Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Important Points to Check Before Buying an Air Ticket

Buying an air ticket has become a simple matter now. Gone are the days when a trip to the travel agent was required. However when things become simple we always tend to overlook important matters. Here are some of the most important yet easily overlooked terms of an air ticket.

01. Baggage Policy
Different airlines have different baggage policies. Some allow 20kg of checked in baggage and 7kg of hand carried baggage for economy class passengers. Some allow 30kg checked in and 10kg cabin baggage. In many cases only 2 pieces of checked in baggage is allowed. Cabbing baggage is limited to one. Typically a laptop, ladies handbag, umbrella are not considered as hand carried baggage. That means those will be allowed in addition to the "baggage". However certain budget carriers do not have this policy. That's the reason why sometimes on an apple to apple comparison sometimes budget is not really "budget". It is very important to read the baggage policy to ensure what you take with you to the airport can be carried to the destination without having to pay extra.

02.  Charges for changing your itinerary
Of course we want to cheapest fare for the itinerary we provide to the travel agent. Now a cheap ticket may come with certain restrictions. Changes may be strictly prohibited. In case you want to change it could be as good as buying a new ticket. Some tickets may allow you to change at a fee payable and subject to seat availability. It is useful to check with your travel agent the costs for such changes

03. No show fee
You could miss the flight due to traffic or probably overlook the after midnight flight date and arrive one day after the actual flight date. In such cases a no-show fee could apply. It is useful to find out what that no show fee would be and what's be the cost of a changed ticket. Usually a no show fee will not be applicable if you change the itinerary with the airline prior to the travel date depending on the terms of your ticket.

04. Online Check-in
It is useful to be able to check in online. Most tickets nowadays allow online check-in. If it's allowed it's best to find out the url for online check in. It allows you to arrive at the airport slightly later than those who have not checked in online and gives you a faster queue for dropping your luggage. In cases of overbooked flights which is a real possibility during long weekends and holiday seasons online check-in helps you to have peace of mind.

05. Visa requirements and Passport Validity
It is very important that you have the visa for your destination and the required passport validity (typically 6 months). Some countries require transit visa and if any of the requirements are not met you may not be allowed to board the plane. It's always advisable to purchase the ticket only after all visa have been approved from the respective authorities.

Check these and you'll be on your way to that perfect holiday, family reunion or the business trip that you planned. Happy Traveling!

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