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Aero Puerto de Malaga
Holiday Spain: Getting There
From the UK you can travel to Spain car, coach, train, or plane. Air travel is probably the cheapest and certainly the quickest way to get to Spain. However the land/sea route is popular with those who don't like flying, who are planning a long stay, or who want to bring their own car.
Millions of tourists travel by air to Spain every year with nearly 70% travelling on non-scheduled charter flights. From the UK, air travel is probably the cheapest and certainly the quickest way to get to Spain. There are a vast number of flights from the UK to Spain ranging in price from about £90 to about £200 return. The cheapest flights are often with the low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air, Easy Jet, Buzz, and Go, or with the charter airlines such as Britannia, Air 2000, Monarch, etc. Charter flights are usually block-booked by Tour Operators for Package Holidays, however they are seldom full and it is usually easy to buy a "seat-only" ticket on these flights.
These are flights that are operated by an airline and run to a specified and published schedule. For example the British Airways scheduled service from Heathrow to Madrid. This is the equivalent to a city bus service: You know that bus number 65 runs every hour on the hour from Town Green to the Cemetery, and you know the bus fare. In the case of scheduled flights, there is usually a range of fares available, for example: First Class, Business Class, Economy, etc. Tickets can be bought in advance directly from the Airline, on the Internet, by telephone, or through a Travel Agent. Compare the prices between these different methods of buying tickets; they may vary by a few pounds. In particular there is often a discount for buying online. Scheduled flights are unlikely to be the cheapest option.
A charter flight is when an airplane is hired to run on a specified route, for example: Luton to Malaga, on a particular day at a particular time. The seats on the airline are sold in batches (or blocks) to Tour Operators who use them to get Package Holidaymakers to their resorts. This is the equivalent to hiring a coach and driver to take a group of people to a particular destination on a particular day. Even in the middle of August charter flights are rarely full and it is easy to buy a seat-only ticket on these flights. This can be a very cheap way of getting to Spain.
Sometimes known as "no-frills" airlines. The history of aviation is littered with examples of airlines that have attempted to offer cheap tickets with the benefits of a scheduled service. Freddy Laker's Sky Train, the debonair airline and the People's Express are examples of companies, which sadly are no longer in business. Currently low-cost airlines are enjoying a period of popularity and it is possible to find some excellent bargains if you persevere. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because an airline claims to be low-cost that you will automatically get the best deal. Often the cheapest (advertised) prices are not available on the flight you want. It may be cheaper to get a "flight-only" ticket with a charter airline and sometimes it is even possible to find a cheaper ticket from a traditional scheduled airline.
How Do I Get a Cheap Ticket?
To get a cheap ticket try one or more of the following options:
Travel out-of-season. Often this means travelling during the school term time.
Try the low-cost airlines such as Monarch, Ryan Air, Easy Jet, Buzz, and Go ECT
Often scheduled airlines (even the expensive ones such as British Airways and Iberia) will sell off seats at the last-minute, usually through agents known as "bucket shops". Spare seats on charter flights are likewise sold off and even in peak holidays its often possible to get a last minute bargain.
Book well in advance. Some airlines run high-profile advertising campaigns offering low cost flights, for example: Malaga from £39 return. However they only offer a limited number of these seats on certain flights so they sell out quickly. However there are bargains to be had by booking-early as well as by booking last-minute. Most charter and scheduled flights can be booked up to ten months in advance.
Book on the Internet. Some airlines offer discounts if you book using their website online booking facility. In addition, the internet is a great way of finding the cost of scheduled flights, airline schedules, airport information, details of airport parking, flight times, dates, etc.
Some sites such as http://www.cheapflights.co.uk offer a facility for searching for cheap flights to your chosen destination. However, don't assume that Internet searching will find cheaper flights than those found by more traditional methods.
Weekend papers. Many weekend papers such as the Sunday Times and the Independent on Sunday have a travel section that contains advertisements from a range of agents offering cheap flights to various destinations. It worth calling a few to see what's on offer.
your local Travel Agent. They would prefer to sell you a Package Holiday but if pressed most good Travel Agents will shop around on your behalf to find a cheap flight-only ticket. You should try at least three different Travel Agents and see which one gets you the best deal. Dealing with Travel Agents by telephone rather than in person saves time. You do not need to use a local Travel Agent, any Travel Agent in the UK should be able to find a cheap flight-only ticket on either a charter airline or scheduled airline. However, note that some low-cost airlines will not deal with Travel Agents (to save paying commission and to keep costs low) and therefore you will need to contact the airlines directly in this case.
Shop around. Try as many different sources of cheap flights as you can depending on your available time and patience. You will be offered a wide range of prices but eventually you will find the source (for example the internet, charter flights, and scheduled flights) that is offering the cheapest ticket.
Invariably you will find the cheapest flights are those departing from Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted airports, at an antisocial hour and at an unpopular time of year. If you want to travel from a regional airport, at peak times, it will be more difficult to find a bargain. However do weigh up the cost of petrol driving to the airport and the cost of airport parking. Travelling from a local airport may appear more expensive until you take into account the shorter journey to the airport and the possibility of lower parking costs.
How Do I Find Cheap Flights on the Internet?
