Planning a trip is usually a lot of fun, but it can also be rather stressful. Careful preparation is always essential, regardless of whether you’re going on holiday or booking a business trip. There are a lot of things you need to arrange, but you usually start by buying a ticket. That doesn’t sound very complicated, but it can be quite a challenge.
For instance, if you’re multitasking your way through an ordinary day. You’re trying to grab a quick lunch, quickly booking a flight on your tablet, and checking out the latest news while you’re waiting. As an avid traveller and social media customer service agent, I know just how easy it is to make little mistakes. Yes, KLM’s customers service teams are always ready to help, either by phone or via social media, but prevention is always better than cure. I’d therefore like to give you four tips you should bear in mind when buying a ticket, ensuring that your next trip gets off to a stress-free start.
Consider your options
Wherever you buy your ticket, it’s always important to pick the ticket that best suits your travel plans. Cheap tickets are attractive, of course, but they don’t always suit the needs of every traveller. Some trips simply demand greater flexibility. Your ticket will have a booking class, which is not the same thing as the travel class (Business or Economy). Each booking class has its own terms and conditions, which give you some idea of the flexibility of the ticket. For instance, how long you’re allowed to stay at your destination or whether a stopover is allowed, but also whether you’re allowed to change your ticket and what it costs to do so. If you’re a frequent flyer, the booking class is also interesting because it affects the number of award miles you will earn. (If you’re not yet a member of KLM’s Flying Blue loyalty programme, click here to find out more about the advantages)
Always take the unexpected into account
Even if your travel plans are set in stone, always take the unexpected into account. It is not inconceivable that you or one of your travel companions may fall ill; someone may need to resit an exam; or your pet watcher can’t make it after all. Travel insurance is almost as important as booking the right ticket. If you travel more than once or twice a year, it’s often cheaper to opt for permanent travel insurance. Yes, it’s an additional expense, but it’s also very, very handy in the event of an emergency. (To find out what insurance will cost, click here to visit the appropriate page on the KLM website)
Carefully check all data
Once you have received your e-ticket, immediately and carefully check whether all data are correct. The most common errors are typos and spelling mistakes when filling in a name, and dates that have been incorrectly selected. If you spot errors in your ticket, immediately contact the travel agent or airline where you booked your ticket. The same applies if you do not receive your ticket, because you never know what might have gone wrong. (If you have any questions about a ticket you have purchased via KLM.com, click here to find out how you can best contact us)
Check which travel documents you need
If you don’t travel long-distance very often, you may only have an ID card. Always check what travel documents you need for your trip, because you’ll sometimes need a passport as well as a visa for your destination. If you already have a passport, always bear in mind that some countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country. Click here to use KLM’s special travel documents tool. However, we do advise that you also check with the embassy of your destination country, because regulations may change at short notice and the embassy will provide you with the very latest information.