Yesterday, I started posting tips for booking flights online. I had to cut it short because my post was getting too long. As promised, here’s the rest of the tips:
- If you have connecting flights, check the times, as well as the airport. There have been cases where passengers missed their connecting flight because the time in between flights wasn’t enough. Generally, you should have at least 30 minutes to 1 hour for domestic flights, and 1-2 hours for international. But take into account the airlines as well. If you’re traveling with different carriers, you might have to check-in your baggage again when you change planes. Different carriers also mean different terminals. And be sure to double-check the airport you’re flying out of. Some cities have multiple airports, and you might end up connecting in different ones. I know of a passenger who flew in from JFK airport, and had a connecting flight in La Guardia. Not fun at all!
- Before you finalize your booking, verify if you have an e-ticket or a paper ticket. I personally prefer e-tickets. For one, you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your ticket. Also, there are some situations where you might not have enough time to receive your paper ticket, since it’s sent thru the mail. How do you make certain you get e-tickets? Well, generally, most major carriers have switched to e-ticketing. What you have to watch out for is if you’re traveling internationally with different carriers.
- After booking the flight, be sure to print out the itinerary and the e-ticket. Make sure your e-ticket has the ticket numbers, airline confirmation codes, flight details, fares and passenger names.
Once you’ve booked your flight, I would recommend that you still check on your flight from time to time. Airlines sometimes change the schedules of their flights, and if you don’t check your email or your flight details, you won’t know of the changes in the schedule until it may be too late. Also, check with the airline’s website the baggage restrictions.
Don’t forget to be at the airport on time! That usually means 1-1 ½ hours for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international flights. My last advice is, should you need to change or cancel your flight for any reason, be sure to do it before the flight. With cancellations, in particular, not canceling your flight before the flight time will brand you as a “no-show”, and you’ll end up losing the value of your ticket.
Hope this post will help you with your travel plans. Happy trip!