Travels and Tours

Going By Plane: Best Tips For Newbies Using The Airplane

Going by plane has become a lot more easier because most transactions and flight bookings and ticketings are done online. With this it saves the savvy traveller the stress of going to and fro the airport or embassies to make enquires.

By shopping around, you can fly for much less than others on the same flight. The best fares belong to two types of travelers – those who are decided enough to make firm plans very early, and those who are flexible enough to get up and go at the last minute. If you start planning early, you will have the most options.

Airlines overbook their flights because they count on a certain number of people cancelling. If all of the people who reserved decide to fly, some will be bumped from the flight. You must reconfirm your flight three days before your departure and arrive at the departure gate on time – or you may be the victim.

If you can make your reservation and purchase your ticket well in advance, the airline will give you a considerable discount – simply for the advantage of having your seat confirmed and paid for. This is why we recommend that you commit yourself early to your major transportation to and fro your destination.

On the other hand, you may receive a deep discount if you are flexible enough to make plans at the last minute and take advantage of the short notice discounting that frequently takes place with cruise ships, international flights and more often domestic air routes.

If a tour, cruise or charter is not sold out close to departure time, the company may be desperate to fill those empty slots. These seats cannot be advertised because that would be unfair to those passengers who paid full fare.

Going By Plane: How To Find The Best Fare For Your Travel

Deregulation is the air traveler’s best friend. It means you have a multitude of choices, even when the air fare wars are not raging. The problem is that the average traveler is not always aware of the vast array of options, partly because the fares change too frequently to keep up with and partly because the airlines would naturally prefer to sell at their higher fares.

Sometimes, even the reservations agent does not know every deal the airline is offering.

There may be many different fares for the exact same seat in coach class. Each fares are identified by a different code letter – Q, L, V, B, Y – and each has specific rules.

For example, the Q fare may require a thirty days’ advance purchase, a stay that includes a Saturday night ad a fifty percent penalty if the trip is cancelled. Most times, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to travel. A V fare may be purchased two days ahead and any day of the week but Friday and Sunday are cheapest, but the ticket is non-refundable and you must stay over a Saturday night.

The guiding principle of air fares is that the lower the fare, the more restriction there will be, including expensive penalties if you cancel the flight within a certain date before departure.

Always check the airline reservation clerk if the fare stated is the cheapest available – this person may not offer or seek that information otherwise. Ask whether flying midweek or Saturday is cheaper.

Midweek or midday travel may not only be cheaper than weekend travel, but it is also much less stressful. Or you may discover that if you can stay over a Saturday night, your fare will be greatly reduced. Ask your travel agent or the airline reservation clerk to investigate such possibilities.

Charter flights are much cheaper than regular scheduled flights and for some people they make the difference between being able to afford a trip or not. You become a member of a group that rents an entire plane or just to block a seat on a regularly scheduled plane.

The drawback to charter flights are that they are irregular. You have to be flexible regarding your departure date and if you must cancel, you will not get your money back unless you have purchased cancellation insurance in advance.

 Going By Plane: How To Make A Flight Reservation

Use your phone and remember you have many options – you can telephone the booking ad reservation hotlines of the airline company, go there directly yourself and lastly you can use airline apps to make reservations.

Write all the necessary important details down after making a reservation or if possible make a print out of the flight reservation.

Going By Plane

Make sure you know that your flight is non-stop, direct (it flies to your destination, but makes one or more stops along the way) or it requires a change of plane (a connection”). If you cannot fly non-stop or direct, try to arrange that your connecting flights be with the same airline. Although, this will not ensure that the first gate will be near the connecting flight (arrival and departure gates can be located as much as a mile apart), the airline will feel some responsibility if your first flight is late.

Your travel agent or reservation clerk should allow for the time you will need between flights if you are changing planes. Do not take a flight that connects with less than 45 minutes for you to disembark and find the new gate. If you have only a half an hour to make the connection and your first flight is late, you may miss the second plane.

How To Make A Good Seat Selection

Get your seat assignment and boarding passes as early as possible especially if you have special requirements – you are disabled, you are traveling with small children, you are a business traveler who needs to get off the plane.

With airlines like that of the American airline, at this writing, you may get your seat assignment as soon as you make your reservation – as early as 330 days ahead of your departure date. With United airline, if you have a frequent flyer account, you may book your seat very early. With most airlines you can get your seat assignment 30 days in advance.

Going By plane

Some like to sit right by the emergency exit. It makes them feel mostly secure and the seat usually have a bit more leg-room.

The next most desirable (comfortable and accessible) seats are aisle seats towards the front and bulk head seats. The smoking section is in the rear of the aircraft. If you do not smoke, note that the back of the non-smoking section may be uncomfortably smoky.

Especially if you are traveling at holiday periods, it will save you a great deal of time if you have your seat assignment and boarding pass before you reach the airport and check your baggage at curbside. Do not use the curbside check-in, however, if you arrive at the airport late.

A couple we know always book an aisle seat and a window seat in a three seat row. Because a lone middle is always the last to be sold, these friends nearly always manage to fly with the luxury of an extra seat, with more leg-room, extra storage space, and an extra tray table.

This is especially helpful if you are traveling with a baby. If the middle seat is sold, its owner will undoubtedly let you sit together, since the middle seat has neither accessibility nor view. Make sure to give this person the choice of the window or aisle.

Best Period To Buy Your Ticket

Air fares are subject to change without notice. Once you buy your ticket, the airline cannot make you pay more if there is a fare increase.

If the price of the ticket goes down in the same letter class in which you are booked, you will be eligible for a refund. If the fare goes down in a different letter class, however, you may or may not receive some money back.

There are many reasons to purchase your ticket with a credit card. One is that you will have more luck getting reimbursed if the flight is cancelled. If you use an American Express card, you will have free flight and baggage insurance.

If you have purchased your ticket through a travel agent, call about two weeks before departure to find out when you can pick your ticket and boarding pass. There may be restrictions regarding how early the agent can issue the latter.

When you spick up your ticket, examine it carefully to make sure the information on it is correct. Check dates, time, flight numbers, connecting cities and so on. Make sure there is a page for each leg of your journey. Become familiar with the ticket so that you know which part will be removed when.

If you have a discount flight, purchase cancellation insurance early. The airline will not reimburse you except under extraordinary circumstances, if you cancel.

Find out if the airline will mail you your ticket directly, if you should buy the ticket at a travel agency, or if you must wait until you reach the airport to pick it up.

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