I continue the topic of independent travel, or rather, I tell you how to use air ticket aggregators. I often use the Aviasales service to search for air tickets, but on other similar sites, the process of selecting and booking a ticket will be very similar. Below is a detailed story with examples on how to find the most suitable offers and book tickets using Aviasales.
Be sure to also read my post about that, how to search for hotels through RoomGuru, because still not everyone knows the difference between a reservation system and a hotel search engine. And, accordingly, they don't know how much more convenient search engines are than regular bookings..
The content of the article
- one What is Aviasales and why not buy a ticket there
- 2 How to book a plane ticket
- 3 Useful features for the traveler
What is Aviasales and why not buy a ticket there
Aviasales is only a search service and, first of all, you need to understand that he himself does not sell anything, that is, you cannot buy a plane ticket in Aviasales. But he quickly finds the best-priced ticket deals from hundreds of airlines. Having found the option you want, you can go from the search results to the website of a specific agency or airline and buy the ticket you are looking for there..
In addition to the price, there are many more parameters by which you can search for tickets. The service does not take any commissions for using the service, but, as I said, it simply redirects you after searching on the website of the required airline or agency, and it is with them that you will have all monetary relations. Moreover, sometimes, when switching from Aviasales, a ticket can cost less than if you were looking for it directly. This does not always happen, so you need to check. Aviasales also has a multi-route option, a map and a calendar of low prices, which greatly facilitates the search for air tickets..
All important points in the photo, which I will talk about, are marked with red lines..
How to book a plane ticket
Filling out the form
The standard search form is what we see on the main page of Aviasales. When filling in the fields of departure and destination points, you can specify the city or airport. You can write a country, and the drop-down list will offer all the cities and airports in it.
For round trip flights, the price is usually lower than for a one-way ticket. For example, let's look for tickets Moscow-Bangkok, round trip. The departure date can be selected in the drop-down menu in the form of a calendar. Let's choose, for example, March 11 - there and March 30 - back. When you select the first date, we immediately see a calendar with numbers and prices under them, and when you hover over the date, we immediately see for which combination of dates this price is, which is very convenient. The lowest price for round-trip tickets is highlighted in green, and at the very bottom there is a slider that can be used to toggle the display of prices for a one-way ticket:
When choosing the date of the return flight, we also see the price options under the dates, now they are already calculated from the flight date we set there, i.e. from March 11:
In addition to one-way or round-trip tickets, there is also a Multiple route option. With its help, you can buy tickets for more than two flights at the same time. Departure dates, destinations and departure points do not depend on each other in any way, the route may be broken by dates and points of departure. But it can also be consistent. Departures can be added or deleted. The maximum number of flights in one order is seven.
This is how a composite route may look like in practice: we need to fly on March 11 Moscow-Bangkok, then, a month later, on April 9 Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur, a week later on April 15 Kuala Lumpur-Singapore, in the fourth block you can choose where and where we fly from further:
Search results and filters
Further, for simplicity, we will consider a variant of the Moscow-Bangkok route, the dates of round-trip flights: March 11 and 30. We fill in the fields of the standard form, click Find tickets, within a few seconds the site searches for all offers, sorts them and displays them in the form of a list.
Above, on a blue background, the search form is always visible, where you can quickly change the parameters. On the right at the very top there are buttons with a drop-down menu for selecting a currency (RUB), for subscription, authorization and, with three stripes, a drop-down menu where you can select a calendar, a low price card and special offers.
The system shows us many options, including advertising. This is a flight for the indicated dates, but not the best price. It is marked with the caption Advertise. Although he, too, may well come up in the end. Above the ticket options there are sorting options: Cheapest, Direct, Optimal (it happens that the price is the same, but when the flight is long, the cheapest option is usually with 1 or 2 transfers, and they can be long). In our case, the cheapest is 21383r, but it is with transfers. And the straight line is already 39965r. In this case, the difference is significant, but sometimes it is small. Conveniently, you can immediately see the price of these options without even clicking on them.
To the right of the search results, a vertical block with filters: the number of stops, the range of the departure time of the flight, the travel time (a useful filter for filtering out too long flights), the range of ticket prices.
Under the search form highlighted in blue, in which you can always change the parameters, we see a block with the name Check other dates to compare prices, price options for different combinations of dates and the Expand button with an arrow. If you click it, a calendar with a Table and a Price Chart will drop out:
This is how the Opened Pricing Table looks like. Dates with good prices are highlighted in green. In the table with arrows, you can move the calendar with dates There and Back and there is an option Only direct flights:
In the same place, you can switch to the Price Chart, where the same data is presented in a graphical form, you can move the time scale and use the buttons «+» «-» set the range between roundtrip flights.
