Aircraft on the sky
Finding a good deal for travel is every vacationers dream, However stringent the rules and conditions sometimes are. although there are different means of snagging one the internet seems to be the prevailing option. omolola itayemi writes about this growing trend fervently embraced by budget travellers
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, the discerning traveler abhors expensive fares, sometimes preferring to fly during low-season or angling for discount fares. However, these can have their shortfalls to the disdain of vacationers and budget travelers. Nonetheless there are good deals out there. If travelers look hard enough they can get a steal a deal on airfares. For instance, you can fly to Beijing (China) from Lagos for N182,502 at a distance over 11,753km; which is more than twice the flight distance between Lagos-London. This is just one example of the many deals to be had this summer and also in the yuletide month when fares are even higher.
The trick is to be willing to plan ahead and be flexible on travels dates, flight duration as well as number of stopovers. You can be sure to find a great deal on airfares this summer. With the entrance of international carriers into the Nigerian market like Etihad Airlines, the quantity of flight deals for budget travelers continues to increase. One destination that continues to grow in popularity is Dubai. A full Economy class (with no restrictions) fare to Dubai costs N238,787. However, a passenger can save 46 per cent on their ticket costs by flying Ethiopian Airlines; 38 per cent with Qatar Airways and 31 per centage with new entrant Etihad Airlines. Although Etihad flies to Abu Dhabi, it’s a thirty minute bus transfer ride to Dubai.
Other deals can be seen on the internet which is fast becoming the preffered mode of aquiring information about travel deals.
Tips for finding cheap fares on-line
•Check several of the online travel booking service such as fly4cheaper.com, wakanow.com, travelstart and so on.
•Try to make your departure and return dates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Thursdays. These days of the week are usually cheaper.
•Test alternate departure and return dates to see if arriving/departing on one day is cheaper than another.
•If you live near more than one airport, try each airport to see if departing from one is cheaper than the others. Alternately, if your destination city has more than one airport, check each of it’s airports for the cheapest price. (This applies in countries with more than one international airport in a city)
•If you have a flexible itinerary, test to see if one destination city is cheaper to travel to than others (i.e. London vs. Paris).
•Avoid arriving in one city and departing from another (i.e. arriving in London and departing from Paris). This almost always costs more. If you are short on time, however, getting a open jaw (multi-city) ticket can save travel time and aggravation.
•Sign up for the ‘Fare Watcher’ programme that many on-line agencies use. They will notify you when a price change for a destination occurs.
•Start looking at air fares as soon as possible. Purchase tickets a minimum of 21 days before departure to find the best prices. The cheapest available fares are usually made available by airlines 90-60 days prior to flight departure. Also buy early and you can save almost 40 percent fly4cheaper is able to save you more money on your future trips, if ticketing is done some few days before trip date. For now, this may not apply to ARIK flights since they have just changed their ticketing pricing to a fixed price irrespective of date.
•Look for tickets on the internet after midnight. Apparently the best deals are out there for night owls!
•On-line travel agencies allow you to be your own travel agent. You can arrange your flight itinerary and purchase your tickets on-line within minutes. If you are wondering about the safety of purchasing on-line, I have bought tickets on-line many times and experienced no difficulties.
According to Segun Oyebolu, managing director fly4cheaper.com, a fore-most travel technology firm in Africa is of the opinion that cheap travels indeed help airlines stay in the sky because it helps ensure their load factor is always high. He further advised that to get cheap tickets on local airlines – ‘buy your ticket at least three days before your intended travel date. At worst by atleast 24 hours before the flight. You will always pay dearly if you attempt buying your ticket on the same day of travel’, he said.
Speaking on, Oyebolu reiterated his commitments to travelers who book their travel through fly4cheaper, will not only save money but you will constantly have options especially when flights are cancelled .’Because we ticket virtually all local airlines, we are able to work around to ensure you get cheap flights at all times. In case of flight cancellation, we not only refund very quickly - we also assist you with getting alternative tickets to your final destination. Buy early, save more. Ability to support travelers promptly when cancellation or flight disruption occurs is second to none and remains one more reason to try an independent service such as ours.
“In July we sold return tickets to London for N125,000! That was even in the heat of the Olympics / Summer. You may even get Lagos Abuja one-way ticket at our desk for N14,000 or less. The trick is buy early. The other choice is buying directly online from the airline’s website which sometimes comes with its own peculiar challenges especially during cancellation. Fly4cheaper most times have better fares than what is available on airlines websites.”
QuickAir, the brainchild of fly4cheaper.com is a new platform that will aid cheap travel in Nigeria. In what portends to be a win-win solution to both the airlines and the travel public, its one product for ensuring travel business can be less expensive to customers and more profitable to domestic carriers as it helps to eliminate many fees currently making domestic travel less profitable.
This is definitely one product budget travelers and vacationers will look forward to when it is launched in November at the World Travel Market in London with Best Western Ikeja under Suru Group of Companies as co-exhibitor.
•Additional info from travelomiks