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Booking a Flight Questions
By Dancecutie38 Comments: 442, member since Sun Jan 18, 2004
On Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:44 AM

Hi everyone,

I just want a rundown of how to book a flight online. I really havn't done it myself yet but wanted to come on here and ask any of you for advice!My questions are kind of all over the place but wanted to put them on here.

so basically you can go to expedia or any site like that and find a reasonable flight online and then how do you pay for it? Do you pay for it upfront or can you pay for it when you get to the airport to get your ticket? When do you need to go to a travel agent? Do you always have to when you are booking a trip? What is an e ticket and why is it different? And then i know once you get your ticket you can then go to the airport that morning you can get your ticket and check your luggage and thats it. I also know you can call the hotel you want to stay at ahead of time vs just making a reservation online so once you get to your destination you are all set to go.

please correct me if I am wrong at all! thanks everyone!

Erin

2 Replies to Booking a Flight Questions

re: Booking a Flight Questions (karma: 1)
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:02 AM
Edited by Megan (87282) on 2013-12-14 11:50:49
so basically you can go to expedia or any site like that and find a reasonable flight online and then how do you pay for it? Do you pay for it upfront or can you pay for it when you get to the airport to get your ticket?

To book a flight online via any travel site or the airline's website, you pay online with your credit card (some travel sites might have Paypal by now but I don't know of any offhand.) You can't reserve a seat and pay at the airport like you can pay at the end of your stay with some hotel reservations.

When do you need to go to a travel agent? Do you always have to when you are booking a trip?

If you want to pay cash for a flight, you have to do it at a travel agent or airline ticketing counter. Other than that, travel agents are kind of like personal shoppers. They do your research for you and plan and book your trip for commission or a flat fee.

What is an e ticket and why is it different?

Virtually every airline operates on an e-ticket only basis and has for years. All it means is that your booking is held electronically so you do not need the old-fashioned printed ticket.

And then i know once you get your ticket you can then go to the airport that morning you can get your ticket and check your luggage and thats it.

When you arrive at the airport, at the check-in counter (or kiosk, but those aren't a good idea for confused travellers), the agent will check your idea and your booking code (given when you book) and give you a boarding pass and check your luggage.

I also know you can call the hotel you want to stay at ahead of time vs just making a reservation online so once you get to your destination you are all set to go.

You can call for a reservation if you feel the need, but you can just as easily make a reservation online with the hotel. Hotels usually have less-expensive prepaid promo rates online as well as their regular rates which you would pay at check out. There is no need to call. You can also book a prepaid stay with online retailers like Expedia.

I hope this makes thing clearer for you. I am an ex-travel agent and I have dealt with a lot of very confused, inexperienced travellers, so if you need more clarification or have more questions, I'm happy to try to help you out.
re: Booking a Flight Questions
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Sat Dec 14, 2013 02:18 PM
Dancecutie38, Megan gave you super information. She is in Canada and everything she says is good info, a couple other things to know flying in the US. You will need a photo ID, such as a drivers license passport (probably this is true everywhere else now.) You will have to show it at the luggage check in point and again at the start of the security line. At the head of the security line, you will need to show your boarding pass as well. With rare exception (such as someone escorting someone 90 years old) you cannot get past that point without a boarding pass. When you are in the security line you will have to remove your shoes and anything on your person with metal. Smart travelers will wear some sort of slip-on shoes and some clothing that either doesn't require a belt (or in the case of men, can make sure their pants will stay up without a belt. It could be embarrassing otherwise.) Anything you are carrying on has to be placed in grey plastic trays. This includes purses, loose change, keys and the like. Be aware of the US rules for carry on liquids such as make-up, shampoos and the like. They must be in 3 ounce or less containers and all must be in a 1 quart size (of less) clear plastic baggie...like a zip-lock bag. You can put larger liquid item in checked baggage, but not any carry-on bags. You will either pass through a magnetic detector (they are looking for guns/knives etc.) OR you will pass through a more modern screen device which will take an image similar to an x-ray but doesn't photograph you insides. The screeners are trained to recognize stuff like underwire bras, watches, rings so you don't have to take them off usually. [Certainly not a bra.] I happen to have an implanted cardiac defibrillator and I always mention that. The same is true for artificial knees or hips or any other medical metal. I also have an ID card for that though I've not been asked for it. You cannot take a water bottle either through the security line. Once through the security inspection. I always allow about an hour and a half before the plane take off time to arrive at the terminal, and two hours for international flying (where you WILL need a passport and a vise if a visa is required.) You may then proceed to your gate. Once past security you could also buy a bottle of drinking water. Don't plan on eating more than peanuts on any domestic flights. I usually stop at a terminal food place before I take off for any but the shortest flights. It's been 25 years since I've had a meal on a domestic flight. If you have to change planes at an interim stop, this is often necessary for anything other than a non-stop flight, know how to do that. Uniformed gate people are very helpful for anything you need help with, don't be afraid to ask them for help. There is nothing to be anxious about, millions of people fly everyday.

Jon

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