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Common mistakes when booking online

By Christian Abe Garcia

Travelling is one of the best things we could all do during long breaks from work or school. While some of us may just explore the wonders of the Philippines, a few of us would most likely want to venture to other countries where we could see locations, architectures and cultures that are quite different from what we see and experience here in our country.

But travelling within the Philippines or overseas come the simple (and sometimes complicated) process of booking online. While some may choose to contact their local travel agent to arrange the flight for them; there are others who may want to search for a cheaper and more customizable trip.  They can easily do so and book on their own through the use of the internet. Booking online offers convenience and freedom to shop for cheaper flights. But before you book on your own, check out the most common mistakes people make when booking a flight online.

(Manila Bulletin)

(Manila Bulletin)

Relying on just one flight search engine.

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when booking flights on their own. They may think that they’ve found the right deal in one search engine not knowing that there are better deals somewhere that is not covered by the search engine that they are using. Be sure to check at least two or three flight search engines so you can have more options. It may take more time for you to decide on a flight, but it’s worth it.

Not deleting or clearing cookies each time you search for a flight on your device.

A cookie in a website or an HTTP cookie is a tiny piece of data sent by a website to be stored to the web browser that you used when you visited the website. Cookies are used to make it much easier for the website to load once you’ve visited it again.

Cookies in flight search engines are used to identify you easily as these cookies often remembers information (like name, email, contact numbers and even location) that you’ve already inputted when you used the same search engine.  While information storing are often harmless, there is evidence found by several researchers that these cookies can lead to higher fares and prices depending on your location and sometimes even the device that you are using. You may delete these cookies through your web browser’s setting in order to reset any information that flight search engines store.

Failure to look for flight perks

Flights can be boring especially if you don’t have a source of entertainment in the plane.  Long flights can be unbearable too if meals are not included in the flight.  Be mindful of these travel “perks”. These perks may be small, but they are also essential in making your travel fun and enjoyable.

Look for in-flight entertainment (watching movies or listening to music) and meal packages offered by airlines. In some airlines, you will be surprised that these “supposedly small perks” are offered for an additional price. Some generous airlines offer third-party perks like a rental car to go to your hotel with no extra charge or even an upgrade to your hotel room, so you just have to do a lot of research to find these perks online.

Don’t forget to look for travel tax and other hidden expenses

While your ticket may be right for your budget, there may be other expenses that were not included in your purchase and these might just surprise you once you’re already at the airport. Some search engines may not include travel tax and other expenses; so, it’s important to research more on how much your flight will really cost. You can check for the Philippines’ travel tax rates by going to tieza.gov.ph/travel-tax/ and it will show you a table on how much you have to pay for first class and economy class packages.

Settling on anything just so you can have something

Don’t just settle on what search engines give you.  If your favored flight search engine only gives you flights during Fridays and Sundays (which are really busy days at airports around the world), you may want to think twice before booking.  Do not accept a hectic flight that is shown on every search engine that you’ve used. These may cause more problems for you and your travel companions.  There would always be other flight options.