There are numerous benefits to booking a flight ticket online than from a physical office.
For starters, online flight ticket booking is incredibly fast. You can dispense with the process in minutes without leaving the comfort of your home or office. There are no traffic jams or long queues to contend with.
Booking a flight ticket online also provides the convenience of canceling or changing your reservations anytime. Again, this saves you the time and money you’d have spent making a trip to an airline’s physical booking offices.
Another reason to consider making all your airline ticket reservations online is that you get to compare prices across multiple carriers. As you shall find, there are many websites dedicated to ensuring that air travelers get the best deals on ticket bookings. These sites aggregate various airline companies and compare their prices side by side.
But while booking a flight ticket online provides numerous perks, the process can prove quite challenging, especially for newbies. Fortunately, we’ve prepared a definitive guide to booking your next flight ticket online. Read on and be informed.
1. Lay Out Your Tentative Travel Plans
The first (and arguably the most important) step in booking a flight ticket online is to lay out your tentative travel plans. Suppose your bookings have been made, and you’re flying with Delta Airlines. In this case, it would be wise to know how to manage Delta booking before engaging with the carrier.
Laying out your travel plans also entails picking suitable travel dates. Are you comfortable traveling during peak seasons, or would you schedule your flight during the off-peak and shoulder seasons instead?
It’s also important to factor in the specific day you intend to travel. Wednesdays and Fridays are the cheapest and most expensive travel days, respectively.
Last but not least, you might want to choose between a simple flight ticket and a complete package deal. The latter tends to be more affordable in the long run but can be unideal for short trips.
2. Compare Flight Prices
Air travel is far more expensive than road, rail, and sea travel. That said, flight prices can still vary significantly from one airline company to another. So, it’s prudent to compare prices across multiple carriers.
Numerous variables can cause differences in flight prices. Notable ones include;
- Travel date and day
- Destination and routes
- Whether you’re booking directly from an airline company’s website or via a travel agent
- Whether you’re booking a basic flight ticket or purchasing a complete package deal
- Any ongoing promotions
We’ve already reviewed how some aspects may impact your flight ticket prices. Even better is that you can compare flight prices across various travel websites to find the best bargains. These sites include TripAdvisor, Priceline, Expedia, and Kayak, to mention but a few.
3. Keep Your Eyes Out For Deals and Discounts
Many airline companies offer amazing deals and discounts to their clients at certain times of the year. The best part is that most of these deals are usually available through online bookings.
Therefore, always look for ongoing promotions from a carrier’s official website.
The promotions will usually pop up when you visit an airline’s website. You can also unlock them by clicking on “Deals and “Discounts,” “Promotions,” “Offers,” or other relevant tabs.
4. Read the Cancelation Terms
It’s not unusual to book a flight to your dream destination only to cancel at the last minute due to circumstances beyond your control. So, you want an airline company with reasonable cancellation terms.
In fact, travel experts encourage booking a flight with a carrier that’s upfront about their cancellation policies.
While you’re at it, endeavor to familiarize yourself with the change fees. This information can save you from unpleasant surprises if you need to cancel or change your flight.
5. Understand The Carrier’s Pet Policies
Traveling with pets offers immense emotional benefits. However, not all airline companies allow passengers to tag their furry friends. Notable mentions include United Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines.
Therefore, it’s prudent to research an airline company’s pet policies before booking a flight ticket. If you must travel with your non-human companions, look for a pet-friendly carrier. Otherwise, arrange a professional pet sitter to keep the animal occupied while you’re gone.
6. Determine How Long In Advance to Book
When booking flight tickets, the conventional wisdom for most travelers is to secure reservations early enough.
Early bookings (at least six weeks in advance) offer the best flight options and prices. It also allows you to plan adequately for the trip.
However, it’s also possible to find amazing deals on last-minute bookings. That’s especially if you’re purchasing a full package deal.
7. Choose Where to Book
There are two places to book a flight ticket online. You can do so through a travel agent’s website or on a carrier’s official homepage.
Booking a flight ticket on a carrier’s official website gives you direct access to deals and discounts. The process is also considerably fast.
On the other hand, the main benefit of booking a flight through a travel agent’s website is that it provides you access to price comparison information. You can compare flight tickets before choosing the most affordable carrier. Agency-aided bookings also let you pay in installments, especially if you book several weeks in advance.
8. Purchase Your Ticket
If everything looks good so far, proceed to purchase your flight ticket.
Most websites will prompt you to select your departure and destination cities as well as the travel dates and type of travel. Travel type options include one-way, round trip, or multiple destinations.
You’ll then be taken to a new page where you can fill in your personal and other relevant travel information. These include your official name, number of travelers, class service, seat number, meal preferences, and credit card information.
You may also be prompted to enter your passport information if traveling abroad. Besides, you must choose whether to pay for extras, such as travel insurance and seat class upgrades. Some airlines include airport transfer and accommodation facilities as extras for passengers without a package deal.
Booking a ticket on the internet is not only convenient and affordable. The process is also remarkably fast. We hope this article clears some of your nagging questions regarding online flight ticket bookings.