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Friday, June 23rd 2017

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YQT." - Chris Myden



2013
21
January
Getting The Best Flight Deal From Thunder Bay To Minneapolis


Guides >> North America >> Minnesota >> Flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flights From Thunder Bay (YQT) to Minneapolis (MSP)

Ydeals logo There is an overabundance of travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have access to special prices on airfares to Minneapolis. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there is really only one source of unique prices on flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis.

This guide will remove the noise and show you what that source is, so you can stop wasting so much time when searching for the best holiday travel deal.

What are the unique sources of prices on flights from Thunder Bay (YQT) to Minneapolis ?

Unique Source #1 - The Major Airlines

There are 4 major airlines that offer flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis (MSP), and they are: Air Canada, Delta, United Airlines, and WestJet.

Where should I look to get a great travel deal?

All you need to do is search all the major airlines, preferably at once. My current favorite way to do this would normally be using Google Flights Explorer but it doesn't seem to currently display airfares between Thunder Bay and Minneapolis. If anyone reading this ever sees them appear, please let me know.

So that means my favorite way would be to search using Kayak. It has all the sort and filter options I need, and searches ticket prices on all major airlines. Enter 'Thunder Bay (YQT)' in the From box and 'Minneapolis (MSP)' in the To box.

After you've entered in Minneapolis (MSP) as your destination, click on 'Make my dates flexible' and set it to '+/- 3 days'. You may be surprised how often being a little flexible with your dates can result in a better price.

What about all those other airfare search sites that have ticket pricing to Minneapolis?

This is the noise. There is no end of travel sites or brands trying to convince you that they have the cheapest flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis. The truth is, there's only one unique source of prices that they're gathering their prices from, and that's the pricing for airplane seats from the major airlines themselves. Travel aggregators can't offer a lower price than the airline itself, since there's virtually no markup.

There are a few reasons why I think travelers waste an enormous amount of time checking multiple airfare websites, hoping for a better deal than the one they already found (studies show it to be an average of 22 different sites over 10 periods of research!). The first reason is just human nature. Everyone wants to make sure we're getting the best vacation deal or it could spoil the trip.

I think the biggest reason though is simply the confusion surrounding travel marketing. With so many travel sites and brands competing for your attention, all hoping you'll book through them, combined with the fact that not one of them will *ever* admit to you that their source of prices is the same as everyone else, it's little wonder travelers from Thunder Bay waste so much time searching.

What about searching the airline's website for prices directly?

There's nothing wrong with doing that but it's usually a lot easier to just search all of the airlines at once, with a better interface using a good search tool. I'm amazed at how poor many of the airline's search interfaces are. At any rate, the fares found on any half-decent travel search engine will be the same as the fares found on the airline's own website.

One thing you can do is just use a tool to search all the airline's prices for your route at once, and then go to the airline's own site to book it once you've figured out exactly which flight you want, and what the price is.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent?

They're seeing the same prices you are. Depending on the travel agency or booking agent, they may or may not charge you a 'booking fee' on top of the airline's ticket price, for their time. As there's virtually no markup on the cost of flights, they can't offer you a price that's a much better deal than from the airline, or from any good flight search tool that properly locates the latest airfares.

When should I book to get the best price flying from Thunder Bay?

This is never an easy question to answer, as airfares are not 100% predictable. Airlines routinely start by setting their price at a level they think will fill the maximum number of seats, based on the demand they expect to see.

If they experience less demand than they expected, they may decide to lower ticket prices. If they experience more demand than they expected, they may raise them. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence demand can be unpredictable.

How long a person can wait it out in hopes of a better price is a personal decision. Personally, I am usually not afraid to keep an eye on prices for the major airlines up to about 8 weeks before departure in hopes of a better price without fear of the price rising. But everyone has a different tolerance for risk.

What about last minute deals from Thunder Bay?

Last minute airfare deals to Minneapolis from Thunder Bay on the major airlines don't really exist. Typical of most airfares on the major airlines, as you get closer to the departure date, if the airline has done their job correctly, and filled most of the seats on the plane, they feel the last remaining airplane seats become more valuable, and often decide to raise the ticket price.

What's a decent ticket price flying from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis?

From Thunder Bay, flights to Minneapolis tend to bottom out around $450 to $500 (roundtrip after taxes). This is just a general guideline though, based on average travel demand periods of the year.

Airfare prices are highly affected by demand. So anytime you can think of a reason that there might be higher demand than usual for travel to Minneapolis (such as dates when many people in Thunder Bay have holiday time) you can expect seat prices to react accordingly.

As for the Christmas holiday period (anything between Dec 21 and Jan 5), that's a whole other level of demand, which means prices are never anything but very expensive relative to the rest of the year. As a very general rule of thumb, I find you can usually take a decent price from an average demand period and multiply it by 1.5 to get your typical Christmas travel price.

What about one way flights to Minneapolis from Thunder Bay?

You should be able to get to Minneapolis for about 50-60% of the cost of a roundtrip flight. Use the same search techniques as for round-trip flights, and just change the search option in your favorite search tool to 'one-way'.

What about non-stop (direct) flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis?

Unfortunately there are not currently any airlines offering non-stop flights from Thunder Bay to Minneapolis. The quickest it can usually be done is with 1 layover in Chicago (on United) or Toronto (Air Canada, Westjet). Pick your poison, as they are both very busy airports.

What about a multi-city flight? Such as into Minneapolis and out of another airport?

Searching for multi-city flights in travel is still a bit of a pain. Even Google Explorer currently can't handle it, as there's too many possible combinations. I'm sure eventually someone (likely Google) will put enough processing power behind it and create something useful for searching multi-city fares.

But for now, you're stuck with searching one departure date at a time when it comes to multi-city fares and experimenting with different destination combinations. Most of the decent travel sites will offer a multi-city option (it should be right next to 'one-way' and 'round-trip').

Kayak would be my preferred travel search engine here. Just click on the 'multi-city' option and in the first box, enter in Thunder Bay to Minneapolis (MSP), or whatever airport you want to fly into, and then in the second box, enter Kansas City (MCI) to Thunder Bay, or whatever airport you want to fly out of.

You never really know what you're going to get with a multi-city fare. And it really depends on what airport you choose to come back from! And of course, you're still left with figuring out the cost of getting between the two airports.


What about low cost flights to Minneapolis from U.S. airports within driving distance of Thunder Bay?

From Duluth (DLH), Minnesota

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. Airports within driving distance of Thunder Bay, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an airfare from Duluth that's at least $375 less per person than from Thunder Bay.

So if you can find a flight from Duluth for under $200 roundtrip after taxes, it could be worth the drive. Typically, flights from Duluth to Minneapolis bottom out at around $275 roundtrip after taxes.

But realistically, if you're already driving the 3 and a half hours to Duluth, it's only another 2 and a half hours to Minneapolis, so you're not really saving any time by flying out of Duluth anyways.


I think I've found a great deal on a Thunder Bay flight to Minneapolis!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow travel lovers from Thunder Bay, they will appreciate it and thank you for it! You can post it in the YQT Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of people from Thunder Bay are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YQT Deals contact form or on Twitter @YQTdeals or through Google Plus. Great vacation flight deal finds are always appreciated.


Why should I trust this travel guide on Thunder Bay vacation tips?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my experiences with the travel industry over the years, including evaluating the travel aggregator and holiday travel websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

My goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so people can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices for holiday travel over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YQT Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!


I think I have some info that could help improve this Thunder Bay flight savings guide!

Great! Please post your info in the Thunder Bay Facebook group for travel deals above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

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