Finding a flight
the villa owner will be able to tell you where you can get
a good deal on flights, and may even be able to make the arrangements
for you. But it's no problem doing it yourself. Some of the
most reliable direct-sell flight companies advertise on the
Internet, so try them first.
you buy your ticket, make sure that the agent you buy through
has an ABTA licence (which means you get your money back if
he goes bust) and that the tour operator or airline is ATOL
bonded (which protects you if the carrier goes under). Again,
as before, it's best to pay by credit card for extra protection,
but before you give your card details confirm with the agent
exactly what you are getting - the total cost including
all taxes and any supplements.
you've booked, the agent should be able to ring you back quickly
- that means minutes rather than hours or days - with the
tour operator's booking reference. Once you've got that number
you can rest easy that even if the tickets don't turn up you
can arrange to collect them at the airport.
When it comes to booking flights, you basically have three
sorts of airlines to choose between charter, full service
scheduled and no-frills scheduled. Most people self-booking
a property will choose a charter flight.
with charter flights you have to stay for complete weeks,
with outward and return flights on the same day of the week,
but different periods like 8 or 11 days may occasionally be
available when there is a change in schedule, as well as long
winter stays of several weeks or months. Larget Ticket agencies
may also be able to mix-and- match flights to give a tailored
duration, sending you out with one carrier and back with another.
airlines offer more flexibility and aren't necessarily more
expensive, so it could be worth investigating their prices
for Apex and Super Apex fares booked in advance.
applies particularly to long haul destinations - the economic
woes in the far east have seen fares to places like Thailand
and Malaysia tumbling. The USA is another market where scheduled
fares may well be competitive. And of course on some routes
with no charter alternative you'll have no choice but to go
scheduled. You're likely to get the best deal through the
specialist ticket shops