Thinking of buying a plane ticket in the near future? Whether you're a budget-conscious traveler gunning for cheap flights or an occasional traveler, it's important that you take into account certain things if you want to shave your travel costs. Below, we at GET.com present several factors you ought to consider before you put your money down and book a flight.
1. Ticket Price
This is easily one of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a ticket. Prices tend to vary among airlines, and most people tend to look for the cheapest ticket. Even so, before you finalize your purchase, it's important to determine whether or not the price of the ticket includes taxes, surcharges and fees. Additionally, watch out for add-ons to the ticket price, such as baggage fees, which could make your cheap ticket price more expensive than you think it is.
2. Amount Of Allowable Baggage
Most airlines only allow a certain amount of baggage before they start slapping you with extra charges. The rules for baggage vary among airlines, therefore it's important to ensure that you know how much free check-in baggage is allowed first so that you will know exactly how much you're expected to pay to fly that airline, together with your baggage.
3. Number Of Stopovers
Is the flight a non-stop flight or can you expect halts? The amount of time it will take to reach your destination depends heavily on whether there will be stopovers and the duration of those halts. For instance, one ticket might be cheaper than another, but if that flight includes a layover of six hours, the great deal you think you're getting might not be so worth it after all.
4. Time Of The Flight
Flights that arrive at their destinations at odd hours are usually less expensive than flights that arrive during peak hours. That's fine if you're familiar with the area you're flying into, else you might be better off just paying an extra few dollars to save yourself unwanted hassles that could have been avoided.
5. Total Transit Time
If your flight happens to be an indirect one, it is crucial that you consider the transit times, or you could find yourself stuck at the airport for several hours with absolutely nothing to do in order to catch a connecting flight.
An extremely short transit time could also present problems if your first flight is delayed because you could very well end up missing your connecting flight! Be sure that you have enough time between your first flight to catch your second one!
Ideally, there should be at least two hours between the arrival of the first flight and the departure of the second flight to give yourself some allowance for delays and as well as enough time to collect your baggage if need be.
6. Changing Airports
In some cases, a cheap flight might mean that you not only need to change planes but also airports. Depending on the airline, you may not even be offered transportation to reach the second airport. Needless to say, this could prove to be a huge hassle and inconvenience altogether, especially if you are a first-time visitor to that city.
Always check the itinerary of the flight carefully prior to booking so you know whether you need to change airports and if so, the distance between those airports and gauge the potential for inconveniences. Weigh these carefully before plonking your money down.
7. Travel Dates
Being as flexible as possible with your travel dates. Booking in advance is often a good way to save money on the cost of your plane ticket, too.