Whether for business, pleasure, work, education or other personal purpose, the trip starts and ends with a plane ride.
Air travel has earned its well-deserved reputation as the fastest, safest and most convenient method for long-distance transportation, both to domestic as well as international destinations.
Taking a flight helps saving time and money, maximizes efficiency and productivity and offers flexibility, reliability as well as unparalleled speed.
Air transportation is an important cost-effective tool that moves millions of tourists, vacationers, business people, professionals, employees, students and so many others from one point on the globe to another.
The typical flight process includes packing, arriving at the airport, checking-in, getting a boarding pass issued and handing over checked luggage; passing through airport security checkpoint to the departures hall, finding the right boarding gate and boarding the aircraft.
After getting comfortable in the reclining seat, the traveler gets an opportunity to enjoy some of the perks that air travel offers.
Such benefits may include getting free food, snacks and drinks by friendly flight attendants, passing time with inflight entertainment, using onboard Wi-Fi and USB plugs, receiving a free amenity kit or simply enjoying the unusual ability to see how the world looks from high above.
Most airlines in the industry operate one form or another of a frequent flyer program.
This loyalty program is designed to encourage and incentivize its members to accumulate points or miles, which may eventually be redeemed for free air travel, ticket upgrades or other benefits, gifts and rewards.
What Do Flight Booking Websites Offer?
While in the past, most travelers used to book their airline tickets through traditional travel agents, today most shoppers are using the power of the internet to easily compare carrier and airfare options.
Plane tickets can be ordered on the web either through online travel agencies (OTA) which are flight aggregators that search multiple airlines simultaneously or alternatively, on individual commercial airline websites.
For most travelers price is typically the main concern and their number one mission is to find the cheapest way to fly to their desired U.S. or global destination.
This objective can easily be achieved with the use of powerful research tools that help compare fares, find the lowest price and enjoy discounts, deals and promotions that are offered by American and foreign airline companies.
The reservation process is quite simple and usually includes the following steps:
- The user chooses his ticket type: roundtrip, one-way or multiple-city.
- The customer selects the origin and destination cities or airports and has the ability to include nearby airports in the results, in order to get more flight and price options.
- The user selects specific departure and return dates and can use flexible date options, in order to get a larger variety of flight options.
- The customer selects his desired cabin class (coach, premium economy, business or first-class), number of passengers and their classification (adults, seniors, youth, child or infant).
After getting the initial results, users can sort the results according to a variety of factors and criteria in order to suit them to their individual needs, constraints or priorities.
Such options include the ability to get information about the cheapest, fastest, or most recommended flights as well as ones with the least stops, earliest or latest take-offs and earliest or latest landings.
Consumers can choose to book air travel with one or two stops or alternatively, choose to reserve a direct nonstop flight, which is shorter, faster and more convenient – but also more expensive.
In addition, the user can often choose preferred airlines, budget range or other important aspects of their planned journey.
Many airlines provide advanced services that include early check-in, free choice of seating, priority boarding, free checked bag, extra legroom, free cancellation, refundable tickets, low change fees and other features.
Air tickets can be reserved days, weeks and months in advance or even at the very last minute, as long as the desired flight is not fully booked yet.
At the end of the reservation process, the customer gets electronic tickets (known as eTickets) that are digitally sent to his email inbox.
Paying for Airline Tickets with PayPal
Even though PayPal is one of the most popular payment methods on the internet, the vast majority of major travel websites, airfare comparison services and air carriers are not offering it as one of their billing options.
A relatively small number players in this market do accept PayPal and hopefully, their number will increase with time.