10 Ways to Keep Spare Money and Frustrations When Purchasing Airline Tickets Online
If you take the time and plan out your trip in advance, you can both account for and avoid many of the extra costs associated with airline travel. Here are 10 simple tips that will both save you some cash and make your trip even more enjoyable.
Is the website user friendly and clear? Just like with customer service, you should have most if not all of your flight related questions answered upfront. If the website is less than clear about key information, like departure times and costs, then you should consider looking elsewhere.
Always confirm that the website that you are booking your flight with is reputable. Scams are everywhere on the internet. 1 out of every 8 internet users will lose money to a scam online, so be sure to look up reviews and testimonials on the site you end up using.
Keep an eye out for long connection times and stop overs. It’ll definitely add to your overall cost if you have to rent a hotel because of a particularly long stop over. Airlines typically provide customers with a complementary hotel room, if a stopover last “overnight”. This is not always the case, so if you’re not careful you might end up paying for a room in addition to your ticket.
4. Cost of Food
Keep in mind the additional cost of in-flight foods and snacks. There was a time when most airlines provided passengers with a free in-flight meal, but that time has passed. If you’re planning on taking a long flight, it’s very important to take meals into consideration. Check your airline’s website for information.
5. Any Add ins?
Do you want to pay for all the “add ins”, when you book your flight? This is really a question of what you are looking for from your travel experience. Many of the services that travelers became accustomed to, like baggage handling, now cost extra. If you are willing to do without some in-flight amenities, you’ll be able to save quite a bit off your flight cost.
6. Total Cost of Booking
Be aware of the added cost of booking fees and taxes: When you purchase your airline ticket, you aren’t simply paying for your flight. In addition to the many various taxes that can be added to the price of your flight, most airlines charge a booking fee for privilege of purchasing the ticket. These booking fees vary widely from $10-20 dollars per ticket to upwards of 25% of the ticket price! So before you purchase your ticket, compare ticket prices and the associated booking fees.
You may be charged a fee if you cancel or change your flight reservations. Just like an airline’s booking fee, cancellation fees can vary widely. So if there is a strong chance you may have to change or cancel your flight, you should at least consider choosing an airline with a low or non-existent cancellation fee.
Does your booking website charge a premium for using credit cards/Paypal? Depending on the website, you may be charged an additional fee simply for using a certain payment method. It’s important that you keep an eye out for these hidden fees, as they add up quickly.
How available is your booking websites customer service? While this won’t necessarily add to your flight’s cost directly, all delays and miscommunications add to your overall time and could potentially cost you extra money. It’s best to be sure how to get in contact with your booking website, before it’s time to fly.
Always confirm that you have received a confirmation letter and itinerary. The only way you’re going to know that your flight is booked and that you have everything in order is with your confirmation letter. Make sure that you have received it and that everything is correct before you’re leaving, or it will end up costing you.