Air Transport

Air Transport Tips

Airline tickets are cheapest when booked well in advance. Also be aware of seasonal fluctuations in price when planning your trips. If you travel on the cusp of high and low season, adjusting your travel dates by one or two days can make a vast difference in the price of your tickets.

Look for flight specials. ‘Around the world’ tickets are generally good value. Flights that go via other destinations are cheaper than those that fly direct. If you don’t mind the extra time in the air and at airports, these are good options to choose. Often you can stay over for a few days at the stopover destination.

Shop around. Different airlines that codeshare the same flights can offer different pricing for the same flight.

Demand for flights varies on different days of the week. Many business travelers fly on Fridays and Mondays. Try to fly on days that are not in demand. You will often find that there are more seat options available on these flights. Flying on international public holidays like Christmas Day or New Year’s Day is usually a cheap option.

Although booking in advance is generally cheaper, if you have the flexibility and freedom, last minute specials are often a wonderful inexpensive way to go on holiday. Also, being on standby for flights can ensure you good deals. Be careful though. Sometimes the flights are so full that people get bumped off flights and get put on standby for the next available flight. These people will get preference above you. So if you are planning to go on standby make sure that you choose a day where demand for flights is not huge.

It is often worth joining an airlines loyalty program. If you travel a lot, you will soon earn yourself enough points to get a free flight (you will still need to pay the airport taxes which are expensive.) Points can also be used to upgrade your seat class which, on long distance flights, can be a wonderful treat. Many airlines share loyalty schemes, so you can earn points when traveling on any of the partnered airlines.

Online check-in is a great service that can save you hours standing in airport queues. Also try and book a seat when you book your ticket and reconfirm this seat when you check in online. Depending on the layout of the aircraft, there are some seats that are better than others. Avoid seats next to the toilet areas. These tend to be right at the back of the plane and you will have a constant stream of people passing your seat. This is especially trying on long distance overnight flights when you are trying to sleep. Sitting towards the front of the plane will usually be less bumpy, will let you get out of the plane faster and will usually give you faster service when food is being served.

If food is not free on the flight, consider taking your own. Food purchased on the airline can be quite restrictive in choice and quality.

Wear something comfortable that will not get too creased and crumpled during the flight, or consider putting a change of clothes in your hand luggage. Make sure that you have the correct clothes for your destination. If you leave a warm tropical Caribbean island to fly to a Mid West American winter, don’t dress in your T shirt, shorts and Haviannas with no coat, long pants and socks and shoes. You may get a nasty introduction to your destination.

Date posted: 24th June, 2011

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