You’ll usually get the same fare deal wherever you go. Discounted airfares have penalties if changing dates and are non refundable. Most travel agents will charge booking fees as they no longer earn commission on domestic flights. The only way to avoid these fees is if you book them yourself on the internet. If you book them yourself, make sure your name is as per your photo ID.
If a consultant is experienced, they can save you a lot of money by looking at all options available. Book flights at least 10 to 6 months before travel as you won’t get the best deal if you leave it until the last minute!
Some airlines offer special fares for senior citizens, students or where two people are travelling together.
When booking flights, your name should be exactly as it appears in your passport, including middle names. Some airlines don’t allow name changes once a booking is made. You’ll be required to re-book under your correct name, and there aren’t any guarantees you’ll get your seat back. You may be required to purchase a new ticket. Other airlines will charge you a fee to change your name. Even one or two wrong letters can be an issue.
Cheaper airfares come with restrictions and cancellation penalties can be hefty. Some are non refundable. Amendment fees vary depending on the fare you’ve purchased. If you amend your flight, you can be up for the amendment fees plus any fare difference if the fare you paid isn’t available on your new flight. Always ask about penalties before you buy. Travel insurance is recommended.
Be careful when booking international flights yourself over the internet. Travel agents are experienced in putting together more complex itineraries and they can save you a lot of money by including internal flights at no extra cost. You also need to be aware of minimum connecting times between flights. If you don’t allow enough time between flights, you could end up missing your connection which will require you to purchase another ticket and this can be costly!
Travel agents have access to exclusive discounted fares which they negotiate with airlines. Discounted fares can book out quickly and are subject to availability at the time of booking. Be aware when searching fares via booking sites that their fares aren’t always accurate. They often quote “From” and by the time you get to the payment page, the fare may have increased. They also don’t always search all flights and airlines.
You also need to be wary of scam sites. Check if it’s an Australian business with an ABN or business name on ASIC’s register. If anything goes wrong, it’ll make it easier to assert your rights. Being an Australian business doesn’t always guarantee anything though – have a look at this link https://finance.nine.com.au/…/bestjet-budget-airfare-websit…
If you’ve booked via a booking site and there’s a problem with a flight, the booking site will direct you back to the airline and if you have an issue with the booking or payment process, then the airline will ask you to contact the booking site. If you’ve booked directly with a travel agent, they’ll look after any issues you may have.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you book your flights yourself via the internet, be aware that not all airlines or the booking site will advise you of schedule changes and they can be major. You could end up missing your flight. Airlines are required to advise agents of any schedule changes made to flights that an agent is holding.