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Tips & Tricks When Booking A Flight Online

Mi, 02/22/2017
Find Cheap Flights Online

Finding and booking a flight at a reasonable price can be tricky business; it often means trawling the internet through airline websites, flight search engines and online travel agents only to find that when you return to the great deal you found yesterday, the price has shot up. Read our tips and simplify the process, after all organising a trip should be exciting, not stressful!

Flight prices fluctuate, everybody knows that. You’ll be looking at flights one day, find the ones you want to take, go into work the next day and book those days off, get home the next evening, go to book the flights you wanted and, surprise, surprise, they’re jumped up in price. Although nobody has been able to work out the complex algorithms airlines use to calculate seat prices, there are many theories that cookies can have a big impact. Your browser history might have given the airline a helping hand; they knew what price you saw yesterday and have raised it to scare you into buying the flights before the price goes up anymore. Clear your cookies, change your browser, use a different IP address through a VPN or a local coffee shop, all of these things could help. To stop your information from being tracked at all, you could also go incognito right from the start of your search (Chrome/Safari: Hit control + shift _N. Firefox/Internet Explorer: Hit control + shift + P). Try changing to your mobile phone, or using a different computer too because, apparently, even the type of computer you have can affect the flight fares you are shown.

There is an abundance of flight search engines and flight comparison websites on the internet, try a few different ones, as each will have slightly different algorithms for calculating the fares. Besides, they are likely to through up different results for times, airline and connection combinations.

Don’t ignore hidden costs. And we don’t mean just extra fees for baggage. The extra expenses you can incur through booking a cheaper flight can come in lots of unexpected ways, like how will you get to the airport at 5am? The amount you fork out for a hotel near the airport or in taxi fares is likely to be more than what you saved on your flight. Not to mention the sleep you’ll be losing. Plus some airports may offer cheaper flights, but is that because they are further away from the city? You might have to pay extra for public transport, a taxi or in fuel just to get to and from the airport. When booking a flight you should take all of these things into account.

If your fare goes down since you bought it, you could ask for a refund. Airline policies vary on this and, if they do give refunds for such cases, you are not likely to find this information publicised anywhere. It’s always worth asking.

If you’re travelling in a pair, there’s a trick to getting a whole row of seats to yourselves. Book an aisle seat and a window seat, leaving one space between you both; book these two seats just inside the Economy Plus area. Doing this will significantly increase your chances of having an empty seat next to you and taking advantage of the whole row. The trick works like this: window seats and aisle seats are more popular, more people are likely to want to save money, therefore won’t pay the extra charge to sit in Economy Plus, and, if they are willing to pay to sit in Economy Plus, they probably won’t select that middle seat between the aisle seat and window spot that you’ve already booked.

The later you leave to check in, the better seat you will get for free. Many airlines now have online check-in, which means less hassle at the airport and if you’re travelling without checked luggage you can go straight through security. But online check-in often also means something else: you get to choose where you sit (for a surcharge). Better seats will come at a price, with the front row and the back row being the most expensive. The front and back row, why are they so coveted? Well, the passengers are closer to the toilet and closer to the cabin crew at each end of the plane, plus they are the first out of the plane so it’s worth paying extra for those seats if you have to catch a connection or are in a hurry after the flight. The front row also has the best leg room in the whole plane, of course. Online check-in has given us more power over where we sit, but there’s a secret knack to getting better seats for a lower price. The airlines tend fill up the seats in the middle of the plane first, so if you’re not willing to pay to choose a seat you’ll get automatically allocated one. That’s why checking in online as soon as it opens isn’t smart. However, if you wait until the last two to three hours (online check in is usually open for a week), the unwanted seats will all have been allocated and the left over seats will be the better, more expensive ones towards the front or back of the aircraft.

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