As a famous quote says, “We have planned for life, but sometimes life may have a different plan for us”, there could be circumstances where one can plan ahead and save lots of money in travel by booking cheap flights or can choose other modes of transport as per the convenience; but what if one has to book a flight at the last minute to travel for an emergency?
The flight can definitely be booked on an immediate basis, but is there any chance of booking it at a cheap rate? Most of you will say ‘no’, especially in India, because the price surge of airline companies remain high at such a short notice. But you will be happy to know that there are ways of saving money during emergency situations as well.
Contact the Airline:
In emergency situations, calling the airline may help you and it can be done in a few steps:
There are many cases where airlines have really helped people in such situations with discounted flight rates. One of the instances is from my family, where my father had to travel on an immediate basis after he got the news of my grandfather’s heart attack. He called Air India’s customer care and the airline helped him in getting the flight booked at the best available rates due to which he could leave on time for our hometown.
Here are the customer care details of some of the major airlines:
Name of The Airlines
Be Updated by Using Google Flights:
Check google flights for getting an idea of all the upcoming flights and their rates or else set a reminder on google alerts for notifying you about the cheap flights or ongoing discounts. This will help you in taking the right decision during the time of need. Google flights help you in comparing prices of different airlines along with which it will also show the popular destinations from your place and the price per passenger. Through google flight map, you can check flight details of any country or city by clicking on the blue dots shown on the map or you can customize the options present at the right corner of the page, to get an overview of the desired details regarding the number of stops, time zone and the airlines you prefer.
Try to Book Ticket During An Undesirable Hour:
While booking a flight, you must have noticed several times that late night flights and early morning flights remain cheaper because not many people like to fly during that time. So if you can manage to travel at such timings, book your tickets accordingly.
Follow Airline/ Travel Booking Companies on Social Media:
To remain updated about latest discounts on the flights or about other schemes in airlines which get published for short duration, it’s best to connect with your favorite airline or travel booking company like MakeMyTrip or Easemytrip on social media like Facebook and Twitter, so that every time some new discount gets introduced, you get to know about it while scrolling down your news feed. It’s true that social media is the best platform for socializing but it also helps people in getting updates about any field.
Here is the chart showing social media handles of some major airlines for your reference:
Name of Airline
Track your Travel or Credit Card Rewards:
Owning a travel card or a credit card during traveling is a convenient option as it helps in availing cash back rewards and earning reward points which may help you during the time of emergency. But for reaping the benefits of the credit card, you should know which one you should choose. There are certain credit cards which offer amazing discounts and services, though one needs to research a lot to find the right one. But believe me, if you know how to make the right use of it, you will end up saving a lot especially when you are stuck in a situation where you need to book the flight at any expense, as most of the credit cards are have a tie-up with airlines these days. Credit cards also offer airline fee credit which helps in waiving certain charges like extra baggage, in-flight meals etc. Nowadays, most of the credit cards are offering a sign-up bonus or welcome gift in terms of some reward points which can be redeemed during the time of these last minute bookings.
Research The Ticket Price on Many Sites Before Finalizing:
Airlines keep the best deal to themselves rather than giving them to third-party sites. Yet there are sites which can help you in finding the cheapest flight by saving your effort of price comparison. One of them is Momondo which is the quickest way of finding the last minute flight deals as they compare the price of direct airlines along with the prices from third-party sites. The interface of Momondo is very easy to navigate and it shows the most relevant options by filtering the search results. Momondo also has a large display for showing information about price comparison, cheapest or quickest flights and flight times, helping you in deciding quickly which flight you want to go for.
Another benefit of using Momondo is that it gives an insight into your regular traveling destinations, by telling you about ways of getting the cheapest flight between the required destinations. It also shows two bar charts after the search bar showing the expensive and the cheapest days. The left-hand chart shows the estimated price of the departure date and the right-hand chart shows the price of the different return days and date. Momondo also provides unbiased research on hotel prices, helping you in getting the best deals.
Research About Cheapest Flights at Nearby Airports:
If you find that your destination is expensive, then the alternate option is to research the nearby airports where flights are available at lowest prices and from where you can travel by car to your destination. So in order to decide, all you need to do is compare the costs of different modes so that you may opt for the best one.
Though it’s true that urgency never comes with a warning but if you keep yourself prepared, it will be easy for you to deal with the emergency. Set the reminder on google alerts or make a habit of checking the website of your preferred airlines, just like you check social media on regular basis. It will keep you updated and you will know which way you should take during the situations when you don’t get time to think much.