Tips : When You Buy Plane Tickets

When you buy a plane ticket keep in mind that airline travel and pricing can be complicated. You can make things as simple and easy as possible while searching for the best deal.

Buying a plane ticket doesn’t have to be a stressful occurrence. Unfortunately, with the mysterious method of pricing that airlines use, along with the countless deals, discounts, and small print, you may find it hard to put your credit card down not knowing what else may be out there. Here are some tips for buying airline tickets, and where you may find the best deals.

First, let’s talk about travel agents. There are positive and negative aspects to them. If you have a travel agent that you know you can trust, and works hard at finding you what you want, then by all means stick with them. Searching for the lowest fares does take time, and knowledge of the industry doesn’t hurt. Travel agents will know who flies where, who flies non-stop, who offers discounts, who is running a special, so on and so forth. A travel agent can save you a lot of time and money. So, what is the downside to travel agents? They work on commission. Enough said about that.

If you decide to go the road to buying a plane ticket alone, here is what you need to do. First, get a timetable from all of the carriers that fly out of your city. You can go to the airport and pick them up from the ticket counter, or call the reservations department and have one sent to your home. A timetable will tell you where the airline goes, days and times, and if they fly non-stop, direct (a stop without deplaning), or connection. Don’t forget to look into smaller, less well-known carriers. These airlines sometimes have the best deals, and their safety standards are the same as everyone else’s. After determining who is available for your travel needs, you can get to work on finding the best price.

Most airlines offer on-line pricing and purchasing. You will usually find your best deals here. Customers’ booking their own flights saves the company a lot of money; so many times they pass the savings on to you if you purchase on-line. However, you must be ready to purchase when you find a good deal on the Internet, usually airlines don’t offer holds on-line. You may not feel comfortable with this method of purchasing airplane tickets.

If you choose to handle your reservations with an airline sales representative, be prepared to say “No” to purchasing right away. As part of the recently installed customer service plan that most airlines are complying with, they must hold and guarantee a fare for you for a minimum of 24 hours. Also, if the fare goes down in that 24-hour period they are obligated to let you know when you call back. The customer service plans that airlines have created are a wonderful thing for their customers. The airlines have promised to offer the lowest fares possible, but this does not mean they will tell you everything you need to know.

So, be flexible with your travel dates, and do not give them specific travel dates. Also, ask what discounts they offer. Asking open-ended questions, allowing the sales agent to answer your questions to the fullest, is the best way to finding what you want. Call an airline back two or three times to make sure you have been given the best offer.

The airline pricing system is a complicated one and some agents may work harder at finding you a deal than others. Last but not least, be pleasant when dealing with your reservationist. After all, they are human beings, and they may work a little harder at finding you a good deal if they think you are deserving.