RESERVATION AND TICKETING TIPS
Once your next business trip is planned out, you know exactly where you are going and which airline you want to use, getting reservations and tickets is a fairly simple process. You can make all of your arrangements by telephone, at the airline's ticket office, or through a travel agent or other ticket outlet. There are a few potential pitfalls, however, and these pointers should help you avoid them.
* If your travel plans fall into a busy period, call for reservations early.
Flights for holidays may sell out weeks - sometimes months - ahead of time.
* Don't buy a standby fare or an 'open return' ticket if you need to fly
during a high-demand period, especially the end of August. You could be
stranded for a week or more before a seat becomes available.
* Ask the reservations agent to give you the on-time performance code for any
flights that you are considering. This is a one-digit code in the
reservations computer that shows how often that arrived on time (within 15
minutes) during the most recent reported month. For example, an "8" means
that flight arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time between
80% and 89.9% of the time. If you are deciding between two flights with
similar schedules and fares, you may want to choose the one with the better
on-time record. (Only the largest U.S. airlines are required to maintain
* When you make a reservation, be sure the agent records the information
accurately. Before you hang up or leave the ticket office, review all of the
essential information with the agent - the spelling of your name, the flight
numbers and travel dates, and the cities you are traveling between. If there
is more than one airport at either city, be sure you check which one you'll
be using. It's also important to give the airline your home and work
telephone numbers so they can let you know if there is any change in their
* Your ticket will show the flight number, departure time, date, and status of
your reservation for each flight of your itinerary. The "status" box is
important. "OK" means you're confirmed. Anything else means that the
reservation is not yet certain (e.g., waitlisted).
* A "direct" (or "through") flight can have one or more stops. Sometimes
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