5 Questions to Ask Yourself before
Booking a plane ticket
Finding the best flight to a particular destination can be an overwhelming experience. As such, when we come across a great flight at an appealing price, it can be tempting to book it right away before a price jump spoils the party. Often, we throw due diligence to the wind and end up paying for it.
Below are some questions you should always ask yourself before booking any flight, regardless of your destination.
What is the duration of the flight?
Being flexible on travel time can mean getting great flight deals, but if you are on a tight schedule, you might want to avoid lengthy stopovers and layovers. Not only can an extended flight duration ruin your trip schedule, but also it can mess up your travel budget.
When booking a flight, always check the length of the flight to make sure it’s appropriate for your trip. You may be surprised how many hours or even days a stopover or layover can add to your journey.
Is the flight ticket refundable?
Travel plans change all the time. If your airline ticket is refundable, it’s no big deal. However, sometimes you may be forced to cancel or reschedule a trip only to find your fare isn’t refundable. If you’ve been here before, then you know how big a dilemma this can be. It’s either you go on a trip that’s no longer feasible, or you lose your hard earned money.
If your ticket is non-changeable, you may also be unable to change the dates of your flight or even alter the sitting arrangement in some cases.
Is baggage included in the price?
Different flights offer varying baggage allowances. Many cheap flights like charging for baggage in a bid boost their revenue, and when your luggage is sizeable, you can end up paying nearly as much as the ticket itself. While some airlines allow you to check the exact baggage allowance for your fare type, this isn’t always the case.
About a month ago, I took an Emirates flight from London to Johannesburg, and I have to say I was impressed by their baggage allowance. I was able to squeeze in my 20kg rucksack on an Economy Class without a fuss. The airline has some great baggage policies with luggage allowances of up to 50kg.
Always take note of your baggage allowance beforehand and whether your luggage will be transferred for you if you have connecting flights.
Do you need to print your boarding pass?
Don’t let the rise in mobile check-ins fool you. A good number of airlines still require passengers to have a printed boarding pass. Of course, if you forget to carry yours, they will offer to print it for you but expect to be charged an exorbitant price for it.
If your airline allows mobile boarding passes, ensure you can access it offline before going into the airport. To avoid any unforeseen inconveniences, take time to read the fine print, and understand the various terms and conditions.
What airports are you flying to/from?
Nowadays, most large cities have at least two airports, and some are adding more to cater to budget airlines that can’t afford the hefty fees levied by major airports. It’s, therefore, not unheard of for passengers to show up for their flight only to be informed it’s at a different airport.
Again, you may want to check your destination airport as well. You don’t want to book a flight only to land at a secondary airport 50 kilometers away from the city center. Depending on the country you are visiting, it can be a hectic commute! You could also use an Airbnb Coupon Code to stay near the airport.
Make no bones about it, booking the wrong flight can ruin your trip. Fortunately, some of the biggest blunders are easy to avoid if you know the pitfalls. Before you press that “Book Flight” button, make sure you tick the above checklist of things before traveling abroad.
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