The air traveler never had it so good. With hundreds of low-cost and full service airlines flying to the remotest locations of the world, and offering air fares lower than train fares, air travel is now everyone’s cup of tea.
As a popular TV commercial for an airline depicts, people are actually taking a return flight to the nearest metro city for a shopping trip or for an appointment with a high-flying hair stylist! Gone are the days when a plane trip would be a style statement for the selected few. With the penetration of high speed internet in small towns and cities and with airlines offering cheap web fares, more and more people are preferring to give their travel agent a miss, and booking their tickets online. There are now several websites offering online ticket bookings for all domestic and international airlines under one roof.
Online booking has several advantages over traditional paper ticket bookings:
Cheaper Airfares: Airlines are looking to sell all vacant seats and they offer surprisingly cheap airfares on the internet. It is much cheaper for airlines to announce these fares online or via email rather than advertise them in the media. So people who book online always get the best deals and offers that are never advertised in the TV or print media. Last minute offers that are only available online can mean a huge saving on your travel bill and help airlines fill vacant seats. Airlines also offer cheaper airfares for seats that are booked months in advance, as they want to ensure long term booking commitments. Most of the time you can get the same plane seat for almost 50% less price online, if you book a month in advance.
Wider Choice of Flights: When you book a flight ticket online, you get a wider choice of flights for a particular sector. You can see whether the airline is a full service or a low-cost airline. You can compare the type of aircraft, the time taken by the flight and whether it is non-stop or a hopping flight. Thus, you can make a better informed and cost-effective decision. Travel agents will typically try to sell you tickets on an airline that gives them higher commissions. But when you book online, you choose the airline and aircraft of your choice.
Safe and Secure Bookings: With the advent of SSL https://www.cangura.com/ encryption (Secure Socket Layer), your online credit card transactions are completely safe. All online travel booking websites offer 128 bit SSL encryption when asking for personal data, like your name, address and credit card number. Whenever you are providing this information online, make sure that the website address has changed from. The additional ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’ and means that the connection from your computer to the booking website’s server is a secure connection. Also make sure that you see a padlock icon in the lower right corner of your browser. All data sent over such a secure connection is encrypted and can only be read by the party that it was meant for. Even if someone hacks into the connection, he will see only garbage data. The chances of someone stealing your credit card information online are the same as someone stealing your credit card slips when you shop at a store. Now with almost every bank offering credit cards to its customers, online air ticket bookings have increased manifold. Online booking websites like Expedia.com, Yatra.com, MakeMyTrip.com and FlightGuru.in are booking more than a million air tickets everyday!
Choose your seat and Web Check-in: When you book a plane ticket online, you can see a seat map for your aircraft and choose your seat online. So now you can have your favorite window seat or aisle seat or choose a seat near the exit that gives you extra legroom. Most online booking websites also offer a web check-in facility. If you are traveling with just cabin baggage and do not have any check-in baggage, you can web check-in for your flight up to 48 hours in advance and print your boarding pass on your home or office printer. So you just walk up to security check and board your flight. No more standing in long check-in queues at the airport!