How to search Travelocity

by Roger Wade

November 12th, 2007

In this how-to guide we will help you confidently navigate Travelocity, and give you a few money-saving tips in the process. Sites like Travelocity that search multiple airlines all at once are great, but as the years have gone on they have added many features some that seem purposely confusing to try to maximize their profits from each transaction. There is nothing wrong with that, but in the process they’ve made parts of the experience aggravating if you aren’t prepared.

Follow this step-by-step guide and we’ll highlight the important things and tell you which portions you can skip.

Step 1: Click this link to open Travelocity in a new window so you can follow along while reading this guide.

Step 2: Type in your departure city and your destination city.

Start by entering your home airport city and the city you are flying to. If you know the 3-letter airport codes for each one you can usually speed things up. You can type in city names, but many cities have similar names or multiple airports so you’ll have to choose your best match on the next screen.

Tip: Many cities with more than one major airport still have a 3-letter code city code similar to an airport code that enables you to search flights to all airports in a city in one search. Here are some of the more common ones:

Chicago = CHI Miami/Ft. Lauderdale = MFW Paris = PAR
London = LON New York City = NYC Toronto = YTO
Los Angeles = LAX Rome = ROM Washington DC = WAS

Step 3: Choose which of the two money-saving features you’d like to use first. (Unfortunately, you can’t use them both at the same time, but you can go back and use the other one before locking in your flight.)

Are your travel dates flexible? Are there multiple airports you could use?
Click the button to the left of “+/- 1 to 3 days,” If are flexible with your travel dates. This will search for up to 3 days before and after your dates for the lowest fare possible. You can also click the “Flexible dates” button, but that’s probably best saved for later and only if you can’t find any low fares at all. Click the button to “Compare surrounding airports.” – If you are certain of your travel dates but open to a better price by using a nearby airport on either end.

Tip: Some days of the week are far more expensive than others. You can often save big by moving your flights up or back a day or two.

Tip: Usually major airports offer the cheapest tickets, but sometimes routes using smaller nearby airports will have a sale while the major airport stays at full price.

Step 4: Select your desired departure and return dates. Then select if you’d like to see 1, 2, or 3 dates before or after each date.

Step 4: Select your desired departure and return dates.

Step 5: Enter the number of adults, children, and seniors, and then click on Search Flights.

Step 5: Enter the number of adults, children, and seniors, and then click on Search Flights.

Step 6: We get our results!

You are now looking at a grid with all your possible combinations, and the best price for travel using each combination. The departure days are on the left and the return dates are on the top, with your original date pair highlighted in a different color. Step 6: Choose the airports you’d like to compare for each leg of your flight.

You can choose up to 3 airports for your departing location and up to 3 more for your return flight.

Then hit the Continue button.

Tip: Larger airports usually offer the lowest prices, but occasionally, fare sales are in affect at smaller airports only.

Step 7: Choose the date and price combination that looks best.

You’ll then be shown a screen with all the available flights using those dates, with the lowest priced combinations at the top.

Step 7: Choose the airport and price combination that looks best.

Click on the View Flights button to the right of your selection.

Tip: Carefully consider the extra time and transportation costs of using far-away airports before choosing a slightly lower fare using those airports.

Step 8: Select your departing flight

The cheapest flights will be listed at the top of the page.

Tip: Review the list carefully before choosing. In many cases a much more convenient flight (non-stop, better time of the day etc.) will only cost a bit more than the cheapest flights at the top of the page.

Step 9: Select your return flight

Again, make sure the one you are choosing is the best combination of price and convenience.

Step 10: Review your flight details

You’ll see your selected flights at the top of the screen, and below that will be a long list of hotels for your travel dates that you can add to your ticket.

Quickly scroll down to the bottom and click on “Continue with Flight Only”

Step 11: Review your flight details again

If you’ve added a hotel then that will now be part of the price, but if not your price should stay the same and all you have to do is look over the policies, rules, and restrictions, and then click the box that you’ve done so, and then click on the orange “Continue” button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 12: Log in to your Travelocity account, or click the “Continue” button on the right side of your page to enter your personal details.

¢ If you’ve purchased a ticket through Travelocity before the computer may remember many of your details from that purchase. Enter your password and much of the rest will already be filled in for you.

¢ If this is your first Travelocity purchase you’ll click the “Join Now” link to enter your information. The information you enter will not only be used for this reservation, it will also be saved in their system to save time on future reservations.

Step 13: Select your ticket delivery preference.

In almost every case this just means you’ll be confirming that you are buying and electronic ticket instead of a paper ticket. Most routes don’t even offer paper tickets anymore and they’ll soon become extinct.

Step 14: Complete the passenger information.

Here you’ll enter a phone number and e-mail address for the primary passenger. You can also enter your frequent flier number and request a special meal or assistance if a passenger will need a wheelchair or a child monitor.

Step 15: Select your seats

On most flights a diagram will appear on the right side of the page that indicates all open seats. You can select one of those, or you can enter whether you just want a window or an aisle seat in the dropdown below.

After you select a seat for your departing flight you’ll be asked to select your seat for your return flight in the same way.

Step 16: Confirm your purchase

Enter your credit card information at the top and then confirm the billing and delivery names and addresses below, then click the orange “Complete Reservation” button at the bottom.

You’ll then have one last chance to review your purchase and confirm. Then an e-mail will be sent to the address you provided that will confirm your purchase and give you the electronic ticket to print out, if you choose to.

Tip: Printing the electronic ticket information can help you remember it all in one place, but the printout is not necessary to board the flight. If you write down or memorize your flight details you can present your ID at the airport check-in counter and you’ll be given your boarding pass with no other paperwork.

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