Booking a flight these days turns out to be a hectic task in itself. With the fall season approaching the ticket fare would definitely soar up. I have listed some important points that you should be reading when you book your tickets to the United States. It’s a little long post but it would be really helpful to you all. Here are a few tips that could help you in saving few bucks and a peaceful fly.
Contact multiple agents:
This is a no-brainer. Contacting multiple travel agents and negotiating them with different prices shall definitely land you up with a better deal. Not just local agents but also try to negotiate with the big shots like Makemytrip, Yatra, Kayak, Cleartrip etc. Usually these are the ones that give into the bargain easily due to the high customer base.
Its not always about money:
Rather than nailing the cheapest deal in the market, look at the other aspects as well. Like negotiating for the 23*3 baggage limit in the offer price as well as getting a flight with minimum stopovers.
Maintain sufficient time gap if you have a stopover:
Lets say you booked a flight from Mumbai to Boston via London. The Price is good, The airline is the best in the market and lo!! the journey just takes 17 hours to reach Boston. But there’s one issue the Stop over is just for 55 minutes. You would not want to pull up an Usain Bolt stint on London Heathrow. Have a Stop over for more than hour so that you have sufficient time in transit. In case you have different airline for the next flight maintain an even larger margin.
Dealing with many stopovers:
Now that you have made up your mind for a roller coaster ride hopping multiple stopovers, make sure that you don’t have more than one stopover in any country. This is prohibited by the Immigration Law in most countries and you might be denied access to the flight right at the onset. Mentioning this lets say you have booked a flight from Mumbai to Boston, travelling half the globe via Amsterdam & Paris (European Union). This would not be as beautiful an experience as these places are! You would be detained right at Mumbai citing absence of Shenzhen Visa regardless of the fact that you do not intend to exit the airport.
Port of Entry:
Port of Entry is the first point of entry in any country. We recommend you to get to Boston as your Port of Entry rather than any other place in United States unless you have relatives at other places. There could be a possible interrogation about your port of entry being any city other than Boston. This being your first overseas flight and maiden entry to United States, you may wish to keep low profile & avert any unwarranted action for best results. However this is just an advice and there is nothing legally wrong in selecting a different port of entry.
Inform about your meal preference in advance and mention it clearly because up in the air they are the only providers and incase you are a vegetarian and they run out of vegetarian meals those 18-24 hours can be harrowing. Mention specifically about Jain Vegetarian Meal if you prefer so. It is recommended that you carry a confirmation of your meal preference in writing i.e. via an electronic mail and/or printed proof.
For your entry into USA on a student visa most of the flights offer you a 3pc baggage limit unlike the usual 2pc baggage limit. Please make sure that you avail this option during the booking of your flight. Also, you will be entitled to carry a backpack and a carry-on baggage. Check baggage rules and dimensions on your respective airline website.
Getting travel insurance is in best interest of your baggage and other indispensable belongings like your passport, visa, wallet, etc., We recommend you get a travel insurance from any provider in India for a period of one month from the date of departure. In the past, we have seen situations where students have lost their baggages and/or personal belongings. Few providers to name would be ICICI Lombard, Bajaj-Allianz, TATA-AIG, HDFC, etc.,