Liability and compensation
Before you purchase a flight, you want to know where you’ll stand if the flight is delayed or cancelled, or even what will happen if the airline goes bankrupt. Familiarise yourself with the airline policy regarding refunds or compensation for delayed and cancelled flights, as well as what you’re entitled to if things don’t go to plan. If it is imperative you get to your destination by a specific time, check whether the airline is likely to put you on another flight or get another airline to operate the flight on their behalf.
Imagine turning up for your holiday laden with everything from your flip flops to your Scuba gear, only to find out that your baggage is overweight and that actually, you can’t bring your personalised pocket knife on to the plane, even if your bag of peanuts are notoriously difficult to open.
Check all of this beforehand to avoid paying excess baggage costs, which can be quite high. If you are given one bag and need another, find out if you are able to purchase another bag before you pay for the ticket. Before going to the airport, find out the size and weight limitations of your carry-on bag too, as well as the items which are and aren’t allowed on board. You definitely don’t want to have to throw away souvenirs or important items because they’re unsafe for carriage, and nor do you want to have to check in your hand luggage, especially if it contains valuable items or things you’ll need during the flight.
Changes and refunds
If you buy low-cost or special rate domestic flights, they often come with conditions attached. This really isn’t a problem for most travellers, especially if they have a clear idea of where and when they’re travelling. However, you should be aware that these flights often don’t allow changes to the name or date, meaning that once you’ve bought it, you’re totally locked in to travelling on those dates and may not give the ticket to someone else. They are also generally non-refundable, so make sure you’re 100% happy before purchasing. If your travel plans are likely to change, consider buying a more expensive ticket with some flexibility such as the option to change the dates or the name on the ticket – it will give you a bit of extra peace of mind that should your plans change, you will still be able to put your ticket to good use one way or another.
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