Booking a Trip

Be flexible on dates if you can

If you can be flexible on dates and times, your flights will probably be cheaper. Flights are also likely to be cheaper the sooner you book. This may not always be the case with package holidays.

Check times

Be aware of airlines that use the 24 hour clock when showing available flights. You may prefer to travel at 2.30pm than 02:30 for instance.

Look for the best deal

It is important to shop around to get the best deal on flights. Consider the extra charges that airlines may add to the headline price for baggage and meals. With so much choice, it can be hard to choose the best flight for you. You can look at what airlines fly from the airport nearest to you on airport websites or a price comparison website. Some airlines do not appear on price comparison websites so you may need to visit their websites to view their flights.

Some airlines offer loyalty schemes for frequent flyers or use promotional codes for discounts so look out for them.

Be careful

Double-check the dates and times you want to book, and double-check the names you are booking in are exactly the same as on the passenger's passport. It will usually cost to change the names on tickets, and the times and dates of flights. Keep an eye out for, and read carefully, text messages and emails from the airline as these may let you know schedule changes which could affect your journey.

Using a credit card

Some airlines may charge more to accept payment on a credit card, but using a credit card when flights cost more than £100 each does give you some important protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. If things go wrong and if the airline is at fault, the credit card company shares legal responsibility with the airline. This means the consumer also has a claim against the credit card company for any losses. It should also mean you can claim for airline failure against the credit card company.

VISA debit chargeback

If you have paid for your flights with a VISA debit card, and the airline is at fault, you can try to make a claim from VISA, called a chargeback, to get a refund of the cost of the flights.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and travel agents

Section 75 protection may not apply to situations where you have paid a travel agent for services provided by another company: for example, if you pay the travel agent for hotel rooms provided by a hotel. In these situations it is worth talking to your credit card company, but you may need to rely on your travel insurance as the law in this area is not clear.

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