Common Flight Booking Mistakes
Sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid buying an expensive flight ticket, especially as a result of airline mergers, route reductions and capacity controls. While this may be the case there are some mistakes you must avoid so as to ensure you do not pay more than you ought to for an airline ticket. Some of these mistakes that are avoidable are:
- Do not forget alternative airports – many major cities at home and abroad have more than one good sized airport. However if you search for just one you will not get to find other alternative gateways that are nearby with better fares and often lower airfares. For example, Newark vs. JFK or Gatwick vs. Heathrow.
To get to see such airports choose the ‘All Airport’ option shown on many booking and airline sites. Such sites would have a city code, therefore instead of using Heathrow use London. For Los Angeles instead of using the code LAX use the airport code QLA.
- Do not forget to clear your cookies – cookies are used to identify you in various ways as you surf the internet, these cookies have real and useful applications that benefit the user. For example, you can track items you have put into a shopping cart even though you have not logged into the site. But many expert travelers have reported that airlines and booking engines are using cookies to show potentially higher airfares on routes that are searched for often. So if you are searching for cheap flights to Pakistan Pia and have checked on the route frequently say in recent days or weeks; it is reported that what happens is the site is ‘aware’ that you really want these fares and ‘guesses’ that you might be willing to pay a bit more for the flight. While this has not been proven, it is safe to say the best thing you can do when comparing air fares is clear your cookies, use a different browser each time or check sites using your mobile device.
- Do not fly on a Friday or Sunday if possible – studies show that airlines tend to hike up fares for Friday and Sunday flights. The reason is because these days are the most likely days that leisure travelers and vacationers are going to travel on. Further, the number of travelers is pushed up on a Friday by business travelers who are in a hurry to return home. The best solution if possible is to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can switch Friday flights for Saturday morning flights.
Do not ignore hidden costs of cheap flights – cheap flights may bring the notion that it will be cheap all the way but at times there are hidden costs associated with flying on a cheap flight. Be sure to check that there are no such hidden costs for your flight when you do your booking or search on which flight to take. Thus the money you save will be absorbed by other costs that will be accrued, like higher baggage fees, gas and tolls for some airports.