Ex­plore our ex­pert travel tips

How to get the best deal when book­ing a flight on­line.

The People's Friend - - Contents -

WE all love to economise, and know­ing how to be savvy when book­ing a flight on­line can re­sult in con­sid­er­able sav­ings.

If you are look­ing to find the best deal out there, there are lots of com­par­i­son sites to help you com­pare air­fares from low-cost air­lines, char­ter flights and full-ser­vice sched­uled air­lines.

If you have never booked on­line be­fore, first check which air­lines go to the des­ti­na­tion you have in mind. Write the web­sites down in a list so you can check each one for price and con­ve­nience. Re­mem­ber the cheap­est op­tion may not be the best for your needs.

Trav­el­ling at less pop­u­lar times will of­ten mean cheaper fares, so con­sider trav­el­ling mid week, early morn­ing or late at night. How­ever, an early or late flight that re­quires an ex­tra night’s stay at an air­port ho­tel may not turn out to be the cheaper op­tion.

Sim­i­larly, a des­ti­na­tion air­port that is quite a bit out of town may re­sult in costly trans­fer costs which should be con­sid­ered, too.

In most cases, the ear­lier you book, the cheaper the prices will be. This is es­pe­cially true if you are trav­el­ling at peak times such as Easter, Christ­mas or school hol­i­days, though oc­ca­sion­ally some of the large travel com­pa­nies will of­fer huge last-minute dis­counts if you are very flex­i­ble on when and where you travel.

Will you be trav­el­ling for sev­eral hours? Check if meals are in­cluded in your costs. They are of­ten ex­tras with bud­get air­lines but in­cluded on sched­uled flights.

Fi­nally, can you change your flights if your ar­range­ments change? Some air­lines have a two-tier pay­ment sys­tem where you can opt to pay more for flex­i­bil­ity, while some air­lines al­low no changes. Make sure you opt for the one which suits your needs.

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