The internet has changed virtually everything. Air travel is no exception. It used to be that a good travel agent was the best way to plan and book your flight. Now, thanks to the World Wide Web, you can make your travel plans from the comfort and convenience of your home computer. Some people are hesitant to make bookings online because of security issues and their lack of familiarity with the whole process of online booking. Here are a few things you can do to make your experience as trouble-free as possible.
1. Be flexible. The majority of air travel done in the United States is for business or professional reasons. Individuals who are traveling for business reasons tend to be less flexible in their travel dates and arrival/departure times. However, if you are traveling for pleasure (vacation, holidays, etc…) you might be able to save some money by being flexible in a few key areas. The first area you should be flexible in is your departing airport. If you live in an area that only has one local airport you might not have a choice which airport you depart from. But if you live in a large city there are usually two or three airports within driving distance from your home that you could depart from. Be sure to check the prices of flights leaving from all airports within your area. Keep in mind, the biggest airport might not be the cheapest. Second, be flexible in your dates and times of departure. Flights are typically cheaper that depart on weekdays as opposed to weekends or Fridays. Also, overnight flights are in lower demand and are therefore less expensive.
2. Book in advance. Last minute bookings are always the most expensive. Airlines charge more money for last minute bookings because they cause more work for the airlines to process in time. Try to book your flight four to six weeks ahead of time. Many airlines will allow you to book earlier than that, but some airlines do not publish their flight itineraries until six weeks before the departure date.
3. Have your credit card information ready. Online bookings are paid for exclusively with credit or debit cards. Be sure to check and see which cards are accepted with the company you are making your online booking with. Also, be sure that their site is protected from identity theft by companies such as VeriSign or Travel Guard.
4. Be sure to provide accurate information. Websites can only process what you put into them. If you do not provide accurate information for an online booking agency they can not process your purchase. Be sure that your name, email address, flight information, and credit card information are all filled out accurately.
5. Confirm your purchase. Many online booking agencies provide a phone number or support email address on their website so that you can confirm that your purchase was made. Take five minutes to call or email the agency to make sure that …