Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Book Flights: Online or with an Agent?



For some of us air travel seems to be a piece of cake while others dread even a thought of flying or booking flight tickets as they have no idea what or how to do things. Some travel tips can really help you and clarify how to book airline tickets online or with an airline or a travel agent.

First of all you need to know where you would like to travel and when. You might be looking for cheap flights to Amsterdam or cheap flights to New York, or to some other city. We’ll assume that you’d like to book the flights yourself. The easiest way to do this is via a travel website. It is really your preference if you’d like to use a travel agency website or an airline website. The major difference is that a travel agency usually has more than one (often 5 or more) airlines flying to/ from a particular destination. Airlines, however, sell only their own flights to / from a destination, so only one airline involved.  

Another thing to consider is if you’d like to speak with and airline or agency representative or you’d prefer to book your flights online. If you speak to an agent, usually there are additional fees involved because a live person assists you and there is more cost associated with the personalized service if you book or purchase flights. Therefore, it is highly recommended to book airline tickets online and you’ll be able to choose the airlines you prefer, flights times that fit you best and even book the seat you’d like, if available.

Here is a trick: no one would charge you if you called and asked questions or inquired on cheapest flights or ticket prices. So if at any point you have difficulty understanding connections or have a question about air travel, you can always call or email an agent (airline or travel agency) at no charge.

If you choose to book flights online, important thing is to check both airlines and agency websites for cheapest airfares and best connections, if any. If you need to find cheap flights to Amsterdam or Frankfurt that are in Europe, you’d probably need to search for agencies and websites that specialize in oversees travel. This way you’d be able to get the lowest airfares because these agencies will have the best negotiated airline ticket prices because of sales volume. Also, check airline websites to see if they do not have last minute deals. Usually you would look for last minute flight deals with airlines as they monitor their flights and bookings and only they can decide to release last minute flight deals or not. A wise thing to do is to figure out the flights or airlines you’d like to take and then check both travel agency and airline websites for best travel deals.