Flying has become as common as taking a cab or a train. It is often the preferred mode of transportation, owing to its speed, comfort and safety. Yes, you read that right. Taking a flight is safer than car rides! especially when you get them via credit card is more feasible. Be it for a same-day return, business tour or a long-haul flight to the other end of the world; everyone has a reason to take flights.
So, if your bags are packed, and you’re ready to go but hate how much the tickets cost, this article will be your saving grace! Read on to find out how to get steal deals on airfare and other airline fees.
10 Ways To Save (A LOT) On Flight Bookings via Credit Card
All the travel bugs reading this, this article is all about helping you plan that epic trip you had to put on hold because flight tickets costed more than the trip itself! If you travel frequently, you already know getting a steal deal is not so much luck but more immaculate planning. Here are some hacks that frequent flyers and travel experts vouch for. Happy reading.
- Read The Small Print – The devil is in the details. When it comes to comparing the ticket prices, do check out the additional charges. While some websites show a cheaper base fare, the end price may shoot up once they add a “user development fee” or a “passenger service fee”. The same point applies to the airlines as well. The term may change to “convenience fee”. So even if the base seems attractive, review the additional charges at the final stage of booking.
- Get The Right Booking Window – Too early, and you may pay more; too close to the travel date, you definitely pay more. Proper timing is the key to unlocking special prices, discounted round trips, etc.
- Compare Prices On Different Sites – Even if you have a favourite for booking flight tickets, it’s a wise move to compare the prices for your route and flight on other websites. If you own a frequent flyer credit card, make it a point to check for card deals on all websites.
- Use The Lock-In Rates Feature – You could be in a situation where you may have to plan for an uncertain trip. Several airline carriers offer a lock-in rate which allows you to book the rate by paying a small charge. In case the plan is cancelled, you would not have to bear a hefty cancellation charge. If your plan goes through at the last minute, the lock-in rate will allow you to buy your tickets at the booked rates, even if the current price of the tickets has gone high.
- Utilize Your Frequent Flyer Credit Card – Card users enjoy various benefits from airlines, booking sites, and service providers. If you are using a card, you earn points and access the airports’ exclusive lounge areas. However, when you use cards during the booking process, you can also avail several benefits such as freebies, additional coupons, discounts and access to promotional contests. While discounts are standard and most people avail them, contest prizes are like the Yeti; some have seen it; others consider it to be a fixture. Either way, trying out your luck isn’t going to harm you.
- Push Cabin Luggage Limits – Optimal use of limits is crucial when packing for your air travel. Many travellers tend to fill their check-in luggage to the capacity and tend to carry a small backpack or a laptop bag as cabin luggage. As per airline guidelines, you can take a piece of luggage suitable for the cabin space. It is also a smart way to split your luggage. If the airline misplaces your baggage, the cabin luggage and its contents will help you manage for a couple of days.
- Book 2 One-Way Tickets – Booking a round trip was convenient and an interesting way to save cost. However, things are not the same. The biggest problem with round trips is that you lose flexibility in terms of timing and choice of flight. Instead of booking a round-trip ticket and compromise on timings, operators etc., it is better to book two one-way tickets for your trip. This way, you also get some more in case of cancellations of any one side.
- Cut Down On-Flight Entertainment – Carrying too many books or other in-flight entertainment devices can take a lot of space in your carry-on baggage. Choose what you want to read or watch on your flight (plan really ahead if it is a long-haul flight) carefully to avoid extra costs due to excess baggage.
Another option is to use the flight’s entertainment units. Most operators give additional benefits like free wi-fi to frequent flyer credit card holders. Make sure you have a membership.
- Be Flexible With Details – Unless you are strictly flying for business (in which case your company usually takes care of the expenses), it is best if you are flexible with some of the flight details like – operators, timings, and maybe even choose nearby airports to avoid the expensive ones.
- Travel Light To Save On Extra Baggage Charges – While this tip might seem like a better fit for general travel, you’d be surprised to know how much it helps in curtailing flight costs. Even the lightest packer sometimes gets overexcited when they are packing for more than a few days. Baggage cost is one of the biggest profit-making heads for any flight operator.
Before you buy the ticket via credit card, please read the baggage allowance and overweight charges. While packing, make sure your bags do not cross the limit (it is best if it’s a few pounds lighter) because you will shop on your trip, and it might add to the overall travel expense while returning.
One hundred years back, when the Wright Brothers perfected their flying vehicle model, little did they know that aeroplanes and flying will become quotidian! Did you know there are more than 7,000 aeroplanes in the air at any given point? Impressive right?
Here’s hoping you’ll find the above tips helpful and plan your next travel in a cost-effective way.
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