• Sunday, July 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Travelstart gives customers more for less in flight tickets

businessday-icon

Amid scarcity of foreign exchange more airlines are finding it difficult to break even. Some international airlines are said to be mulling the option of flight reduction to save operating cost.

On Thursday 21 January, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA) issued a warning to all airline operators in Nigeria to desist from arbitrarily increasing miscellaneous charges on ticket payment content without the Authority’s approval. In essence, the possibility of air ticket reduction any time soon is unlikely.

Air travel agencies are coming up with creative ways to ensure they stay in business and ensure customers continue to get the best in air ticket pricing.

From the first day it opened its Nigerian office in 2012, Travelstart an online travel agency founded in Sweden, have found innovative ways to transform the travel experience of its growing number of customers. Their “one goal” is to make your travel “simple”.

According to Chioma Atueyi, Operations Manager in an email interview with Business Day “We have exclusive deals with various airlines that ensure we remain very competitive in the market. We also have on offer various products that make travel seamless for our customers. These include Flexi that allows customers one free change as long as there is no difference in fares and taxes. Ticket Guarantee Protection allows you to get refund if the airline you booked is liquidated before your travel date.

Away from the attractive packages, Travelstart shared some tips on how to get the best flight experience while paying less.

“It’s always advisable to make your reservations early. Weeks or months ahead are recommended. This is because the airlines display availability for the lower fares first. When these fares are no longer available, the next available fares are then displayed. That is the reason when people make reservations close to their travel date; they realize that the fares are very high. The cheaper fares are already booked out by the smarter customers that booked early.”

Notably, passengers can also to save some money on flight tickets on particular days during the week. “A lot of passengers prefer to travel on weekends because they work during the weekdays. Because of these high traffic over the weekend, some airlines use these opportunity to make as much money as they can. Fares tend to be higher over weekends. Also some airlines have the 3-day rule where if your travel is less than 3 days, the fares are outrageous. They probably believe it’s the wealthy that intend to spend 2 days during their trip.”

A cheap ticket does not mean cheap service, “No not all,” says Chioma “It may mean some stringent rules and regulations but it does not mean lower standard or quality of service. For instance, when the airlines sell their economy cabin, they start with the cheaper classes in the cabin. These classes may not allow for a change or may not be refundable. When those classes are sold out, the next available is displayed. This next available may allow for changes but still remain non-fundable. When this is exhausted, the next available classes that allow for a refund and changes are then displayed and so on.

“When passengers check in and board a flight, they all sit in their various cabins and are given the same treatment. No cabin crew member wants to know how much you paid. Even if you were offered the ticket for free, you get the same class of treatment peculiar to the airline and cabin involved.

The good news is you can get cheap rates at all the cabins. So whether you prefer to fly first class or economy, there is something for everyone.

 

FRANK ELEANYA