With the multitude of online travel websites booking an international flight has become as easy as ABC. Yet, international flights still form a key part, both financially and logistically, in any properly planned international travel arrangement.
Over 20 years experience with flight bookings
At Natural Destinations, we have over 20 years’ experience in selling international flight tickets. We ourselves have spent many, many hours in planes and at various airports through-out the world. We have also experienced the frustrations of lost luggage, delayed flights and being stuck somewhere in the world with no-one to help you and the only great piece of advice from some travel staff “you booked it online, unfortunately I therefore can’t help you”.
For all our tours offered, we also offer the service to our customers to book their flight arrangements, since this also forms an integral part of the travel arrangements. Natural Destinations is directly linked to the global distribution system (GDS), with access to flights and tariffs form and to destinations worldwide. We know that you will probably find a cheaper connection over some online booking website, but taking our experience in international travel into consideration, we look at the following for your flight connections:
- Do the flights really fit to the planned itinerary
- We do a comfort vs price analysis
- We take local circumstances into consideration when planning connecting flights
- Our prices are guaranteed and including all fees, taxes and applicable surcharges.
- In case your flights are delayed or you miss a connection, we will assist you in getting where you need to be.
We only offer flight bookings in connection with travel packages that have been arranged by Natural Destinations. We do not sell flights only.
Should you still wish to book your flights online there are a number of factors to consider in order to avoid later disappointment and sometimes even substantial rebooking costs.
- Cost: Online booking sites often promote the cheapest possible booking class, which does not necessarily mean that the flights for the dates you are looking for are available at that cost. Being flexible with the travel dates can also have a massive impact on the actual flight cost. For example Tuesday departures are usually cheaper than on weekends.
- Routing: Online flight booking sites make use of an electronic search engine, which is linked to the central distribution systems (GDS), into which airlines feed their rates and infos. By means of an automated process the flight search engine usually finds the route with the best price, irrespective of lay-over times. So, if you are not careful you might end up booking a flight, which is cheap, but requires you to sit around 18 hours at a small airport in some foreign country, where you do not wish to be.
- Rules and regulations: All airfares are governed by rules and regulations, which are stipulated by the airline and also need to be in line with overall governing rules and regulations from IATA (International Air Transport Association), a governing body, which controls nearly all international airline traffic. As a basic rule of thumb you can accept that the cheaper a ticket is, the more rules and regulations apply. This could mean that a cheap ticket is non-refundable, can’t be changed and/or needs to be paid in full often at the same day, when the booking is made.
- Taxes: This is a big one! The biggest portion of the cost of flight tickets today is for so-called “taxes”. These often make up more than 60% of the actual cost of the ticket. These “Taxes” usually consists of airport service charges, which every airport charges either for landing or departing to the airline. These costs are usually not that high. The by far biggest part of the “taxes” are the so-called fuel and security levies, which every airline can adjust according to their needs. This usually is the biggest chunk of the taxes. The problem about these “taxes” is that they are usually charged in USD and can fluctuate daily, thereby having a massive impact on the total cost of the ticket. This is also one of the reasons, why flight prices vary greatly.
The above are only but a few of the things to look out for when booking flights. As you can see, there are many factors influencing flight cost and the actual flying experience.