The air ticket is a nominal financial document. In 2006, the usual paper book was replaced by an electronic air ticket. When issuing an electronic ticket, the airline assigns a unique code (booking code) and number (13 digits). The ticket consists of two components — fare and airport taxes. The fare itself is the net profit of the airline. Airport taxes are the fees that the airline pays to the airport ground services (fee for the use of airline booking systems, fuel tax, security fee). Often, the total amount of airport charges may vary from 20% to 45% of the cost of the ticket itself.
All fares that are published in booking systems have clear rules and restrictions. There are several types of fares:
- basic (published) rates, which in turn are divided into flexible fares;
- rates with severe restrictions — pex, apex fare.
The flexible fare allows you to change the departure date, to return the ticket if necessary, paying the penalty.
Tickets purchased at strict fares are purchased in advance, a certain number of days before a departure. Such tickets cannot be exchanged or returned, and in some cases, it is possible to change the return date of departure with a penalty.
We recommend that you read all fare rules carefully before buying your ticket.
There is a precise sequence of air ticket usage. For example, you have bought a ticket on the Madrid-Barcelona-Madrid route. If you change your plans and decide to travel to Barcelona by train and then take a flight from Barcelona to Madrid, you will not be allowed to travel. All flights must be used in a precise sequence, one after the other. Otherwise, the ticket will be considered invalid.
The majority of airlines try to create the most comfortable conditions for the passenger on board. The higher the service is, the more expensive your ticket is.
There are four classes of service during the flight: first class, business class, economy premium, and economy class.
Not all airlines and only on long-haul flights provide flights in first class. Passengers receive privileges and unique services throughout their journey. First-class passengers are offered a varied menu, top quality alcoholic drinks, sleep accessories, and toiletries. Luggage allowance is 40 kg. First-class customers have the possibility of priority boarding and visiting special lounges (airport lounge).
Business-class passengers, as well as first-class customers, enjoy all the privileges: a visit to business lounges at the airport before a departure, priority boarding, increased baggage allowance, comfortable seats in the cabin, large legroom, a wide range of food and beverages throughout the journey.
Economy premium is a cabin between business and economy class. The main differences include a minimum number of passenger seats, sufficient distance between seats, large legroom, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) throughout the flight.
Economy class occupies most of the airplane seats. The distance between rows starts from 70 cm; the layout of seats depends on the type of aircraft and the flight distance. The facilities and list of services for passengers in this class are limited. Most airlines include only hand luggage in the economy class ticket price. Passengers can purchase the following services at an additional cost: a seat in the emergency row, a seat in a row just behind the business class, in-flight meals.
The flight ticket always indicates the local time of the point of departure and point of arrival. We recommend that you pay careful attention to this point, especially those who travel between 26 and 31 March and between 26 and 31 October. At this time, it is essential to note that the clocks around the world are set to seasonal time.
Traveling with infants requires special attention. It is necessary to buy an air ticket for your baby. In the search form, there will be a passenger category from 0 to 2 years. The cost of a ticket for an infant is 10% of the fare of an adult passenger and the tax for safety. The airline does not provide a seat for this category. For infants up to 6 months, the airline provides a cradle; you must make a preliminary request. For passengers with small children, the airline offers separate seats at the beginning of the cabin, where it is possible to secure a baby cradle. At the request of parents, a child between 1 and 2 years of age can be provided with a separate seat in the cabin. In this case, a ticket at the child fare with a discount of 25% to 30% is paid. There is also a preliminary request for children's meals on board. If you plan a trip with young children, make sure that you take care of your child's comfort on board the aircraft in advance.
Children aged 5 to 15 years can travel unaccompanied. In this case, the airline takes responsibility for the minor passenger from the moment of check-in to landing at the destination point. During the check-in, a parent or an authorized person fills in a special form with all the child's data and contacts of the meeting person. A young passenger receives a special badge with his or her name on it. Throughout the flight, the child is under the full control and supervision of airport staff and the airline operating the flight. This service (Unaccompanied minor) is chargeable, and each carrier sets its own fare and conditions of travel for underage children.
When buying the cheapest ticket, only one piece of hand luggage is included in the price. Its dimensions and weight must meet strict parameters: the weight up to 8 kg, the sum of three hand baggage measurements should not exceed 115 cm (55x35x25 cm). In addition, a passenger may take a small bag or laptop on board.
It is transported separately from the passenger in the luggage compartment, but not always included in the ticket price. If you plan a flight with luggage, you should take care of this when purchasing your ticket. You can register your luggage on the airline's website. Your baggage allowance may vary depending on the airline you choose. The allowance is one piece, weighing up to 20 kg, and for some carriers, it is one piece weighing up to 23 kg with the sum of three dimensions up to 158 cm. In case of exceeding the dimensions or weight, the baggage automatically becomes excess baggage (additional).
If necessary, airlines provide an opportunity to purchase additional luggage. This item must not exceed the main piece of baggage's dimensions and weight: weight up to 20 kg/23 kg, the sum of three dimensions not more than 158 cm.
A large suitcase, which is taken to the luggage compartment, is considered as special luggage. Large baggage has a weight of up to 32 kg and a size of up to 292 cm. Airlines have rates for special baggage, which can be found on the carrier's website.
Passengers can take sports equipment with them: ski gear, diving equipment, bicycle, surfboard. It is important to inform the airline about your plans in advance, make a request with a specific size and weight of sports equipment. Payment for the transportation of sports equipment is made before a departure at the airport check-in counter.
If the flight lasts less than 3 hours, most airlines do not offer in-flight meals free of charge. Passengers have the opportunity to order and pay for this service on the carrier's website by selecting the desired menu. Airlines have developed special meals for passengers with specific requirements, which can be ordered on the website at least 24 hours before the flight.
Basic types of special meals:
BBML. Meals for the youngest passengers from 0 to 2 years.
CHML. Menu for children from 2 to 12 years.
GFML. Meals with low cholesterol. The menu includes fruits, vegetables, nonfat products, vegetable fats.
NLML. The menu is made for passengers who do not tolerate lactose. Food is prepared from products that do not contain milk and dairy products.
VGML. The menu is designed for vegetarians.
KSML. Kosher meals. Cooked in accordance with the rules under the supervision of rabbis.
MOML. Muslim menu. Meals for Muslim passengers, and it does not include pork, alcohol. Meat from which this menu is cooked must meet all halal principles.
Most air carriers are working on booking rules and fare policies to minimize losses and prevent passengers from showing for a flight. There are two reasons why resale is possible on the flight — technical and scheduled.
Technical overbooking is possible if the aircraft type has been changed when the airline puts a smaller airplane with fewer seats on the flight.