There are some things which look easy on paper but when you actually attempt it, you realize the factors you need to consider are far more than initially imagined. One such example is booking your international flight to the chosen destination. I am specifically emphasizing on international flights because for domestic sector choices are usually limited and straightforward. They are of shorter duration and you will have maximum 2-3 airlines which have flights on a particular route if you are not flying across metro cities.
The situation is totally different in case of international flights. If you are flying through a busy route, you will have plenty of choices which are enough in number to confuse you. Then how do you decide which one is the most optimal choice. Lets see how we can narrow down our choices.
- Travel Time: One of the important thing you need to consider is to check the total travel time for the flight. This is specially true for flights which have one stopover. Check the connection time between two flights and make sure you are not spending lot of time at connecting airport. There is no point in getting a cheap flight if connection time is 10-12 hours which you need to spend at airport. It will be very tiring and not at all recommended if you are going for a shorter duration trip of say one week. If there is more than one stop, then think thrice whether you should book that flight unless that is the only option for you.
- Ticket Cost: This requires no explanation as everyone wants to get the cheapest flight. However make sure that the ticket fare for the cheapest flight is refundable unless you are absolutely sure about your plan.
- Arrival Airport: Most of the major cities in the world have multiple airports and low-cost airlines would be landing on a different airport than main airport of a particular city. Make sure your arrival airport is not located far away from city. Also if you have your next flight from a different airport, then research whether two airports are well-connected or not and also whether you need a transit visa just in case you have to enter city to reach other airport.
- Airline Alliance: If you do not have flights with same airlines or if you are booking multiple flights to different destinations, then try to book airline which is part of an airline alliance. An airline alliance is a group of airlines who partner together to cooperate with each other and make a common brand. The benefit you get as a customer is the airline reward points, that can be used across different airlines from the same group. To give an example British Airways is part of One World alliance and thus reward points can be used for booking flights from other airlines in same group. This provides you a better value for your money. You can read about other benefits on the alliance website.
- Aircraft: Not many people pay attention to it but for long distance fights an aircraft with better facilities will make a lot of difference. Read reviews about the food served, leg space between seats and in flight entertainment and decide which suits best to your needs and budget. This will have a huge impact on your overall travel experience.
Booking your flight is a major milestone of your travel plan, so research well before you take a final call. There are some very good articles available online to find cheapest rates for a specific flight and this requires a separate analysis. I will write a different post for about it but hopefully these pointers will provide you some useful hints for your search. Have a good flight 🙂 .