Do you love flying? Would
you love to fly a lot? Do you want to do it in smartest way possible? Here is a
guide to booking your flights.
There is a long standing myth that you should book your air tickets as advanced
as possible. Now a days, airlines have high competeition and you keep getting
emails about air fare sales.
Just register to multiple newsletter from different airlines that keep offering
All the airlines have their own mobile app notifying you about the sale.
Whenever airline needs more liquidity for buying up assets or related tasks,
they always create sale to create instant liquidity.
You shouldn't book flight more than 120 days in advance unless you buying them
in sale. Flight times may change, lot of things might go side way. Yes if
you book flight within 30 days of flying you would have to pay premium. Safe
distance is usually 45 to 90 days.
Have too much baggage?
1. It is always safer to buy extra baggage online than paying it up at the
2. If you are carrying too much baggage - go premium and
get a business class booking. Usually the difference is very small
to get business class than pay high amount of baggage. I have seen myriad of
people paying upto $100 for extra baggage fees. Just get it upgraded before
hand. Don't do it at airport.
3. If you have followed my advice and signed up for frequent flyer
program already. Getting business class booking from your miles is easiest
route possible. I have many times seen business class sales where you can
partially pay with miles and partially with cash to make it more profitable.
This is usually only possible at booking window. Remember its always free to
sign up for frequent flyer program.
4. Normally all the airlines have office at the airport. Try to
avoid taking airlines which doesn't have office in the country you are flying
from. There is always major issues to get any kind of changes done.
5. Always try to book tickets from airline's own website than using third
party providers such as kayak, makemytrip, expedia. Those booking agents charge
their own cancellation fees if you require to do that. Plus usually process is
6. If you are using frequent flyer program (FFP), most
airlines with such program offer bonus miles to book from their own
website. Remember now a days airmiles are almost an alternate currency.
7. Usually all major carriers have partnership with some banking company
which provides co-branded cards. Usually those cards provides highest return on
purchase of tickets. You would always get extra airmiles to buy tickets from
those cards. Choose the card which provides you the best rewards. It makes
every point count.
Things to make sure while booking
1. Which airport are you going to fly from and land to -
Lot of cities have multiple airports and getting from one to
another can be a task.
If anyone has been to Moscow - You know how it is to land at either of
Domodevo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and changing the airport
is a big task.
If you flying low cost like in Warsaw - Modlin is like really far off from the
main city. You really don't want to fly there. Better stick to Choplin airport.
I know they almost sound the same when you read them. Just know where you are
However if you are flying international - its always smarter to fly to smaller
airport as they have lesser queues and less airport tax. Sometimes flying to
Alternate airport is cheaper.
2. Don't forget to clear your cookies before booking airfares.
Lot of times
due to failed attempt or any stupid reason - Airlines always tricks you into
believing its last seat to be booked. Lot of time you refresh browser and seat
is gone. However, if you clear your cookies and wait for 90 minutes, those
seats tend to come back.
Lot of times Airlines would charge you extra fees if they see you
researching multiple sites. They know you are willing to fly so why not to
charge you little extra while you make your mind.
I am not sure what Incognito mode does about it. Check your own results and
drop me comments about it.
3. Avoid booking when airlines have let prices drift up.
Unless you are booking travel for work, it is obviously most
convenient to shop for and purchase airfares over the weekend, when you have
more free time. Airlines, however, historically tend to offer sale fares very
late on Sunday nights and early Monday morning, then let fares drift up over
the next day or so as folks pounce on those fares. Then on Monday overnight,
they will often reduce fares again on routes that did not sell well, which you
can purchase on Tuesday.
4. Don't fly on Friday or Sunday if you can avoid it.
Airlines tend to jack up airfares for Friday and Sunday flights
for the simple reason that these are the most likely days leisure travelers and
vacationers are going to travel. The number of travelers also gets pushed up on
Fridays by business travelers racing home, so this can be a particularly pricey
5. Don't overlook the in-flight experience.
If you find yourself choosing among fares that are reasonably
close, you may want to check whether one airline has better entertainment
options, seatback screens vs. overhead (or none), a better seat layout, more
legroom or better meal service. Price aside, these are all factors that can
make a big difference in how pleasant (or miserable) your flight might be.
Sites such as Hipmunk.com and Routehappy.com can help you discover potential
snags that you might not have anticipated, and that will give you more upon
which to base your flight choices than just price.
Go to sites like seatguru.com and get your seat booked in advance.
Don't get to airport and try to ask for decent seat on the flight. It would
never happen. Most smart flyers have already booked your favorite seat.
7. Don't ignore other costs, both human and financial.
Sometimes the money you save on a cheaper airfare is absorbed
almost instantly by other expenses you incur. When booking your flights, try to
consider any fees that might accrue on what looks like a cheaper flight.
Easy examples might be the need to stay in an airport hotel for a really early
flight, higher baggage fees on a discount airline or gas and tolls to a more
Public transport usually doesn't work early morning or late nights in most of
the city and you might have to take taxi anyway. Many countries have
separate Taxi fares. You pay different price during the day and then there is
late night fees where you pay extra to travel during that period.
In India - it is usually 11 PM /Midnight to 5 /6 am depending on the city.
Lot of times you would have to get way early to airport because
your transport doesn't work.
8. Use multiple sites to check if you are getting best airfare
Confirming its the cheapest airfare?
9. What if I cancel/change my plan?
Always check - just in case you need to cancel - How much is it
going to change you. If you need to change your plans, how much would it cost?
P.S Different sky views of different countries.
Let me know what you would like me to share in comments.
Labels: Airlines, Airport tips, Booking airline tickets, check in, Frequent Flyer, India, Low Cost, Moscow, Poland, Shopping, Travel tips, Warsaw