6 Tips for Infrequent Flyers
Frequent flyers, this one’s not for you, instead go and search for your next flight. These tips are dedicated to you infrequent flyers who have less experience when it comes to flying. We want to make sure your travel will be smooth and you’re prepared for your next adventure so we’ve collected a few important things to keep in mind when booking a flight. Of course, the first thing to do is find the cheapest ticket possible and then follow these six tips:
1. Most bags will cost you extra money
Many airlines around the world charge a fee for checked-bags, this is especially true in the U.S, where with the exception of Southwest Airlines every other airline has a fee for checked-bags. This is also true for carry-on bags, some airlines allow you to carry-on only a small handbag for free. Note, that if you fly super-cheap basic economy class on United and American Airlines, you will also have to pay for all bags.
To avoid high costs, try flying light and use a carry-on. Although some airlines do charge for carry-on bags many don’t, so when your booking your next flight have a look to be sure that the cheap deal does include a carry-on. You can check this guide for airlines cabin luggage sizes and weight restrictions. Carry-ons have another big advantage: the bag that travels with you in the cabin is the bag that will not get lost.
2. Delays and cancellations
In Europe if you were denied boarding, your flight was cancelled or your flight has a delay of more than 2 hours at departure the operating airline must give you a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance. In the U.S however airlines don't guarantee their flight schedules, and you should plan your trip accordingly. Each air carrier has its own policies about what it will do for delayed passengers waiting at the airport; there are no federal requirements. In case of a force majeure event such as bad weather airlines typically don’t provide vouchers for food or hotels. In case your flight has been delayed or canceled, try to remain calm and polite and work with the gate agent to find a solution as fast as possible.
3. Leave enough time for connecting flights
When booking connecting flights, make sure to leave enough time between flights, at least one hour between domestic flights, at least two hours (or more) between international flights. Sign up for the TSA PreCheck program for a faster security experience and try Global Entry for international travel (it includes PreCheck). Other countries such as the United Kingdom have similar program. The U.K’s FastTrack program also allows you to move through security check a lot faster. Have look if your country has similar facilities at airports by using keywords like airport, security and fast.
4. A good economy seat can cost you
Airlines realized that for a little extra comfort passengers will be likely to pay, so seats with a little extra legroom, popular aisle and window seats or seats near the front of the plane are reserved for those pay more the higher price tag. In addition, some airlines allow choosing your seat only during check-in time which is 24 hours before departure in most cases.
Make sure you choose your seat in advance when you book your flight, If this is not possible be ready to check for available seats the moment your check-in window begins and claim a seat then. As an alternative you can pay extra for a seat which can cost anywhere from a few bucks to $50 or more.
5. Don’t expect a refund
The least expensive flights are quite often non-refundable, which implies precisely what it says: If you choose to change your travel dates (or make other schedule changes), you will be charged a change fee and the fee amount depends on the carrier. When you book a really cheap flight be sure of your travel dates.
After purchase travellers have 24 hour window to change or cancel their airline tickets with no financial penalty. As an expensive alternative you can purchase refundable tickets, which although come at a high price they offer extended flexibility. Travel insurance is another alternative and less expensive than refundable tickets, but be certain it covers what you need it to cover before you purchase it. If there is a genuine emergency, (for example an accident or death), call the airline and see what they can do for you, but be prepared as not all airlines offer refunds or even partial refunds in such cases.
6. Long gone are the days of on-board freebies
While an international long-haul flight still comes with a lot of freebies, like meals and drinks, short flights and especially low-cost airlines don’t offer these for free. In case of ultra-discount airlines you’ll have to pay for any meal or drinks and even for blankets or pillows. Pack your own lunch, it’ll be cheaper and a lot more tastier than anything the airlines have. Also, bring a jacket or dress in layer as planes can be chilly. If your planning for a longer flight consider bringing your own neck pillow, this will be one of the best decisions.
So are you ready to grab your next cheap flight? Give Wegotego flight search a go while you’re here.