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Internet Booking     










We have received many emails about booking procedures for discount airlines, answers to the most frequently asked questions follows. Please make yourself aware of the cautions you should take when booking a low-fare airline


Pricing Irregularities


Unfortunately it has become common practice for most discount airlines to not display the real price of a ticket until the booking is made. Many discount carriers have chosen to show teaser rates on the initial booking web page, and the entire fare is not revealed until the time you are asked to pay for the ticket.  Some of the additional fees are for taxes, which nobody can seem to get around; but other charges are not so obvious, like booking fees and fuel surcharges which have become common place.  Know what the real fare is before you book and be assured if the airline is offering a fare of one dollar to get from point A to point B that is not what you will be paying. 


You May land In Another Airport


Many of the lowfare airlines are able to offer very substantial discounts by using alternative airports where the operating costs are much lower. Be careful the booking you make is from or to the airport you expect. Discount airlines may emphasize the major city and in parenthesize, list another destination. Be aware you are going to the destination listed in parenthesize.  Our Lowfare Airline Locator tool supplies a link to the airport you will be arriving in.

Venice may actually be Treviso, Vienna may be Bratislava, or Paris may be in one of three different airports.  Be careful where you book the reservation too, especially in Europe. 

Just because a different city is listed do not write off the airline as having no service.  On most occasions when a discount airline lists a major city, as a city they service the airline usually provides reasonably inexpensive transportation to that city. 

Sky Europe with service to Vienna actually lands in Bratislava but they also provide transportation to Vienna for a small additional charge.  Ryanair has service from London to Venice, but the plane does not actually land at the main Venice airport but an airport called Treviso some forty miles away.  Ryanair does provide a very convenient buss to Venice from the Treviso Airport however. Many more examples could be listed.

Fares quoted in Local Currency


Usually you will be quoted a fare in the currency in which you begin your journey. If you start your travel in London and fly to Italy you will be charged in Pounds but if you start in Italy and proceed to London you will be charged in Euros.  It is important to note which currency you will be assessed.  I recently booked a flight from Malaysia to Macau and the initial fare came up at $190, sounded expensive if it was dollars but in Malaysian Ringget it was equivalent to 57 dollars.  Good deal after all.  On the other hand a ticket price of 100 pounds is actually $200 dollars.


Credit Card Facts


Most discount airlines are able to save money by avoiding travel agent fees and accepting direct bookings on the internet.  If you are using a foreign credit card, Americans trying to book in Europe or Asia, or any other scenario: call you credit card company and tell them you will be making a charge in a foreign currency.  If you do not do this it is highly likely your credit card will be rejected when you try to buy the tickets.  A credit card charge one moment in the United States, and an hour later in Malaysia, will always sets off alarms. 

Be aware credit card companies generally charge a fee for processing a charge in a foreign currency anywhere from one to three percent.  A good idea if you have more than one credit card is to call each of them and ask what the service charge is and book with the credit card offering the lowest fees.

Many emerging discount airlines go out of business each year and leave customers stranded.  You may have some recourse with your credit card company if the airline fails but some cheap travel insurance may be a better alternative if you want to insure yourself from the addition costs of being stranded. Be certain the airline you are buying a ticket from is not on the banned list of travel insurance companies.


When is best time to Book reservation?


It is best to book flight reservations as far in the future as is possible because fares tend to get more expensive as the plane fills up.  If you see a great fare book it, but remember most of the fares are non refundable so be certain of your travel plans before you even look for fares.


Seat Assignments

Most discount airlines will not allow advance assignment of seats.  Many offer priority to the first to arrive and allow the early arrivals to be the first to board.  Be aware these flights are generally the least expensive and many times no extra seats are available.

Airline Safety


This is a very common question.  As far as security they probably are as safe as any of the major airlines because security is regulated by the countries, and airports, not the airlines themselves.  Are the low fare airlines as safe as major airlines; this really depends on the particular airline.


Some have standards that are superior to the major airlines and others have more relaxed standards.  Discount airlines which operate in the United States and most European countries are subjected to higher standards established by local governments. Several discount airlines in Africa and eastern block countries have had licenses revoked for safety violations however, and this is something you should be aware of. 

Generally the larger more established discount airlines have very good safety records. A quick search of the AirSafe site may be in order. Some independent verification may be needed if this is a serious issue for you, and it should be for all of us.

Food and Drink

Most low fare airlines are no frills airlines.  You will even have to purchase water, so if you wish to save some money bring your own snacks and beverages in your carry on bag

E Tickets


Booking in a foreign country you will probably have no recourse other than to accept an e ticket.  Bring a copy of the email and booking confirmation with you to the airport to


London Cautions


London although not in the center of Europe is serviced by more discount airlines than any city in Europe.  Because so many airlines service the city the competition is fierce and the prices some of the most reasonable to points throughout Europe.

London is also the home of at least seven different airports which have some discount airline connections.  This makes knowing where you are going in London a very high priority.  Many North American travelers have discovered the discount airlines of Europe and book a ticket to London because it is usually the least expensive international ticket; they than book another ticket on a discount airline to the final destination somewhere else on the continent. 

Unfortunately far too many travelers do not understand how far apart these airports are, and how much connection time is needed. Most international flights arrive in London Heathrow Airport, but most discount flights leave from London Stansted Airport. 

To get from Heathrow to Stansted may take five hours or more.  At Heathrow you will have to wait for your luggage, get your luggage, clear customs, and find the subway station. From the subway you must take two trains and get off at the Liverpool station.  At the Liverpool station you must enter a line to purchase a train ticket to Stansted, trains may run as infrequently as every hour and you will have to wait for the next train.  The train ride to Stansted will take about one hour, and after you arrive you will still have to get your boarding pass, check luggage, clear customs again……………. This could take quite some time.

Other airport connections may even be more complicated than the ones outlined above.  The point is leave plenty of time for connections in London, and consider spending the night in one of the more reasonably priced airport hotels


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