How to Book Air Tickets

How to Book Air Tickets
Perhaps you're dreaming of a sailing vacation in the Greek Islands, or a mountaineering expedition in Nepal. Maybe it's an Outback trek in central Australia that has you yearning for adventure. Whatever your travel dreams, you'll need to organize flights to your destination before your voyage can begin. Thankfully, with the right preparation booking air tickets doesn't need to be a chore.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Compare fares online. Websites like, and all compare flights across dozens of airlines to find you the best deal. Don't choose a flight without checking the details--is there a stopover? What is the total flight time? Will you be landing at a major airport or a smaller satellite airport located out of town?
Step 2
Look for hidden fees. When booking an air ticket, make sure you understand all the fees and charges before signing off. Some airlines add fuel surcharges and even holiday premiums to airfares, while many online travel sites also charge booking fees. Pay attention to the services offered by your chosen airline--most budget airlines charge extra for drinks, snacks and in-flight entertainment, and it's not unusual to see charges of up to $50 for checked baggage. Read the fine print before you book so there are no surprises later.
Step 3
Read up on cancellation and change-of-flight policies. Even if your travel plans seem set in stone, a personal emergency or events at your destination can change everything. Ask about the cancellation policies offered by your airline--can you cancel in the event of a family crisis? What happens if your destination city is hit by a hurricane? Does the airline charge extra for cancellations and flight changes?
Step 4
Check your ID. Avoid hassles at the check-in counter by always booking tickets in your full name--the one that appears on your ID. If your full name is Jonathon, don't book a ticket using "Jon." If you're planning an international flight, you'll need to give your passport number when you book. This is also a good time to check if you'll need a visa to visit your destination.
Step 5
Keep a record of your booking. If booking online, print a copy of the confirmation screen or confirmation email. At the very least, jot down the flight number and confirmation number and make a note of the credit card you used to book the flight. You'll need all this information later to make changes to your flight or to check-in at an airport kiosk.

Article Written By Hailey Williams

Hailey Williams is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles, California. She has a particular interest in culture, lifestyle, health, and women's interest reporting, and her work has been published in magazines including TV Week and Sugar. She graduated from the University of Sydney.

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