Whether you are a regular traveler or have recently started travelling, booking a flight can be a tricky business. You may be a pro at managing the jetlag but still can be prone to some common mistakes while booking a flight without even realizing.
So, what are those common mistakes while booking a flight? Read on.
1. Not clearing your cookies
2. Not checking out the alternate airports
We are so used to the known information that when it comes to booking flights, we hardly checkout options. For many of the important airports, there exists a few alternate airports that allow you to save quite a few bucks on your ticket prices and won’t make much of a difference on the overall journey. For e.g. A reasonable alternative option for the Los Angeles airport could be San- Diego which is hardly a 1.5 hour’s drive from LA. Similarly, for your Dubai tours you can opt for Sharjah airport instead of Dubai which is just 34kms away from the entertainment hub.
3. Not checking out the multiple websites before booking
Do you still book from the airline’s personal website? If yes, you really need to browse and see how much the world has changed around you. There are just too many comparison websites that employ advanced search algorithms as well as flight times and combinations that can result is lower flight prices and better experiences, most of the times.
4. Not taking the in- flight experience into consideration
In most of the cases, while booking there are some flight fares that can be very close, instead of blindly choosing the least, checkout which airline offers a better in- flight experience. These include the leg room, improved meal service, a good seat layout and timing as well. These criteria may not seem important at the time of booking but sure makes a difference during the flight.
5. Not avoiding the busy days and timings
For most airlines, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays are the busy days and fares are usually higher than other days. However, there are a few places where the busy days differ for e.g. Dubai observes Sunday as a weekday and Friday Saturday as weekends, hence, the cheap days for Dubai flights are Tuesdays and Wednesdays mostly. However, this is not a rule. It’s more like a trial and error game. But the important part is to keep a tab on the higher fare days, especially if you are a frequent flyer.
The other aspect that most flyers tend to ignore is the time of booking the flight. Flight fares are generally cheaper when booked at night rather than days.
6. Not taking into account the ‘hidden extra costs’
There’s a tendency to get carried away with the ‘last few seats left’ and ‘hurry limited time pricing’ tags by the airlines (which many a times are just a marketing strategy). In this, we forget to pay attention to the extra costs that these low cost airlines levy. These extra costs include luggage, excessive transfer fees and the charges can actually negate your happiness of booking a cheap flight. In many flights the extra luggage rates are also high which makes you more vulnerable for extra luggage charges.
7. Not carefully differentiating between direct and non- stop flights
Yes, they both are similar sounding terms but there’s a difference which can make your travel unpleasant. If you are taking a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Newark, it will start from LA and stop directly at Newark, whereas if you have a direct flight ticket, the flight may halt at stops like Chicago or Denver to drop off and pick up passengers. You would not be required to get off the plane but the journey will have stops along the way. The direct flights are usually cheaper than the non-stop flights as they charge the convenience of no stops in between and considerably less amount of time taken for travel.
8. Not being flexible with our choices
While looking for a non-stop flight to the destination but since there were no flights available, you either opt for a wee hour flight that disrupts the whole schedule or book the flight with transfer that will take additional time. In between this you have other options as well, provided you are flexible enough to try them. For example, you can opt for an alternate airport if nonstop flight is what you really want. Also, when you have your itinerary planned well ahead, it is better to book your tickets in advance when the prices are lower. This can be beneficial specially if the day you have to travel is a busy day. Sometimes, when the difference is too much, its ok to let go of your favorite airline and try other carriers too.
Frequent flyers know what it is like to live life out of a suitcase. At least by ensuring that flight booking is done in an intelligent way, you don’t have to get frustrated because of the known circumstances. When you know flying is an unavoidable part of the business, why not make it as comfortable as you can.