Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our Group's Travel Rules 101-1-We buy budget flights/promo tickets

Or, How To Make Sure We're Still Talking To One Another At The End Of the Trip - 1

We buy budget flights/promo tickets only 
Nancy and Tony have designated themselves as the promo-watchers and ticket purchasers, and they have it down to an exact science. They can predict 90% of the time the dates when Cebu Pacific offers its "Piso Sale" (P1.00 seats), know whether PAL's promo is better than CEB's, and know how and where to pay for the tickets. We pay in cash whenever possible, and we understand, albeit grudgingly, the statute of limitations of promo tickets - non-refundable, non-transferable, etc., etc. 

Since promo flights are usually booked months ahead of the flight date, if something comes up by flight date and some of us are unable to make the trip we do not fret, but only a little; after all, foregoing a P1,200. roundtrip ticket to Manila is much less painful than giving up a P7,000 ticket, right?

Some tips for booking online:

a) The airline websites may be  swamped by too many people trying to book flights during seat sales, so you just need to keep trying. Sometimes you may need to refresh your browser. The best time to book flights used to be between midnight and 2am, but I guess everyone got wind of that so everyone's logged on at that time. ;- (  I used to panic whenever I heard my cellphone go off after midnight, anticipating news of an emergency, but these days, the text message at 3 am is usually, "BFFs, we're booked to_____ on ____".

b)  If you're booking for a group, have a list of everyone's complete names, birthdates and addresses in front of you. Some websites save your details so it's easier to fill in the forms the next time you book online.  Check and double-check your entries.

c)  Some airline websites are tricky in the sense that you may be unaware that you're paying for add-ons like seat selection, meals, flight insurance, etc. Make sure you un-check those boxes and those seats. It takes more effort, but that difference could cost you as much as P1,000. each if ignored.  Make sure you review the details of your total fare, especially the "Add-Ons". 

d)  And because they're promo flights, we bring along our own sandwiches, chips, blankets, pillows, and even water. and we don't mind the 2 am flight schedules. Of course we still expect courtesy, comfort and basic amenities, but that is another story for another day. 

"You don't have to be rich to travel well." - Eugene Fodor

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