Air travel is one of the most popular means of transportation, with more than 4 billion passengers having taken to the skies in 2018. In the years to come, this number is only expected to grow. However, the number of issues when booking a flight is probably going to grow as well.
There are countless mistakes that people make while booking their flights. Don’t fret, however: Skycop is here to point them out in hope that these issues will not haunt your future trips.
First of all – details
It might sound funny, but so many mishaps happen because of slightly (or not so slightly) incorrectly-entered details. Swapped letters in the last name or a nickname written as a first name can cause a lot of misunderstandings – or even cause you to mqiss your flight. Before buying your ticket, make double-check your name, identification numbers and so on. If someone else is buying your ticket for you, make sure they check if all of your details are correct.
With so many airports around the world, the existence of similar names should not surprise us. However, we need to be careful if we want to land in the correct country. If you want to visit the ancient city of Granada in Spain you might not be too happy to land on the Caribbean island of Grenada, or to mix up Paris in France with Paris in Texas, USA.
Sometimes, an airport might have a city name attached to it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the airport itself is in that city. For example Oslo, Norway. There are three airports with “Oslo” in their name: Oslo Gardermoen airport, Oslo Rygge airport and Oslo Torp airport. But while they all share a part of the name, the distance from the city itself is very different. Gardermoen is 47km away from Oslo, Rygge – 70km, Torp – 118km. Before booking a flight, make sure to choose not only the right city, but the best airport as well.
Booking via an airline, travel agency or a small independent website
When looking for the best deal on your flight, you might come across some incredibly tempting prices and deals. While some a legitimate, others look too good to be true – that’s because they are.
The easiest and probably safest way to book a ticket is directly through the website of the operating airline. The price might be higher than on third party websites, but you are dealing directly with the operator. If anything goes wrong, you can go straight to them.
Travel agents can usually offer bundle deals – flights together with accommodation, transportation and so on. By buying from travel agencies, you get an agency specialist who will deal with your problems for you. They can organize your perfect trip, so travel agents are great for people who do not want to deal with the organizational part of the vacation. However, you still have to do your research as not every travel agency is created the same.
And lastly, there are many third party or independent small websites that sell flight tickets for (sometimes incredibly) small prices. These sites usually do not offer live prices of the flights and the amount might change once you go to pay. There might also be additional charges that will bump up the extra low price to one much closer to the usual one. If you experience any problems with your flight, you might have a hard time reaching customer services of those third party operators as they are more interested in selling the ticket than in customer satisfaction.
Minimum connection time (MCT) varies by airport and by type of trip. There are 4 official connection types: Domestic – Domestic, Domestic – International, International – International, International – Domestic. Within the European Union, it is important to know whether the connections involve flights within the Schengen zone. If the trip happens within the Schengen zone, the transit process is faster as there is no immigration control.
MCT also varies depending on the size of the airport. Small airports have shorter MCTs. For example, in Vienna International (VIE, the connecting times can be as low as 25 minutes. However, the main hub airports may require 1,5h or even more in transit between flights. If you’re booking separate flights to reach your destination, make sure you’ll have enough time to switch planes.
Departure and arrival times
Most of early/late flights have enticing prices, but you have to consider the ups and downs of such proposals. While the smaller price is surely a bonus, an inconvenient arrival time might be a huge minus. An early arrival might mean that you won’t be able to check in into your hotel for hours, while a late arrival might cause more problems of transportation. You even might need to pay for late check-in at the hotel.
Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little more just to have fewer problems.
Booking flights with a credit card
The next thing you should consider when booking a flight is how you’re going to pay for it. Paying for flights with the right credit card can be a huge help in case of a delay or cancelled flight. Some credit cards offer travel delay insurance. The length of the delay before the coverage kicks in is varies from card to card, so this information might be crucial if any delays occur. Some cards also offer other travel related perks, like lost luggage insurance, hotel theft or burglary insurance or assistance in medical emergencies.
We hope that by being aware of these possible issues, you will avoid them and have some incredible trips. But if anything does go wrong and your flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked, Skycop will be there to help you out with your compensation claim.