Last minute shopping for airfare deals

iStock-Airplane taking off.jpgIf you’re planning on flying this Thanksgiving or Christmas and haven’t bought your ticket, now is time to start looking for available flights. However, finding the best deal available can be tricky. Will you purchase through a site that lets you compare costs across multiple airlines or will you book directly with an airline’s website? The options can be overwhelming if you’re searching for a bargain. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips to help weigh the options as you shop for the best deals on holiday airfare.

  • Search both cost comparison and airline sites to find the best overall deal. When searching cost comparison sites, consider baggage and other fees as you shop. Service fees for changing or canceling a flight may cost you more if you don’t book directly with the airline. If you make a reservation for a flight that is at least a week away, the airline must allow you to cancel for free within the first 24 hours after booking. However, if you didn’t book directly through the airline, you could still be charged. Keep in mind that some airlines prices can’t be found on comparison sites.
  • Having a reservation is not the same as having a ticket. Usually, you make a reservation and then the airline will issue a ticket. However, things can go wrong. Before the day of your flight, confirm directly with the airline that you have a ticket, and that everything is in order.
  • Do your research first. If you’re thinking of using an unfamiliar booking site to reserve tickets, make sure the site is reputable by searching for reviews and ratings. Go to bbb.org to check the company’s BBB Business Profile. Here you can find information on the business, such as how long they’ve been in business, contact information, complaint history and customer reviews. If you have a complaint about booking a flight, report it to the Department of Transportation, the FTC, and BBB.

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