You can find cheap flights (scheduled, low-cost and charter) by searching the Internet. You can do this by any of the following means:
Go directly to the airline's website. Many have an online booking form
Visit one of the specialist online flight search sites such as
Remember to check if the price you have been quoted is single or return. Always ask if the price includes all airport taxes, government taxes, VAT, and any other taxes or charges. Ask if there is a booking fee. You can only compare costs from different sources when you have added up the total cost (including booking fee, if any). If you are travelling with children ask for a child discount, you won't often get one if your child is over two years old, but its worth asking. Think about the cost of getting to and from your UK airport and airport parking. The benefits of buying a cheap ticket from a particular airport may be out-weighed by the additional costs involved in getting to that airport and/or parking there.
How Do I Book My Ticket?
It is extremely easy for the DIY Holidaymaker to buy an airline ticket! Find a cheap flight as described earlier and then either.
Book online (you will need a credit card). Simply complete the details on the online booking form. Tickets will follow in the mail. Or if a ticket less airline you will be given booking reference number to quote at check-in to receive your boarding card. Monarch is a ticket less airline.
Book by telephone (you will usually need a credit card). A few minutes on the telephone will secure your flight. Tickets will follow in the mail.
in person at the offices of the airline. Pay by cheque, credit/debit card, or cash. Tickets can be collected later or sometimes can be available on the spot.
Through a Travel Agent. Although most Travel Agents are more familiar with selling Package Holidays, most will be more than happy to sell you a flight-only ticket. Contact them by telephone or in person. Find a list of your local Travel Agents in the Yellow Pages. Pay by cheque, credit/debit card, or cash. Tickets can be collected later.
What If the Airline Won't Sell Me A Ticket?
A few airlines (mainly charter airlines) will not sell tickets direct to the public. Thankfully, this situation is not as common as it used to be. If you encounter this problem don't worry, the solution is very simple. Just phone any travel agent and ask them to buy the ticket for you. Give them the flight details, date, time, price etc. Most Travel Agents will be able to do this for you usually without a booking fee (or for a very small fee). If the first Travel Agent you try can't help simply try another one.
How Do I Find Details of Flights to My Chosen Destination?
Once you have decided where you want to go on holiday, make a note of the nearest airport. If you aren't sure which airport find out from the one of the following:
Tour Operator's brochures (available free from any Travel Agent even if you aren't booking a holiday with them). These full colour, glossy brochures contain a wealth of information for the DIY Holidaymaker.
a map of Spain. Available free from the Spanish Tourist Office or you can ask for an atlas at your local library.
a holiday guidebook for Spain. Available at most libraries and bookshops.
Then you need to find details of flights from your preferred UK airport's to the Spanish airport. This can be done as follows:
on the web. Check out the web sites mentioned earlier
by telephone. Phone the airlines directly
Through a Travel Agent. Any local Travel Agent or any of the specialised ticket agents that advertise in the weekend papers.
The details you will need are:
Date of flight and date of return flight
Time of departure (outward and return)
Name of airline
Flight number (two or three letters followed by several numbers)
Short-Cut to a Cheap Flight
Get some brochures for package holidays to Spain from any travel agent. These are free. Look in the back of the brochures. There you will find a section headed "Flights", or "Flight Details" or something similar. This is a complicated-looking chart, several pages long, with intimate details of holiday flights to various destinations. They are usually arranged either by departure airport or by destination airport. If they are arranged by departure airport, look for the airport you wish to fly from e.g. Luton. There you will find a list of resort airports served from Luton. Look for the one of your choice e.g. Malaga. Here you will find details (dates, times etc but not prices) of various flights to your chosen destination. If the arrangement is by destination airport, simply look for your resort airport (e.g. Malaga) and under this heading look for the list of flights from your chosen UK airport (e.g. Luton). Underline the flights that appeal to you. Do this with several brochures (there will be a different selection of flights in each Tour Operator's brochure).
Make a note of the airlines operating the flight's) you have marked. You know this from the two-letter code (sometimes three-letter) provided in the flight details.
BY = Britannia
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List the flights in your order of preference
Phone a Travel Agent or use the Internet and ask for the cheapest available ticket on the first flight in your list. If it is too expensive ask for the next flight in your list, etc.
While there are a myriad of options for choosing a flight to Spain here are a few recommendations for the DIY Holidaymaker:
Book early. You can book most flights up to ten months in advance. Charter "flight only" tickets are reasonably priced and you are unlikely to get much cheaper. Although you may get a last-minute bargain there is no guarantee that you will and if you are travelling at a popular time of year you run the risk of not being able to get a flight at all. Don't forget that a DIY Holidaymaker must coordinate all aspects of the holiday e.g. travel and accommodation, so there is an advantage to being organised well in advance.
Try the "flight-only" charter option first. There is a huge choice and this is likely to be the cheapest route.
Phone a Travel Agent and ask for the cheapest "flight-only" charter airline price for your chosen destination. If you get a good price this could save you a lot of time.
Phone the airline before you leave home to check for any last minute changes.
Check your travel times carefully and arrive at the airport well before the latest check-in time
Remember that if a flight is due to depart on Friday at 00:05 (five past midnight) you need to get to the airport late on THURSDAY night (if you arrive on Friday night you will have missed it!).
don’t forget passport, money, credit cards, tickets
Check if your passport needs renewing well in advance
Children must have their own passport
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We try to ensure the accuracy of all content, however, we do not accept any liability for use made by you of the content. The content of the Site should only be used for information purposes. It is not advice and you should not rely on it to make (or refrain from making) any decision or take (or refrain from taking) any action. See full Website www.villasdirect-spain.co.uk Terms and conditions.
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