Booking a flight! Tips and tricks!

I recently booked my flight to Spain, it’s beginning to feel so real now! This was actually the first time I’ve ever booked a flight by myself so I was a little stressed by the whole process. Luckily it was really easy and straightforward so I didn’t have any problems – phew! Still, I know booking a holiday can be stressful especially with the amount of airlines competing for your custom! So here’s some advice on getting the best deal for your holiday. I thought it best to mention how these are just bits of advice I’ve picked up through experience, use it as guidance but by no means is it set in stone!

  1. Shop around

I know most people have a preferred airline who they like to travel with and I am not an exception to that. Travelling with the same airline can be comforting as you know how they operate, what services they provide etc. This is especially true if you’re flying for the first time by yourself. However, by only committing to one airline you can actually end up missing out on some really good deals with other companies. So before you decide to book with old faithful, take a look around at other airlines to get an idea of prices and if you’re actually paying a good price for your holiday.

2.  How much luggage do you actually need?

Think about it, do you really need all those clothes? Although the temptation may be to pack as much as possible for your holiday do you really need 22kg worth? For the last few holidays to Spain I’ve managed to pack enough stuff for a week in 10kg of hand luggage. This definitely saved me some money and also a lot of washing back in England! If you do need the extra luggage it’s worth checking out airline offers. Some airlines may offer 22kg free if you go on a package holiday so definitely shop around to make sure you aren’t losing money when paying for extra luggage!

3.  Airport check-in vs online check-in

Nowadays many airlines are moving away from traditional airport check-in to online check-in. Both have their advantages and disadvantages so really opt for which ever one you feel comfiest with. However, just bear in mind that if you chose to check-in at the airport (i.e. you get your boarding pass at the check-in desk) airlines often charge you more. For example, I am paying an extra £20 to get my boarding card when I get to the airport. The reason for this is that as I’ll need to check-in my bags at the desk anyway I thought I might as well pay a little extra to not have to worry about printing out boarding cards and stuff out at home. If you aren’t travelling with extra luggage online check-in may be a better option for you but really just do whatever you feel is best!

4.  Choosing a seat

Before I booked my flights I actually thought that it was free to pick a seat on an aircraft, I was wrong! Airlines do charge you to choose where you want to sit, I paid around £19 more just to get a seat near the front of the aircraft. The price of seats often varies depending on where it is in the aircraft and what type of seat it is. When choosing a seat beware of ploys to make you pick undesirable seats, for example often airlines will try to sell you seats with extra leg room for free. Although this may sound great most of the times these extra leg room seats are emergency exits and whilst this may not bother some people, others may feel uncomfortable sitting next to an emergency exit.

5.  Hidden extras

Finally it goes without saying but just beware of hidden costs when booking a flight. Often if you book on-line there will be lots of promotions which may seem hassle free but may in fact have hidden costs which aren’t obvious straightaway. Just be extra careful and know what you’re paying for!

Well that’s about everything I’ve learnt from my first attempt at booking a flight, hopefully you’ll have found some of it useful! I’m probably going to do some more posts about preparing for travel in the near future!