Travel Abroad Frequently Asked Questions
A "DIRECT FLIGHT" does not mean a "Non-stop" flight. However, a "Direct Flight" will not require you to get out of the plane midway, for a change-over yet; it may touch down on the way for refueling. This Touchdown for ‘usually’ refueling is called Ground Elapse.
Whereas, a "NON STOP" flight does not require a changeover, switching planes or even stopping for refueling. As the name sounds, it operates nonstop between two airports.
Charter flight: is not provided by an airline necessarily, but an aircraft that is chartered by a holiday company or organization. This is a special service and may operate only on special occasions, events, national holiday or peak seasons, on special routes etc. Seats on a Chartered Flight are sold as part of Holiday package. As the Chartered flight service is for Holiday makers and business men, these flights usually have cheaper fares, but small baggage allowance, less legroom and often require separate payment for on-board meals and drinks. Also, some companies may sell "seats only" at a chartered flight with no accommodations or ground arrangements.
Scheduled flight: is sold under the name of an airline and is operated and marketed by the same airline, its consolidators or travel agents. Such flights can be twice daily or at specific days of the week as per airline’s given schedule. These flights operate for nearly all destinations throughout the year.
The "E" in an "e-ticket" stands for "electronic ticket". As the name suggests, it is a digital or computerized ticket that is sent through email, fax or other channels. The E-ticket bears a long number at the top, this is to be given to the airline desk at check in time, and the airline is able to trace all the record of the passenger with the help of the long number written on the e-ticket.
In appearance, e-ticket looks like a paper ticket, however the good part of the deal is, you can lose it, reprint it and get it back again, any time. International Air Transport Association greatly favors e-ticketing system and all top-notch International airline issue e-tickets only. Once you get an e-ticket you no longer require a paper ticket, as the former is the "modern alternate" of the later.
If an e-ticket is lost in printed form or soft form, and you do not have the long number any more, you can dial to the airline and tell them your surname and first name to get the tickets emailed to you again. Also, e-tickets can be requested from Travel Agents, when a reservation is done through an agency.
An Open-Jaw trip means that you are flying from airport A to B, however you can return from airport C back to A. That is, the same return airport is not necessary.
Another example is flights to Harare from London followed by return flight from Johannesburg to London. In this example, the traveler did not take his return trip from Harare; instead he took off from Johannesburg. Hence, if you have plans to take a cruise or road trip to another destination, after arrival you can always fly back from another country or city without restriction, if you have an Open-Jaw ticket booked.
The flight ticket consists of two basic parts:
- Base Fare is the basic cost of the ticket that is announced by the airline annually, seasonally, or as a promotion.
- Tax, is a composition of the tax applicable on the basic fare, as well as the Government and Airport taxes. All individuals are subjected to pay taxes as applicable on purchase of the goods / air ticket.
You can demand a Fare Breakdown, in case you are wondering about how much the Basic fare is, and what the taxes are on your tickets. Usually, when a price is quoted by a travel agent, it includes taxes. However, it is always good to ask, if the fare is "Inclusive" or "exclusive".
- Exclusive Fare: it is the "Base Fare" only and does not include taxes. You will be quoted taxes together with the fare, when making a flight reservation or if you are inquiring about the total cost of the journey. All fares and taxes must be paid as "one total amount" at the time of Ticket Issuance/reservation.
- Inclusive Fare: It is the "total flight cost" that includes the Base Fare as well as Taxes. However, one must always inquire if there are any charges applicable on use of a Credit Card.
*Please note, in the ‘travel world’ the term "Exclusive" does not mean "Special" and clearly refers to the fare being "subject to taxes" upon reservation.
A Holiday Package: is the term to summarize buying hotels, accommodation, flights, insurance, car hire or other such services from one company as a whole package.
Ground Elapse / Touch Down: If it is written on your ticket that you have a "DIRECT FLIGHT" and not specifically "NON-STOP FLIGHT" it means that there can be a midway stop for refueling etc. During this stop disembarking is not required. It is usually, a few minutes long or less than an hour only and the flight departs immediately after fueling.
The Steps to Flight Reservation
No, there is no extra 'reservation fee' for booking a ticket on internet or phone. The traveler is to pay the flight fare and airport taxes only. However, flight insurance, IATA insurance, credit card, third party card or availing any 'special facility' may cause additional charges. *For special services, please inquire when making a reservation.