This tab can be collapsed by clicking the button on the right again, or simply scroll down to the search results.
Each option in the search results can be clicked and detailed information about the flight will open. It is very convenient that the conditions of baggage transportation are immediately visible, in the form of a bag and suitcases. There are red icons on the top right, they mark night flights (moon) and long connections (hourglass). The arrow next to these icons is to share a link to this ticket option. If you hover the cursor over any of the icon buttons, a tooltip with its description will appear. It is also convenient that you can immediately see the flight time, the number and duration of transfers..
In this case, we see that although the tickets are quite cheap, the return flight with two connections and the travel time will be more than a day.!
Using the filters on the left, you can select the conditions that are acceptable to you and check which tickets satisfy them. For example, uncheck the 2 transfer checkbox, set the departure and arrival intervals, and reduce the possible connection time. For given conditions and more «quick» non-stop flight ticket price rises immediately. Conveniently, without expanding detailed information about tickets, you can immediately evaluate what baggage allowances for them, in the form of icons with bags above the Buy button:
Between the cheapest, but the most inconvenient option with long connections and the convenient but expensive one, you can use the filters on the right to find a compromise option. Let's limit travel time using a filter. Now the ticket is a little more expensive than the very first option, but at least not so prohibitively long. Thus, with the help of filters it is very convenient to search for tickets that suit exactly your requests..
Buying an air ticket
For each flight option, under the big orange Buy button, information is displayed where you can buy a ticket - in one of the agencies or on the airline's website. It happens that there are many options offered, but there is only one. Please note that the link to buy a ticket from the airline is not always offered by the service, in this case you have to look for the airline's website yourself and punch the ticket there to find out where it will be cheaper, through an agency, or in the airline itself.
After we have finally chosen the flight option you need, we click either on the Buy button or on the link with the name of the agency and go to the site corresponding to our choice, where we can book or buy tickets. I will not describe the purchase process, because everything is easy there. Enter your full name, passport details, and indicate how you are going to pay. The most popular option is to pay by credit card. But you can also pay in cash, if the agency's office is in your city, with electronic money (some agencies accept), or in a communication salon like Euroset. As a rule, when buying a ticket on the airline's website, there will be no payment options, you will need a bank card.
Before paying, make sure you read the rules for ticket refunds (usually cheap tickets are non-refundable), baggage rules, choose food and seats (if there is such an option).
Useful features for the traveler
Search for tickets on the Low Price Calendar
There is a menu at the top of the main page of Aviaseels, it contains not only the Calendar and Map, but also Special Deals and Last Minute Air tickets. We will not consider them now, everything is not at all complicated there..
But let's take a closer look at the Price Calendar, because it's a handy feature for finding inexpensive tickets and planning your trip. The calendar is filled with requests from users of the service and the results found. That is, the results in the calendar are the most profitable tickets found by users in the last 48 hours. The more recent a ticket we have found (no more than two hours ago), the more likely it is. The link to the calendar is in the drop-down menu at the very top of the page, to the right of the Subscribe and Login buttons, as well as on the main page, if you scroll below the standard search form.
We indicate on the Calendar where we want to fly from. If you do not specify a destination (you can write a country or a city and choose airports in this city from the proposed list), the site will search for tickets in all directions. That is, here it is, flexible search. When you want to go somewhere, but where exactly is not yet clear.
You can select the month (s) and the duration of the intended trip (you can also switch to the exact date mode and select the specific days we need). Now you can click the Show prices button. The days with the lowest ticket price will be marked in green. The most profitable flight is indicated on the right, also on a green background..
For interest, on the same page, you can click on the Price Chart by Month and see when the average is the lowest price in the desired region. With its help, you can still find out when the season is in this region - ticket prices in these months are the highest..
Search for tickets on the Price Map
Low Price Map is a visual display of routes and prices on a geographic map.
On the map on the right, first of all, you should indicate the city of departure. There are also other filters, with their help you can narrow the search range. For example, select a one-way flight (by default, round-trip flights are shown), search for only visa-free countries or countries where you need Schengen visa.
There are links to the low price map from the menu at the very top of the page, it is the same on the start page and on the search results page. Moreover, the map, as in the screenshot above, can be accessed by first going to the Low Price Calendar, and then, from there, in the similar menu at the top, select the Map.
And if you select the Low Price Map item from the menu at the top of the page:
Then the Map looks like this:
P.S. Accommodation is best search through RoomGuru, a similar search engine, only for hotels (the link is my instruction). In the search results, we will see how much a particular hotel costs in all booking systems at once. You can compare and choose where it is cheaper, it is convenient!