Booking international flight tickets is not a joke. I’m sharing the experience and problems faced by 3 students during their trip to India in December. By end of this article you will learn how to book international flight tickets from USA.
They learned the lesson hard way and hope you guys don’t make the same mistake.
- Round Trip Ticket – USA to India – $1500
- Cost of Mistakes – $850 in change fees
- Final flight ticket Cost – $2,350
Flight Ticket Booking
Students X, Y and Y from same university were planning to travel to India during December (semester break).
Student X searched for the best flight tickets deal from USA to India in an online travel site.
He, finds a deal (lowest and based on preferred dates).
This is his first trip to India after coming to USA.
Pays around $1,500 for round trip tickets from USA to Chennai.
- Airline ABC – Wilmington(Name Changed) to Chicago
- Eithad Airlines – Chicago to Abu Dhabi to Chennai
- Eithad Airlines – Chennai to Abi Dhabi to Chicago
- Airline ABC – Chicago to City X
Students Y,Z – Flight Tickets to India
After student X books the tickets, students Y and Z wanted the same flights, same dates.
Student Y is my friend so when he was trying to buy , I gave details of my travel agent.
Travel agent looks at the schedule and warns there could be problem with this flight booking.
Students Y and Z, decided to take the risk.
Within next 2 days, both student Y and Z booked the flights.
Day of the Travel
Bags packed, I-20 travel signature done, they got ready to travel together to India.
Who wouldn’t be exited to travel to India? Meeting parents and friends after 18 months !
Flight to Chicago was delayed from Wilmington (name changed).
They landed in Chicago about 45 minutes before the next connecting flight to Abu Dhabi.
So, far you must be thinking, 45 minutes should be enough to catch the next flight to Abu Dhabi.
Remember, Travel agent said, this flight itinerary might create problems?
They walk to Eithad Counter to check-in the bags and collect the boarding pass.
Shocking News !
Eithad Airlines doesn’t allow them to check-in the bags.
Reason – They need to check-in the bags at least 1 hour before flight take off time for international flights.
Did you figure out mistake they made with flight booking?
If you haven’t figured that out by now, you might run into similar problems with your international flight tickets.
By, now yo should be thinking
Why are they checking the bags again in Chicago?
Airline ABC from Wilmington should have checked-in the bag all the way to Chennai.
Why did they collect the bags and tried to check-in the bags again?
Well, that was the Mistake 1.
When X booked the tickets, online travel site issued tickets with Airline ABC and Eithad airlines.
For a student booking the flight tickets from USA to India for the first time, they are looking for 2 things
- Cheap round trip flight tickets to India
- Best deal for their travel dates
So, X sees the travel deal, check in other travel websites, this was the best option. So, he books the ticket.
Unfortunately, there is no partnership between Airline ABC and Etihad Airlines.
Basically, online travel site, issued 2 separate round trip tickets.
- Ticket 1 – Wilmington to Chicago and Chicago to Wilmington(to and fro)
- Ticket 2 – Chicago to Chennai and Chennai to Chicago(to and fro)
Since, there is no partnership, Etihad airlines doesn’t care about the ABC flight delay from Wilmington to Chicago.
For them, those 3 are just new passengers boarding the flight in Chicago.
For international travel, they are supposed to check-in the suitcases atleast 1 hour before flight take time.
Since, domestic flight to Chicago got delayed, they had only 45 minutes before next flight.
That’s the first mistake.
There wasn’t enough time between domestic and international connecting flight.
Now, you can see how the simple mistake made by X has cascaded to 3 tickets .
Students Y and Z would have had an opportunity to get error free tickets, but they wanted to travel together.