Booking your airfare online seems simple right? Often we hear that people have been caught out booking via a third-party supplier only to get stung with additional costs, stricter cancellation terms, or change conditions than they should have. Here is our guide to book your flight online.
Searching for the right airfare.
Let’s start with the best places to search for your airfares, however not book them. This is a common mistake made when booking online. There are many websites available that compare airfares. Booking, however, you will want to book directly with the airline, we can’t stress this enough. We will explain why soon.
Some great airfare comparison websites to start your search:
Find the airline with the best schedule, price and connections. These three areas are the key ingredients to narrow down your search and book the right flight. For example;
- Your flight can be cheap but usually has terrible schedules and airport connections.
- Your flight can have great schedules and airport connections, but usually, it’s expensive.
Find the perfect balance that you’re comfortable with. Often the cheapest airfare will likely have the worst schedules or airport connections. This is because the airline does not need to discount their flights that are the most popular (great schedules and connections).
Booking your airfare.
Once you have found the airfare most suitable for you, we recommend you consider what you want to do when you land at your destination. Also, consider the same for your return journey. If your plans are simply to and from your accommodation, with no plans within 24 hours from flight arrival and departure, then it’s all good to book your airfare.
If you are planning to connect with a tour or continue your travels with another flight, you will want to ensure your arrival flight allows you the right timings to get from the airport or gate to your next location. The same goes for the return flight. Make sure you always have time built into your trip to get to your departing flight. The last thing you want on a trip is to miss flights or cause unwanted stress due to poor planning.
When you are ready to book your airfare, book direct with the airline. The key benefit of booking directly with the airline is that the airline holds full control of your ticket. This is important for a leisure traveller. Go to the airline’s website and replicate your search to find the flight to book.
If you book via one of the mentioned third-party websites, some of the common traps and frustrations from travellers are:
- Calling the airline for information only to be redirected to the third party you booked with.
- Needing to change or cancel the airfare via the third party supplier. They may not provide as much flexibility or might be difficult to contact.
- If the airline changes or cancels your airfare, they will notify the third party who booked your flight, not you directly. This may create delays and misinformation. Make sure your frequent flyer number is loaded to help avoid this.
- If you ask for an upgrade, the airline won’t be able to help you as you booked via third party.
- The third-party website will have its own terms and conditions in addition to the airline terms and conditions. The airline’s cancellation or change fee could be $100 per person however, the third-party website may charge you $500 per person.
With these tips you will successfully navigate how to search and book your airfare. In most cases we recommend booking directly with the supplier to ensure the most flexibility and the best service experience.
Should you need more information please engage with us online or via our social channel. We would be happy to answer some of your questions. You can also find more travel tips via our blogs page.