights, I found Google Flights to be very useful. It gathers flights from all major airlines(except Southwest, in my experience). I got a round trip ticket from San Diego to Seattle for $150, which is $125 less than I paid when I went in 2012. Here are some flight results that may be helpful to you: Newark to Seattle, and Philly to Seattle. Some people say to wait until 60 days or less to book your flight, but I'd just jump on a ticket when you feel comfortable with the price. It's possible that my plane ticket may get a little cheaper as we get closer, but I think the $150 I paid is extremely reasonable.

    OysterPrime on
    PAX Prime: 2012, 2014
    PAX East: 2013

    PAX East 2016:
    [ X ] Badge [ X ] Hotel [ X ] Plane Ticket
  • CennediCennedi A strange man A strange landRegistered User regular
    Scribbled, as a fellow first time PAX goer, I've done a lot of research into this and everything that has been put down here is all solid advice. Also, make sure that you look at all of the little things too. Remember you are going to have to eat as well as get around while you are there.

    Thankfully when it comes to transportation, Seattle seems to offer a bevy of public transportation. Now I cannot attest to the punctuality, cleanliness, or reliability of said public transportation, but there is a hell of a lot of it. I know that there is a light rail station that runs from SEA-TAC airport to a variety of stops. There is one a couple of blocks from the convention center that is labeled as "Westlake". Personally I plan on using that to enjoy some of the other sections of the city while I'm not at the expo. Max price I've seen is like 7 bucks one way.

    Also one thing you're going to going to have to take into account, if you're planning on spending less than 1k to go to PAX, plan on making concessions. You may not have a bed of your own to sleep on if you share a room with somebody, so pack accordingly. While a car would be easier to get around with, renting one and parking will cost you $400-$500 easily, stick with public transport.

    Please note that the expo opens up Friday morning at 10 am, and most check in times for hotels are in the afternoon, after they have had a chance to clean the rooms. If you're going to fly in thursday, you're going to need a place to stay. So plan for that if you aren't sharing a room and can just show up when you please. Keep lines of communication open if you do end up sharing a room. It would suck for you to appear thursday night and they be out at dinner or partying or what have you while you're stuck with your bags in the hallway.

    Hopeful First Time Attendee of PAX Prime 2014.
    [ X ] Badge
    [ X ] Hotel
    [ X ] Plane
    Wish me luck!
  • mdjenkinsmdjenkins Registered User regular
    Last year I didn't get a hotel on the group discount. Based on talks with friends and people I've met at PAX, I am doing the weekend condo rental thing this year. Compared to what I spent last year on a room I've saved a ton. I found plenty of rental condos within walking distance of the hall with rates better than hotels.

    It might be worth looking into.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Don't forget that there are plenty of other people doing the same thing you are doing. Try an earlier flight and you may find it's cheaper, if you can afford another day off work.

  • domina_fortunadomina_fortuna Registered User regular
    It's probably not much help, but I got our plane tickets back in late February for $340 each and booked a place that's about a 5 minute walk to the convention center through Airbnb. All in all for hotel(ish) and plane tickets I dropped about $1100, and that's for two people and for 6 days instead of just 4. Look into Airbnb--you may be able to find something affordable, even if it's a little further out from the convention center you could always take public transportation to the convention center and just hang out downtown and at the WSCC all day.

    We're first time PAX goers as well. Good luck!

  • ScribbledScribbled Registered User regular
    Managed to get a pretty good deal on a hotel finally due to some cancellations through OnPeak. Still struggling to find a reasonable flight. $580ish is the cheapest I've found so far and I will cancel my plans before I pay that much for a domestic coach flight. Alaska wanted to charge me $400 one way.

  • tinedizzletinedizzle Registered User regular
    have you tried jetblue, they are usually pretty reasonable

  • CennediCennedi A strange man A strange landRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Southwest Wanna get away fares are much much lower in my experience


    I just checked and you might want to arrive earlier and depart later than you planned. If you arrive wednesday and leave tuesday, that is a $170 difference in air fare. Take a look at roomshares for those extra nights. It might be lower

    Cennedi on
    Hopeful First Time Attendee of PAX Prime 2014.
    [ X ] Badge
    [ X ] Hotel
    [ X ] Plane
    Wish me luck!
  • RiDERiDE the WORST! Hotel CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I second JetBlue. If you live in a city where they're available they're always competitive at the very least, if not usually the outright cheapest. Plus your first checked bag is free, plus their snacks >>>>>>>> those crappy little bags of expired pretzels Alaska Airlines tries to foist off on you

    Also you get TV, so you can sit and watch Spongebob. :D

    "Try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damned fool about it."
  • bubblegirl22bubblegirl22 portlandRegistered User regular
    i dont know if its sold out but last year for sakura con i stayed at the near by hostal. its about a 20 min walk but its only like 30$ a night.

  • HingoHingo Minneapolis, MNRegistered User regular
    Scribbled wrote: »
    Managed to get a pretty good deal on a hotel finally due to some cancellations through OnPeak. Still struggling to find a reasonable flight. $580ish is the cheapest I've found so far and I will cancel my plans before I pay that much for a domestic coach flight. Alaska wanted to charge me $400 one way.

    Flight prices change daily, so check every single day. A $400 flight one day can drop to $200 the next seemingly at the whim of airline companies.

    Pins for trade!
    2015 PAX Prime Omeganaut (I will forever hate Katamari)
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    I HIGHLY recommend using something like Yapta where you can monitor multiple flight prices and receive alerts when they drop. I am using it now trying to snag a good deal on flights.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
  • HeadhunterHeadhunter Registered User regular
    Clear your browser cache, and ideally use a system/computer you have never used before. Some airlines/online booking portals check cookies or other identifiers for each price lookup, and incrementally increases the price if they detect repeated searches (which indicates you are interested in that ticket).

    I book my flights as early as possible now, months in advance: I tried booking close to the trip date for Prime 2011 and got smashed with a super high ticket price. To me, the slight possibility of savings isn't worth the risk of getting stuck with a last minute, super expensive ticket if the former doesn't pan out. :/

    "Perception is reality." -unknown
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