We Know: Tips on Making Online Airline Reservations

Why book airline tickets online?

Booking tickets online can be done quickly and conveniently from the comfort of your own home or office. Sometimes, you can even get discounts on airline fares when ordering them online. With some airlines, you can also choose your seat and request a special meal.

What's an e-ticket?

An e-ticket, also known as an electronic ticket, is what you're issued by the airline when you make your reservations online. It's simply a copy of your reservation with your contact information on it which you print out from the website when viewing it your web browser. If you lose the e-ticket, some airlines won't charge extra, but some do. In any case, they should be able to verify your reservation in their computer system by referencing your name. It's a good idea to print out two copies of your e-ticket and store them in separate places. This minimizes the risk of losing both copies.

Tips for Booking Online Airline Reservations

Before booking your online airline reservation, consider these points:

  • Don't wait until the last minute to make reservations. Prices generally go up when the flight reservation is less than 21 days in advance.
  • Some online reservation companies offer package discounts if you reserve a hotel room in addition to your flight.
  • Flight times that arrive or depart after midnight are cheaper than daytime flights.
  • Your credit card may entitle you to airline discounts in addition to giving you frequent flyer miles.
  • Flights into feeder airports are often cheaper than to major hubs. In most cases, bus services or other transportation is available from these smaller airports to get you to your final destination. Feeder airports are often located within miles of a major airport.
  • Bring your picture ID. With the increased level of security these days, an ID is mandatory. They'll also want to see it in order to match you up with your e-ticket.
  • When doing price comparisons, remember to check with the airline's website to see if they're offering the fare even cheaper than when reserving a ticket through a third-party. In many cases, it's the same or even higher when going directly to the airline, but it's always good to check.

Online Airline Reservation Booking Companies

In addition to the airlines themselves, there are many companies that allow you to book airline reservations online, including the following:

  1. Expedia guarantees that if you book a flight through them and find the same flight for less through a competitor's online reservation system within 24 hours of your booking, Expedia will refund you the difference and give you a $50 travel coupon.
  2. Yahoo has a Low Fare Alert program that you can sign up for. You'll receive an email whenever low fares become available for the departure and arrival cities of your choice. You can make airline reservations through Yahoo as well as hotel and car rental reservations. Packages are available.
  3. Travelocity offers last minute travel deals, cruise deals, hotel deals, and airfare alerts that will be emailed to you when rates drop on routes of your choice.

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