So, you are planning your next vacation and you want to book the flights conveniently online – well, you can do it in just a few clicks these days. But you should pay a lot of attention while doing it.
Once the destination is fixed, you enter it into the search engine and get hundreds of results. But which one should you choose? Basically, there are two types of online flight portals: the flight agents and the flight search engines. Both are looking for the cheapest available offer for you.
The flight search engines such as Skyscanner or Swoodoo forward consumers to a provider after selecting the desired flight. Occasionally you can choose between several options and choose the cheapest one. Only on the side of the provider will you be asked to provide personal information such as address, date of birth or bank details.
The flight agents, such as Opodo or Expedia, however, make the booking directly for you on selecting the desired offer. The flight portal is therefore charged with completing the booking and accordingly has to provide its data on the side of the agent. For the settlement of the booking, the providers charge a surcharge.
Flights should be booked directly with the airline
Those who really want to save money should book flights directly on the airline’s side. There are some providers that seem cheaper at first glance. Here, however, services are often not included, and the consumers have to book them later.
According to one magazine, flight search engines are first and foremost a good idea: Which airlines fly on a specific route? The problem: Often, however, the user only gets low-priced savings rates that, for example, do not contain any checked-in luggage. If you book a cheap light fare and still want to take a large suitcase, you can book it online later. This can sometimes be cheaper than the more expensive tariff with luggage.
The disadvantages of booking over the Internet
Customers should not fall into an euphoria at low prices, advises Aage Dünhaupt of TUI fly. In addition to additional costs, it may happen at the end of the booking process that the desired tariff is no longer available. Some things have already happened here: high fees for credit card payments or preset insurances are no longer allowed. “Fortunately, the legislator has put a stop to this”, says Rehberg.
If you book on the Internet, you should always be aware that you will need to complete all additional services required, such as choosing a seat, the number of pieces of luggage or the choice of food, online. “It will be expensive if you do everything first at the airport”, says Dünhaupt.
Also, the regulations for bulky luggage are not always clear. So, always read the offers carefully and ask if necessary, before you book.
Another disadvantage of the flight booking on the Internet is the missing right of withdrawal or refund. “That’s why you should take a closer look at everything before you press the booking button”, advises Rehberg. After booking it is helpful to take a screenshot of the booking – you don’t always immediately receive a booking confirmation.
Should something really go wrong, it’s best to reach out to the provider and the airline. “Try to reach them by email as well as registered mail,” advises Rehberg.