Saturday, March 5, 2016

Things to consider before you buy an airline ticket...

Ever go to buy an airline ticket and realize there are several options around the same price on different airlines?  Here are some general things I think about before choosing…
Flight choices can be confusing!
Use these tips to pick the best one.

* Travel Time - This is always a major concern, both flight arrival and departure times, as well as total travel time. Booking a 6am flight to save $100 seems wise at the time, but when you're waking up at 3am, you might feel differently. Also, don't always pick the itinerary with the shortest total travel time - make sure you leave enough time to make any connecting flights.

* Layover - If you have to make a layover, pick whichever layover city should have the best weather when you're traveling.  Each airline has different hub cities, so picking the airline based in these often works.

* Baggage fees - Unless you're able to pack light, as I've discussed in previous posts, baggage fees are a concern. Some airlines woo you with low fares, such as Spirit airlines, but have very high fees if you check bags. On the other hand, just because an airline offers free checked bags (such as Southwest), if their fare is higher, it might be worth paying the baggage fees on a cheaper flight.

* Frequent Flyer Miles - I wouldn't recommend picking an airline just for frequent flyer miles if the flight is more expensive, but if everything else is the same, being loyal to an airline can pay off. Check out my previous post on just that!

* Cancellation options - Some airlines are more flexible if you have to change your ticket (such as Southwest) than others.  If you need the flexibility, pick the airline based on this.

Hope these points can help next time you're inundated with flight options!

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