Flight Search Definitions
Click a topic below to quickly find the help you want.
Insider tips to obtain the best options
Buy roundtrip tickets.
The least expensive fares often apply to roundtrip tickets.
Try to make your reservations and purchase tickets at least 21 days prior to departure. The advance-purchase period varies. Some fares require an advance purchase of 3, 7, 14, or 21 days, while others may require no advance purchase at all. Usually, the longer the advance purchase, the lower the fare.
Spend a Saturday night at your destination.
Many of the lower fares require a Saturday night stay.
Consider alternative airports.
If you live within driving distance of two or more airports, be sure to check fares for all. Some airlines offer special fares for flights into specific airports. Flights from alternative airports will be searched if the "Check Surrounding Airports" box is checked on the Flights Home Page.
Check fares on all airlines.
Don't assume that an advertised special fare is available on only one airline. Most airlines quickly respond to a special fare introduced by a competitor.
Don't discard unused tickets.
The majority of tickets with inexpensive fares are nonrefundable and nontransferable. However, if you don't use your ticket, don't throw it away. In some cases, you may apply the cost of the ticket (minus the airline penalty fee) toward the purchase of another ticket on the same airline. Your original ticket may have value for up to one year from the issue date. Be sure to cancel your reservation prior to your departure date if you are unable to travel.
Have your frequent flyer membership numbers on hand when you shop.
To ensure you get credit for the miles you fly, have your frequent flyer membership numbers available when making reservations. In addition to mileage accrual, many airlines offer preferred seating to those individuals with frequent flyer membership.
Types of travelers
Please supply the number of travelers in each age category. You can include up to six travelers per trip. Age categories are as follows:
- Seniors are ages 65 and over.
- Adults are ages 12 through 64 for purposes of airline fare rules. However, children under the age of 15 are considered Unaccompanied Minors. Reservations for Unaccompanied Minors cannot be made online. Please contact us to arrange travel for Unaccompanied Minors.
- Children are ages 2 through 11 according to most airlines.
- Infants are under age 2. The number of infants must not exceed the number of travelers ages 12 and over.
If you are traveling with an infant, please select one of the following options:
- Infants in Seat - Choose this option if you wish to book a separate seat for the infant. You will be required to supply an infant car seat to ensure the infant's safety. Seats reserved for infants may be billed at special infant fares.
- Infants in Lap - Choose this option if one of the adults in your party will hold the infant throughout the flight.
Infant, child, and senior discounts
Many airlines offer discounted fares for infants, children, and seniors. Discounts vary by airline, flight, and seat availability. They also vary by travelers' ages.
Many airlines welcome unaccompanied minors on their flights. To ensure a safe, comfortable, and fun trip for unaccompanied minors, please contact us to discuss various options and prices.
The following are some basic guidelines about unaccompanied minors:
- Please contact us directly for specific policies and fees.
- Minors who are old enough (approximately ages 5-17) can usually fly on nonstop, direct, or connecting flights, but usually are not accepted on the last connecting flight of the day. The age depends on the airline's policies, so please check with us.
- Many airlines provide (or require) supervision service for minors from the time of boarding until the time the minor is met at the final destination. This is called unaccompanied minor service. Minors must be approved by the airline for this service.
- Younger children (typically under the age of 5) are often not eligible for unaccompanied minor service and must be accompanied on the same flight and in the same compartment by an older passenger (typically 15 years or older).
- Unaccompanied minor service is often mandatory for children ages 5-14, but optional for teenagers (ages 15-17). Age requirements depend on which airline they fly.
- A fee is usually charged at check-in for unaccompanied minor service. Expect to pay $150 or more each direction.
- With unaccompanied minor service, the airline will usually want to know who is meeting the minor at the destination. Proof of identification for the receiving adult is often required. Forgetting this required identification could cause unpleasant delays, so make sure you know the airline's requirements.
- Reservations usually need to be confirmed for all segments of the minor's flight. Standby reservations are not allowed on any segment of the trip.
Reservations for unaccompanied minors under age 15 cannot be booked online.
Choosing a ticket class
Many flights offer coach/economy, business, and first class seating:
- Coach/economy class seating is in the main cabin area. This option usually yields the lowest airfare.
- Business class seating is in an intermediate area between first class and coach/economy. This option usually yields a more expensive fare than Coach and is not available on all aircraft. For flights within the United States, Business Class is only available on select transcontinental routes; for international flights, Business Class is generally available for either transatlantic or transpacific flights.
- First class seating is in the cabin area nearest the front of the aircraft or on a separate level. It has the fewest and most comfortable seats, and offers upgraded meals. A first class fare is usually the most expensive, and is not available on all aircraft.
Choosing search options
To restrict your roundtrip, one-way, or multiple-destination search, or specific airlines, select one or more of the following options. Doing so may reduce the number of lower-fare flights displayed.
- Limit Number of Connections - Check this box if you want to see fares only for flights that do not stop or change planes at one or more airports before you reach your final destination or if you are amenable to multiple connections.
- Limit to Specific Airlines - Check this box if you only want results for specific airlines to be shown. You can choose up to three different airlines.
We are currently unable to book tickets for a small number of airlines. Those airlines are:
- Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines
- Gulf Air
- Pakistan International
- Syrian Arab Airlines
This list is not inclusive and will be updated as changes occur.
Using convenient e-tickets
An e-ticket is, quite simply, the easiest way to travel. An electronic message is sent to the airline once the ticket is issued and a confirmation is sent to you. The confirmation number will include the airline ticket number and the airline reservation number. Unless otherwise indicated, electronic tickets will be issued for all flights.
When you check in for your flight, simply give the ticket agent your name, flight number, a government-issued photo ID and airline confirmation number. It's that easy!