Airline Ticket Purchasing Can be Confusing
Posted on 10/07/2017
You would think that it would be straightforward to book an airline ticket, but there are many factors to take into consideration. Will that be one way, round trip, open jaw, multiple destination, direct or non-stop, economy, premium economy, business or first class? If you want to do advance seat selection, will that be aisle, middle or window? Emergency exit aisle, near the front, over the wing or at the back? So many choices and what do they mean?
If you don't know when you want to return from your trip, a one-way ticket can be the best option if you are travelling in Canada. If you are travelling to another country, a one-way ticket could cause you lots of grief at immigration. Also, one way tickets to international destinations can be very pricey so it is better to get a round trip ticket that allows changes to the return date. Change fees vary from $100 to $300 plus any difference in the fare on the new travel date.
An open jaw ticket allows you to fly into one city and home from another. For example, if you were doing a Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, an open jaw ticket is what you would need.
A multiple destination ticket allows several stops and is a great idea for long distance trips. Southeast Asia is a popular destination right now but total travel time can be around 24 hours. The trip could be broken into segments by stopping in Hong Kong for a day or two or perhaps Tokyo. Travellers to Australia often add Hawaii, New Zealand or Tahiti.
A direct flight is a flight between two points with no change in flight number and may include a stop. A great example of this is the WestJet flight from London to Calgary departing at 1:49 pm. The flight number is 233 and this direct flight stops in Winnipeg. Passengers to Calgary remain on the plane. WestJet flight 735 that leaves at 6:55 am is a direct non-stop trip.
The most affordable but not the most comfortable way to travel is in the economy section of the plane. Travellers complain that the leg room seems to be getting smaller as more rows are added to this section or space is reduced to accommodate the other classes. Travellers in economy often will pay extra for emergency row or bulkhead seats that have more legroom. However, they are sometimes giving up seat recline or seat width. These preferred seats can cost around $100 per direction on international flights.
Every airline offers different levels of economy class seats, with different amenities or reduced change and cancellation fees added as the price goes up. WestJet Econo fares are the lowest- pay for bags, pay for food. Flex fares include baggage fees and the Plus Fare gives extra room seating, no baggage fees, food and drink included and priority boarding.
Premium Economy is a section of the plane where there is more legroom and fewer seats across the plane. This class is usually found on long haul flights and is called Premium for a reason- the premium you must pay.
The next class of service is Business. It is important to note that not all airlines offer the same type of cabin. On long haul flights with Air Canada you can usually expect lay flat beds in private pods. But with some airlines, Business class seats recline and have leg rests that extend so it is a good idea to do your research before you book.
Some airlines have a First Class as well that offers incredible luxury. Emirates takes first class to a new level. Their private suites (pods) have doors that slide closed for more privacy for changing into the provided pyjamas. There is a spa shower on board as well as a lounge where you can order drinks from the bar and socialize with other passengers. If you leave from one of 70 eligible cities, you will also receive complimentary chauffeur limousine to and from the airport. All for only $14398 per person from Toronto to Dubai return this October!
Your travel consultant can assist you with flight arrangements and help you save money on the complicated itineraries. They will charge a fee as the airlines no longer pay commission to agencies, but it is money well spent as the travel consultant will have your back if anything goes awry during your travels.
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