No, you may reserve your flights at as low as 30 GBP and get a seat booked on your name, However reservation on deposit does not guarantee that same fare will remain available, A deposit only guarantees that you are booked for that date, on the mentioned flights and until the last date to make full payment. It is recommended that full payment should be made well in time to avoid fare or tax hikes, that are payable once applied.
It is necessary that you notify the agent in case where your name spelling, title or order of name does not match your passport. A person cannot travel incase where her/his name on the passport is not exactly the same as mentioned on the tickets.
There are two types of reservations, a reservation on deposit and a reservation on full payment. In case of paying only a deposit or part payment, you will receive the "Booking Confirmation" email with the "Booking Reference Number" written on the top of your itinerary. This booking reference is the booking identity in the airline's system and assures you that your seat has been reserved until the given deadline for the full payment. However, when full payment is paid and the client fulfills all other procedural requirements as stated by the agents in the "Confirmatory email", the client will receive an e-ticket with a long number written on the top. The e-ticket is a valid travel document confirming both reservation and issuance of the tickets.
Print out the ticket and keep it in hand, along with your passport at the airport during check-in. Also, 48 to 72 hours before flights, always make a call to the Travel agent OR the airline directly, to verify that your flights are departing or arriving at the scheduled times as there can be a schedule revision from the airline's side, either before or after flight reservation and ticket issuance.
can i use my card for payment of someone else's flights? what are the requirements for third party card?
In order to control the unauthorized use of lost and stolen cards, the following requirements are to be fulfilled by the card holder, when paying for someone else's flights. This is to verify that the card is being used with the consent and full knowledge of the card holder.
When making a purchase with a third party card, the card holder must email, (as as attachment)
- Colored scan of front and back side of the card being used. Please note the card number as well as the signatures must be clearly readable,
- Scan of the Cardholder's as well as the traveler's passports (first page only).
- The card holder must fill, sign and attach the standard "Authorization Letter".
- The amount charged by our company must be verified by the card holder in written and s/he must provide the "Authorization Code" of the transaction as well. Both of these can be obtained from your Bank manager, or by checking your bank statement.
- The transaction amount should be stated in exact pounds and pence as appearing on the Bank statement / bank records. Also, the authorization code provided must match with our records. In case of a mismatch or any discrepancy, the company will not be liable to carry the business any further and cancellation charges may be taken.
The standard charges that apply on use of a third party card are 20 GBP* record verification costs. All the above conditions are applicable in all cases, without any exceptions.
The Group Reservation must be made in advance as obtaining seats on a particular date can be difficult. Moreover, some airline do not permit reservations booked for more than 6 people together while some carriers offer special cheap group flight fares. Special fares can only be availed by advance reservations. The booking can be made over the phone; however it is better to send names / passport numbers in email, in case of a larger group.
in a group reservation or same date reservation, how can one person's fare be higher or lower than the other in same cabin?
It is not necessary that if you are going to the same destination and have same dates, the fares for that flight will be same for everyone. As some particular number of seats can be on the sale offering promotional or cheap fares, and once that number of seats is filled, the other remaining seats are sold at regular fares. Such as, Fare for class X(20 seats) in economy cabin can be cheaper than class Y(10 seats) in economy cabin etc. Hence, the best is served to the early birds.
Also, in case where each group member has a different date to depart or return, the fares can be different too based on the availability of seats. Therefore, it is highly recommended to reserve group reservations as early as possible and make full payments well in time.
In plain words, last minute reservation is a gamble that is more often lost than won. Especially in peak seasons, seats at the last minute are scarcely available and can be very expensive. Therefore, leaving your travel arrangements to last minute is not recommended.
Early reservation, at least six months before date of travel is cheaper and travelers get more choice among airline, flying out dates etc as seats are open and available at most popular airlines.
By using an open-jaw ticket, you can book to fly from a different airport on return. Also you can fly from Heathrow and return at Manchester (etc) if the airline you are booked with operates to/from both airports. However such a ticket can be slightly expensive than a usual ticket.
Yes, infants (below 24 months old) need to be booked a flight ticket. This ticket should be booked from your agent if you need a SEAT for your infant. In that case, you will have to pay a child fare. This fare can be more/less than 70% of adult fare + taxes.
However, if you do not need a seat for the baby and will prefer to carry her/him in your laps, you may pay infant fare (around more/less 10% of adult fare + taxes) either at the airport or at the time of reservation.