Good things to know when preparing for your flight: Fight Booking
The travel industry has changed drastically over the past decade, thanks to advances in technology. Booking plane tickets has gone from a long and arduous process requiring phone calls and visits to travel agencies, to something that can be booked and confirmed with the click of a mouse. Whether it’s round-the-world travel en-route to embarking on an exotic adventure, or a basic domestic flight to see relatives and friends over the holidays, there have never been more options for travel booking at the disposal of the everyday consumer than today. The recent travel revolution hasn’t just affected the way flights are booked, but has also influenced everything from ticket payment to boarding cards and checking in for flights. Depending on the airline, fliers can now fly ticketless, or check in before they even arrive at the airport, allowing them to enter directly into airport security and board their flight in record time.
What possibilities are there for booking a flight?
Traditional travel agencies are still very much around and available for those who prefer to use them. These days, they typically cater to either business travellers, or holiday goers looking to book the perfect holiday - flights, hotel, tours and all. Most travel agents are well travelled themselves, and can provide useful tips on holidaying in various parts of the world. Like so many other things, the Internet has changed the face of travel booking. Websites are the most popular method for booking a flight. When booking online, travellers have a few options. Many opt to book directly through a preferred airline, especially if they are collecting travel miles or simply prefer their service. Practically every large and medium-sized airline around the world now supports online booking.
A second option would be to search for the cheapest deals on a travel site, which queries a number of other different sites and airlines, to present the best value options currently available. In either scenario, all that’s required are the dates of travel, starting point and destination. From there, users can choose the desired option and pay through a number of different methods including debit card, credit card, or e-commerce payment merchants such as Paypal.
Possible payment methods
Most online merchants will accept major debit and credit card as a form of payment. Occasionally, some will also accept other payment methods such as Paypal or ‘wallet’ type payment sites. Whilst most airlines and travel sites will charge the full amount of the flight within about 24 hours, other will first take a deposit and charge the full amount later. As a general rule, the total price displayed for the flight will include the airfare, relevant airport taxes and charges as well as any booking fees or taxes.
Credit Card and Debit Card Fees
Credit and debit card fees will be charged at the discretion of the merchant and/or the card company. Both will be required to fully disclose any fees, though it’s probably a good idea to check on this before making any purchases. Often times, additional fees can arise from purchasing tickets in a foreign currency, in which case a currency exchange fee may be charged by a credit or debit card provider.
Believe it or not, ticketless flying has become a reality. Many airlines no longer require their passengers to carry a boarding pass. Instead, only a booking number and a valid form of ID is required. This has been done to not only save the airline’s from the cost of developing and printing boarding passes, but also for the convenience of the customer who no longer has to worry about carrying around plane tickets, nor stress about losing them.
Boarding cards still exist, though there are very few that are mailed out to customer weeks in advance anymore. Many airlines allow their customers to print their boarding cards themselves from the Internet. These printed sheets will contain all the typical information contained in a boarding card along with a barcode, which can be scanned just like a legacy plane ticket. Alternatively, other airlines request that travel tickets are obtained on the day of travel from an electronic machine at the airport or at the airline’s airport kiosk. Printed once the passenger arrives, these passes tend to look more like traditional plane tickets, and act in the very same way.