Noawadays there are many different methods on how to book your flight. You could do it online, by the phone, on an app or even in person with the airline in question. Alternatively you may choose to book your trip through an online travel agent (OTA), tour operator or travel agent / professional.
Today’s post is all about a couple of useful tips which may help you decide which method to use when booking your flights. In my opinion you can book your flights via whichever method you prefer, but there are pros and cons to each.
Travel agents and tour operators
Booking your flights through these mediums is great. Agencies usually bulk buy a given number of seats on each flight and may bundle these up to create a flight and hotel inclusive package deal. When it comes to managing your flights (including making changes, upgrading the ticket prior to check-in and everything else; you’ll most likely need to go back through your travel agent to do this. Your contract actually remains with the travel agent or tour operator until you are at the airport and are checked-in.
I’ve often seen scenarios as the airport where passengers may have turned up (days before travel) or missed their flight and want to see what can be done in regards to changing their itinerary. This needs to be done via the source of booking as airline staff are unable to view any fares in the booking. These are known as BT/IT fares; which could be bulk tours, private or specially negotiated fares.
Online travel agents
Booking through an OTA like Expedia (other sites also available) are great, but there is a catch. Whilst these sites strive to display all the fare rules they can – the number of times I’ve seen passengers turn up at the airport only to find they need to pay to check their bags into the hold. It’s in the small print, but it’s not very obvious.
Make sure you understand what you are booking
It might seem obvious, but if there is one thing you take away from this post; make sure you fully understand what you are booking. Who is operating your flight, Which airport(s) are involved, What is included with your fare etc.
What is cheaper – A one-way or return flight?
This really depends on what you are looking for. On long-haul, a return is almost always cheaper; unless you are flying with a LCC such as Norwegian or Wow Air who do seem to offer some impressive one-way fares. For anything “short-haul” and I’m using that term loosely; then it is worth checking the difference in pricing between two one-way fares and a return.
Don’t leave it to the last minute
Discounting what others say, it’s never a wise decision to leave booking your flight until the very last minute unless you really have to. Turning up at the airport and hoping to get a cheap fare is probably the worst mistake many passengers will make. Of course there may be some occasions where you may be incredibly lucky and obtain an unbelievable fare, but the majority of the time it will only be expensive semi or fully-flexible tickets that are left and available for purchase.
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with others? Leave them in the comment field below.