Some travelers prefer to book discount airline tickets online, while others like talking to an agent and let the agent book their flights usually for a small additional fee. No matter which route you choose, whether you’re looking for domestic or international airfare, it is beneficial to know how to actually look for cheap airfares yourself, so you can know that you’re getting the best deal even if you work with an agent.
Every airline or travel agent website will have some kind of booking engine loaded on their website. Usually the airfares are the same online and when working with agent directly besides the live agent fee. Therefore, it is usually recommended to reserve the flights online yourself to save on the customer rep fees.
Let’s say you need to travel from Atlanta to Frankfurt. All you need to do is to fill the booking engine boxes. First of all, will you fly one way or you will also return to Atlanta? Then check the boxes accordingly for one way or round trip. If you plan to make any stops in between these cities and disembark for a certain time, then you’d need to check multi-city box. Next goes the city names: FROM: Atlanta and TO: Frankfurt. Then you will see Depart and Return. Here you will enter you departure date and return date. If you can be flexible on dates, make sure you check the “flexible dates”; you will get more travel dates and this means that you can get better discount airline tickets if you travel couple days later or earlier. If there is no such option, be sure to check flights and prices several days or weeks before or after your original travel date.
Sometimes you will also see an option of “nearby airports”. If there are several airports you may fly from or return to, check this box or check the flights from all the possible departure points. Oftentimes, you may find lower airfares from smaller airports.
Next, you’ll need to identify how many adults, children, or seniors will travel. Pay close attention if you travel with children as children under 2y., so called infants, usually do not occupy the seat, and therefore would be charged 10% of the adult price on international airfare and usually can fly free of charge with the United States. You may choose to buy a seat for an infant. In this case, you’d simply purchase an airline ticket for a child as he or she would be 2-11y old. The child would automatically get the seat. Recently airlines have changed some policies and rules for children tickets. It used to be that children (2-11y) would get a discount of 25-30% off the adult’s airfare. Now most airlines and airfares for children are the same as for adults.
Finally, when booking your flights online, you can enter your preferred airline, if you have any. Note, if you request a particular airline and if there one flight leg operated by a different airline, this flight option would not show up in your result page. Therefore, check both options to get all possible flight results. And the last option you may choose is if you’d like a business or economy / coach service class. Click Submit and you will see the flight options.
When checking the flight results, make sure you pay attention to the layover time, connecting, if any, cities and times, airlines, etc. Pay attention to the dates and follow every flight line departure and landing times to make sure you when and where you land. This will help you determine and choose a flight you want to book.
Now you know it all, and it is TIME to BOOK your FLIGHT!