Pictures of planes and tickets

5 Tips and Tricks For Your Next Flight Booking


Qistina Roslan •  Nov 27, 2023

We all know how stressful booking transportation can be, especially for transportation like flight tickets. From the order of names written to reading through fine print, we break it down and give you some tips and tricks before heading off to your next flight!

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1. Know what "Given", "First and Middle", and "Family" names are

Filling up an online form

For some cultures, there isn't much distinction between your name and what is considered as your full name. Sometimes, it gets a little confusing when filling these things up. Do they want our first name? Or the full thing? Where do we even stop?

Not to worry! We break down the definitions for you here!

Given name

For those of us with "Bin", "Binte", "S/O", "A/P", or "D/O" in our full names, your given name is anything that comes BEFORE that.

For example, if your full name is Jamal Abdul Mutalib Bin Mohd Aman, then your given name is: Jamal Abdul Mutalib.

First and Middle name

Sometimes, it gets a little confusing, especially if you don't know what is considered as your "Middle Name". Cultures around the world have a different understanding towards naming conventions so it's understandable to be confused! As a rule of thumb, include every single part of your name BESIDES your surname/family name. We'll give you an example later on!

Family name

Similar to what we stated above in the "Given name" section, your Family name is AFTER the connector.

Using the same example above, if your full name is Jamal Abdul Mutalib Bin Mohd Aman, then your family name is: Mohd Aman

Naming conventions for booking flight tickets

Flying might not always be the best for you, such as travelling around Malaysia! Read up more about the difference between the two right here!

2. Cheap isn't always right for you!

Luggage on an airport carousel

Flying cheap is almost always the top priority. However, there are a TON of hidden fees lying around that could make your ticket cost almost as much as a full-board flight but with more hassle.

Take note of the airline's:

  • Baggage policy: Do you have to pay extra for check-in baggage? What is the maximum weight for each baggage? Is the maximum weight calculated by individual baggage or combined baggage? What is their policy for odd-sized baggage such as strollers?
  • Meals: Are there additional charges for meals? Are there dietary options such as Kid's Meal, Halal, Vegan, etc? Do you need to email them to let them know about your requirements? How far in advance do you need to email them?
  • Price of tickets for children: How young must your child be for free boarding or is there none at all? Are there discounted prices, or are they paying adult prices? Are there amenities such as bassinets?
  • Seats: Are there any images online that show you the seats? Do you have to pay extra to book a seat? What is the seating arrangement like? (psst.. sitting near the back of the plane makes turbulence seem more violent)
  • Refund policy: With how connected the world is, global events can cause flight delays and cancellations. Is there a way to guarantee any sort of refund or compensation?

3. Check the airline's/country's airport policies on credit and debit cards

Credit cards in a wallet

Some countries and airlines require you to bring along the card you use to book your tickets for validation reasons. This occurrence is rare but it does happen, so do check and read up on any policies that may seem unfamiliar to you!

To be safe, bring along the exact card for verification purposes to avoid a stressful journey.

Hopping onto a long-haul flight? Here are some tips on surviving your red-eye flight!

4. Book in advance (and check if you're able to edit bookings)

The rule of thumb when it comes to booking airlines is that it should be done within 3 - 6 months in advance from the date of your trip (or at least the month you're planning to go on).

Travel plans change often, so do ensure that the airline allows you to change booking details or cancel them. There are some details that cannot be edited, such as destination or time, so do check them out! If cancellation is needed, ensure that you are clear on any cancellation payments that have to be paid if need be.

5. Look out for benefits (E.g Student promotions)

More and more young kids and students are travelling overseas via plane. Be it domestic or international, there are many airlines that have started to give student discounted prices for their flights. For example, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have benefits and lower-cost tickets for students using their airlines. A lot of them do require students to make an account under them to get these benefits.

Make sure that you understand the conditions when booking these tickets! If you're booking for more than one person under your student account, you need to ensure that all passengers have a valid student ID as they will check! On the same note, ensure that you bring your Student ID along to the airport in order to verify your student status.

There are also many benefits available for young children, with the biggest one being discounted price tickets, so that they're not paying the full adult price. A lot of airlines' age limits are below 3 years old (not including 3 years old!) so do take note!

If you're flying with your kids for the first time, you can check out our first-hand experience and get some tips here!

Do you have more tips that you want to share? Let us know by commenting on our post or simply tagging us with your tips and tricks on social media!