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Air travel tips; use a travel agent or consultant

Air travel tips
Air travel tips

Travel agents are experienced in booking airline travel and providing the best service and pricing available to their clients. There was a time when it was beneficial for individuals to book their own travel using the internet. In a few cases that still holds true but some things have changed. There has been an exponential growth in the number of suppliers and wholesalers selling travel via the internet, but with that influx, it has become more difficult to sift through the sites to find not only the lowest price, but a fair fare (pun intended) with a company that will not only provide a low price, but responsive, professional and quick service in the case of travel changes, emergencies and loyalty rewards. Your travel agent is experienced in finding low fares from reputable companies. Sometimes one might not get the lowest internet fare, but they will get the service of their dedicated agent backed by the knowledge that they have not been swindled by a company not divulging important details and hidden fees. Air travel is something most people think they can do themselves, but may fare better if they work with an agent. For instance, when booking air travel, there are several things to keep in mind, and the professional agent will consider them all.
How flexible is your schedule? If you don’t have to leave on a specific day, the agent will check a variety of dates. There can be large swings in fares from one day to the next, especially near the end of a travel season.
You can save 20-30 percent by using sites like When bidding, you should be flexible in the dates that you can travel. Your bid results can cover the entire 24 hour day, therefore you may get an undesirable flight departure or even an overnight itinerary. The flight time/itinerary will not be divulged until you’ve already paid for the ticket. So, if you're not flexible, avoid using auction style sites.
Look at fares to nearby cities. Shreveport is known as an expensive airport to fly into or out of, therefore, you should check Dallas, Longview, Tyler, and even Monroe. Sometimes the savings will more than cover other travel expenses to nearby airports. Be certain to book the best fares as soon as possible as they can change or fluctuate often.
Some sites like Expedia or Travelocity offer email and text alerts when prices are lowered. This can save a lot of time when price is your main consideration. Online services such as allow you to watch certain routes. Some travelers track fares after they’ve made a purchase. There are cases in which you can ask the airline to refund the difference between a recent purchase and a new sale fare, but this is rare.
If a one-way ticket is desired, check the round-trip fares. Sometimes, but not always, they are actually cheaper.
Avoid flying during high-volume holidays. Check to be sure your destination country is not celebrating a holiday upon your arrival or departure. Ask for discounts before booking. Seniors, military and students can occasionally get reduced rates on some routes, but the discounts aren’t always mentioned to customers. Call the airline directly for emergency flights, but remember their grievance and emergency medical flight discounts will be given off the rack rate (a higher priced ticket), and a ticket purchased on line may be cheaper.
Finally, if you want to avoid the hassles, let an agent do the work for you. Some charge a nominal service fee per ticket, which is well worth the time you will save, and the result of getting the best price for your itinerary.

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