How to book an flight -Where do I start?
Sometimes you book a flight and then when you search again you find a cheaper one, or you book a ticket and find that there has been a special offer and
you could have got it cheaper. Other times you may think it is better to wait until nearer your date of travel, then you realise the price has increased.
Some useful information,
a word of advice!
If you are quoted a fare from a travel agent remember the price is not guaranteed until
it has been ticketed. Recently because of the fuel prices, airlines have had to charge
Surcharges If you are quoted a good price it is better to book and pay for it straight away to guarantee the price.
Is My Money Safe?
You will always have to pay for flights in advance, so it is important
to know if your money is safe if the airline goes out of
business. ATOL - Is a licensing and financial protection scheme
for air holidays and flights sold by tour operators in the UK. Under
this scheme, if a firm goes out of business, you will get a refund for
flights. If you are abroad when it happens, you will be able to finish
your holiday and fly home.
Is your flight covered?
You are usually protected if you
buy your ticket from a travel agent and do not get your ticket within
24 hours. You are not usually not Atol protected if you receive
your ticket within 24 hours. The Travel Agent should tell you if there
is no "Airline Failure Insurance" with your ticket. You must
be given a receipt showing whether you flight is ATOL protected or
|You may think it is better to book your own flight
online but when something goes wrong your travel agent has the experience to know what
to do and has established relationships with airlines, tour operators and travel companies. Support your local travel agent!
|Airlines route and timetables
– check out who flies where and when
Think of when you want to travel, are your dates flexible,
ask your travel agent when is the cheapest times to fly. Many countries such as USA have price seasonality and there are always cheaper dates to travel.
If you find a cheap fare, always look at the routing,
do you really want to have several changes of aircraft, sometimes it is better to pay a bit extra. Ask your travel agent to find out the elapsed flying time
i.e. the total number of hours you are actually travelling. Also look at your connecting times; do you have a lengthy time to wait in-between flights?
The general rule is the cheaper the fare the more restrictions it will
the more expensive the fare the more flexibility it should have. Always check the rules of your fare i.e. can it be changed, is there a penalty to change it, can it be refunded?
Are Low Cost Airlines Cheap?
Not all low cost airlines are cheap; many scheduled airlines offer just as competitive fares. Due to
compensation for denied boarding many low cost airlines are increasing their costs and looking for ways to increase their revenue e.g. charging for checked baggage. This is an interesting article on
Compensation also see how
to complain against an airline or tour operator
Online check in – many airlines offer online check-in, check your airline website, this saves you time and puts your mind at ease and you can allocate your seat. Some airlines are starting to adopt self service check in such as
buying luggage make sure that it is light weight as many of
the scheduled airlines as well as the low cost airlines are now
reducing their baggage allowance. I would strongly suggest you look
at the appropriate airline websites and check this out or ask your
travel agent. When travelling to the USA, airlines use what they
term as the “Piece Concept” which allows you two pieces of
baggage with certain dimensions and a maximum weight. Many US
Airlines used to allow a maximum weight of 32 kilos (66lbs) per case
but many of them have reduced this. You should be able to check the
excess baggage rate on each airline website. Other than USA many of
the long haul destinations calculate their excess baggage per kilo,
as 1% of the first class one-way fare, as you can imagine this can
be rather expensive. A good example of this is travelling to Dubai
on “Emirates “ you are allowed a total of 20 kilos of checked
baggage from UK to Dubai, the excess baggage rate is about £20 per
Kilo!!!! This is something to watch out for, all you shopaholics!
you find packing a nightmare?
I always tend to take too much, if
anyone has any good suggestions or any more tips on packing please
I will publish these on this page. Here are some useful Ideas on what to pack
Frequent Flyer Programmes
It is advisable to join airline
programs because airlines generally look after their frequent flyer passengers by occasionally offering upgrades and access to airport lounges. Many people think they have to travel regularly to qualify for free tickets on a frequent flyer
program. One example is Amercan
Airlines on certain fares the minimum mileage to claim a free ticket is
10,000 miles (which is the approximate miles from UK To Los
Angeles). This can be exchanged for a free ticket on British Airways to Europe.
Upgrades - How
to get an upgrade!
make up your mind about your holiday
on where to travel
to beat jet lag
About Airports for travellers who are REALLY on a budget and
are looking for a way to save money off their travel expenses, why
not consider sleeping in an airport?
N.B.- The above is just for
information only. I accept no liability for advice offered.