Money Mistakes Even Savvy Travelers Make

BY Travel Writer

No one wants to spend more than is necessary for air travel. If you can’t be inconvenienced with awkward flight times, or by adding a day on one or both ends of travel because of an odd travel schedule don’t be tempted by deep discount flight sites. Here’s why.

Discount travel sites like Priceline’s Express Deals and Hotwire’s Hot Rate Flight often offer lower airfares sometimes 10% to 20% less, let’s call them blind offers because you don’t see the full offer until after you pay for the flight. They can be a good deal for flexible and adventurous travelers. However, if you don’t fit that description then you need to understand how the sites work. They require you to book nonrefundable fares before understanding exactly what you’re getting such as what airline you’ll be flying with the exact time you’ll be departing and arriving. The way the sites work is that they typically provide an eight-hour flight departure time for you to select. This is great if you’re flexible and can adjust your plans accordingly to get the discount. The companies do this because the flight inventory they’re trying to sell is among the least convenient and popular for travelers.

Phone flight booking fees. To encourage travelers to book their own flights online many airlines are now charging a typical fee of $25 per ticket to book the flight via the phone. If you need a little help with your booking you can often avoid the phone service charge, here’s what to try.

First of all, be pleasant with the customer service representative. Next, explain to the representative why and how they can help you as it relates to the airlines booking site. A reason may be using frequent flier miles for one ticket but paying for the other and wanting to sit together, another reason maybe using miles for an upgrade, another reason may you may be that you’re booking connecting flights and want to be sure that you enough time between flights to make the connection and have concerns about baggage making the flight.  You may also need assistance with selecting a seat due to an injury or disability. These, among other reasons, can prompt a customer service rep to agree to waive the booking fees while assisting you.  If they don’t politely ask for a supervisor or hang up and try your luck with another rep.

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