Booking air tickets is a tricky affair. Incomplete research and a slight inattention often lead to costly blunders. So, how do you ensure it does not happen to you? Well, here’s your complete guide. Avoid these mistakes to save your pocket.
1 Booking your ticket with a credit card
Flight booking using a credit card ain’t a good idea. Airlines charge anywhere around 1 % to 5 % for each booking. Sounds too less? Well, if you buy a flight ticket costing $3,000, a 4 % charge amounts to $120. A family of four will have to shell out an extra $800 in this case. The best thing to do is buy a flight ticket using a Visa Debit Card.
2 Buying long-haul flight tickets from a low-cost carrier
Let’s face it, long-haul flights are never easy to withstand. And, on top of it, if you book those tickets with a budget airline, the experience can be a nightmare. Another reason to avoid these is, in case of flight cancellation, you get minimal compensation. Fortunately, the ‘Flight Delay Law’ makes it compulsory for airlines to compensate if customers choose to go that way. However, the loophole here is that airlines need to pay compensation only if the flight gets delayed by 6 hours. Further, if you are booked on a connecting flight, expect to go through airport security again as many budget airlines do not have provision for baggage transfer.
3 Assuming ‘Non Stop’ Flights to be the same as ‘Direct’ Flights
These two terms sound similar but there’s a vast difference between them. A Non Stop Flight takes you from Point A to Point C without stopping anywhere in between. On the other hand, a Direct Flight lands at Point B (in between Point A and Point C) for dropping off and picking up passengers. The former ones tend to be costlier as there’s no stoppage. So, before booking a flight, double-check whether you will be boarding a Non Stop or a Direct flight to avoid inconvenience.
4 Neglecting e-mail alerts after buying air tickets
Many of us don’t bother to check e-mails for any flight updates. If you expect the airline to call you up for informing about flight cancellation or itinerary changes, you are mistaken. Always keep checking the inbox for updates from your travel agent or airline. Ignoring the mails might cost you a small fortune!
5 Booking connecting flights with a 45-60 minutes gap
Connecting flights do save money but can cost peace of mind. It is not uncommon for people to book connecting flights where the difference is less than an hour. Well, the problem with this is if your first flight gets delayed by an hour or two, there’s a good chance of missing the next flight. This is especially true during international travel when you to have wander through those supersized airports. Getting from one terminal to another often takes minutes. So, if you want to go with these, make sure to pencil in substantial time between the two.
6 Switching the cities
Let’s say you want to go from Newark to Los Angeles but instead booked tickets from Los Angeles to Newark. People do commit such mistakes while booking flights on third party websites. Pull down menus are the main culprits. City codes can be confusing too. So, what’s the way out? Well, be alert! If you are not sure about booking tickets, ask your travel agent. In case there’s a mistake, he/she might do changes without charging extra. Never book tickets without paying attention to such details otherwise or else it can hurt your pocket considerably.
7 Getting down to the wrong airport
Seems a bit unusual, but many travelers commit this mistake of flying to the wrong airport. It might happen that you want to land in Oslo but get down to a place called Torp which is 100 km from Oslo. A difference such as this does not matter much but what if you want to go to Vienna and end up in Bratislava? The money you save on flight goes into travelling by bus or train. While booking tickets, triple-check with airline or your travel agent about the landing place.
Booking flight tickets is not something which you need to be expert of! A little attention and complete research helps save bucks and makes travel easier. Besides all these, you also need to see the timing and enter correct dates for your travel when booking online. Also, check sites like Flight Network to get the best flight deals to save money. When in doubt, never hesitate to consult your travel agent.
Article by: Ena Dowdy