First time booking flights/hotel myself

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Dec 31st, 2013, 09:58 AM
  #1
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First time booking flights/hotel myself

Alright then...to begin, I'm somewhat familiar with the travel process as I've been places with my family years ago, and my mother travels avidly. I'm going to the Philippines in April. I'm doing it on a budget so I'm trying to keep costs down. I am not picky about accomodations but I just wanted to avoid a horror story...like booking a hotel online and someone messing up somewhere and not getting my reservation.

I've been using momondo.com to search flights. I'm planning to go to Manila for a bit, then from there to Boracay (via a short plane trip from Manila to Kalibo).

So what I'm wondering...when you buy plane tickets online, what is the process typically? You print out the ticket, or go to pick it up...or you don't need that and you should just be on file at the aiport? It's been a while since I've flown, so just curiuos...

Basically that and I'd like to book a hotel in Boracay. Nothing fancy, and trying to keep it under $100 a night if possible.

Anyone have experience to share, pitfalls I should watch for?
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Dec 31st, 2013, 10:41 AM
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You'll maybe get more info on where to stay in Boracay on the Asia board, but you should really consult some guidebooks. I like booking.com for booking hotels, although agoda.com can work for Asia too. Haven't used momondo, usually start with kayak and often book directly with the airline.

These days you usually print plane tickets - or at least your itinerary - at home, plus you can often check-in and print your boarding pass 24 hours ahead of time at home, too.
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Jan 1st, 2014, 04:20 AM
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There's no actual "ticket" for your flight - they are now called "E-Tickets" (Electronic Tickets). Once you make your purchase the airline will email you a copy of your itinerary/receipt with a 6 digit or 6 letter Record Locator Number (aka PNR). All your flight information is stored electronically in the airline's computer system under the Record Locator Number. A long ticket number may also appear on the receipt.

24 hours (or less) before your flight you can go to the airline's website, enter your Record Locator Number and check-in and print out your boarding pass or you can wait do all that at the airport - your choice.
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Jan 1st, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Of course, it does depend a bit on where you're going. When I flew from Yerevan to Aleppo in 2011, I had to have an actual paper ticket, but that's very unusual. (Wow, a LOT has happened since then!)
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Jan 1st, 2014, 06:05 AM
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Ooops, that was 2009, I thought it had been longer than that.
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Jan 1st, 2014, 07:26 AM
  #6
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Cool, thanks for the info. When you say you start with kayack then book directly with the airline, how do you do that? And is it worth it? Like does that save you a chunky fee that the site is charging for the convenience?

Oh I thought of one other question on that note. Where I'm going, it seems like I'll be using more than one airline, judging from the sites. Does that mean I'd go to both airlines and book individual flights if I did that?

Also...when you go more than one airline, do you have to get your bags and check them again for the 2nd airline, or will it be swell and arrive at your destination (provided no mishaps we all know about occur )?
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Jan 1st, 2014, 07:46 AM
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kayak does not charge a fee. It aggregates a number of different sites (e.g. expedia) which may charge a fee. To book with an airline go to that airline's website, e.g. aa.com for American. If something goes wrong (not unusual these days) if you have booked directly with the airline you only have to deal with them, and sometimes there are deals on the airline's own site that don't show up elsewhere.

Generally your bag(s) will only be interlined if all flights are on the same "ticket". Be careful to allow plenty of time for connections even if your bag(s) are interlined - some cheap tickets have impossible connections. (Note: the lighter you travel the better.)
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Jan 1st, 2014, 08:29 AM
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BTW, you'll likely get more replies if you post this on the Air Travel board.
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 05:46 AM
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Here are a few more tips for a newbie. No single Internet site can turn up all possible airline routes, especially if the itinerary combines several flights. Shop around. I agree with Thursday about Kayak and other aggregators; there are lots of them. Bargain-hunters will check out some of these sites and then go directly to the airlines involved, which may be a little cheaper, or offer extra possibilities, as Thursday says. It may be easier to get advance seat assignment directly from the airline.
Rules-of-thumb for hotels are a little different. Sometimes the on-line agencies offer cheaper room rates than the hotel itself. Why? Ah, that's one of life's mysteries.
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