Flying ranks among the safest, most comfortable means of travel in our modern era. That's not to say things can't go wrong though, especially without an adequate amount of preparation for each flight. In fact, with ratings so high, flying can become a living nightmare if you don't cross a few tasks off your 'must-do' list. So here are 5 things anyone would be wise to consider before hitting the 'Booking Flight' button:
Airline pricing on flight tickets is a function of the timing of the purchase, the distance between airports and the demand for flights to said destination. Left to the discretion of Airlines, you always run the risk of buying an exorbitantly over-priced ticket. You may want to consider looking for tickets well in advance of your due travel date and subscribing to fare alert sites to get news of affordable tickets meanwhile.
Whether you are choosing budget airlines
or flying legacy, you must research the airline you're using. Some airlines have strict regulations regarding the number of carry-on luggage you can bring on board. Furthermore, opinions may vary on the quality of customer service on board the flights. Generally, safety is of little concern when flying. Some budget airlines actually carry safety records within the same neighborhood as legacy airlines! A sturdy bulwark against blindly partnering with an airline for a flight would be to look up online reviews posted by previous travelers. They give you a better picture of the flight ahead of you.
3. The Airport
It's a good idea to do some scouting of your destination before booking a flight. Yielding to the temptation to rashly accept an airport simply because the flight there is cheap may reap you sour dividends. For one, mistaking one airport for another is not uncommon, and has left many unfortunate travelers either stranded or a few hours away by road from their actual destination. Paris-Vatry (Disney) Airport, for example, has been cited as one of the most misleading named airports in the world. We don't know if that's because the airport sits 93 miles away from Paris or because it's located 70 miles away from Disneyland Paris. Aside from your destination airport, assess your airport of departure for the convenience of airport parking
. This ensures you don't have to bear the mental burden of worrying about your vehicle's safety as you fly out.
4. Timing of the Flight
It'd be horrible to realize during the flight that you have an 8, 16 or even 24-hour layover during one of your stops. That's why it is always recommendable to consider whether your layover times are convenient for the trip. Layovers in themselves may not be bad as they give you an opportunity to explore an additional city during your travel. If you plan to leave the airport, make sure to map out the stops with enough ground transport to make it back in good time. Should your layover be overnight, finding a good, affordable hotel nearby may save you the trouble of sleeping rough at an airport gate.
This list would be incomplete without insurance
. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to assess the risks involved in your flight and whether you'd give up your reservation in the event of an emergency. You would be wise to insure against the effects of natural disasters in hurricane season, for example, or against visa or health-related issues.
Overall, with enough foresight, there is absolutely no reason for your flight to become the living embodiment of hell. Ensuring all corners are covered will guarantee you comfortable traveling, at a reasonable price, to the correct destination and with a freeing amount of security. Happy flying!