Seven tips for booking airline travel
Getting ready to book a flight? Here are seven things to keep in mind before you do.
1. Connections and terminals
Direct flights aren't always available, and they can be much more expensive. Make sure if you have a connecting flight that you have plenty of time to catch your next one. You may need to change terminals, and depending on how far it is, that 35 minute connecting time may not be enough. If you are connecting to a domestic flight after an international one, keep in mind that you will have to go through customs and perhaps check in again. Most airports have maps online to give you an idea of how far things are.
2. Passport expiration date
Many countries require that your passport has a six month window from time of travel to expiration to enter their country. While some airlines may catch this when you book, make sure to double check. You don't want to spend your holiday waiting for a new passport.
3. Check your credit card
Many of us aren't aware of the travel benefits on our cards. Travel insurance is an important one, as well as accumulating points to use towards future trips. Look into what your card offers so that you choose the one most helpful to you.
4. Hidden fees
Found a super cheap fair? Take a lot at the fine print. Some airlines are upfront with baggage costs and extras; others are not. Do your homework and add up to see if that deal ends up being a deal after all.
5. Seat selection
Many airlines allow you to choose a seat when you book online. If you have a preference, don't wait until the last minute. You may end up smushed in the middle next to the bathroom.
Food on flights is almost a thing of the past, but for long haul flights, meals are usually still served. If you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, you can go in and choose your meals. FYI if you are a vegetarian or love Indian food, the Asian vegetarian option is fantastic!
7. Frequency of flight
I learned this the hard way when I planned a trip to Nicaragua, and a snowstorm hit NYC. When trying to see if rescheduling was possible, I learned that they only flew there once or twice per week. If you have a short amount of time for your trip, check to see how often the airline flies to your destination just in case.
While you can’t prevent every thing from going wrong when it comes to your flight, I hope these tips will be useful next time you are looking to fly. What are some of your helpful hints when booking airline travel?