It’s hard to say no to something that seems like a good deal, especially on something that’s normally as expensive as air travel. But travel journalist Christopher Elliott recently put together a list of four situations in which you shouldn’t give into temptation when it comes to booking airline tickets.
1. When it’s too good to be true
If you think there’s no way a flight could be that cheap, you’re probably right, says Elliott. “The gut-check is important,” he writes. “It can save you from making a small mistake, like buying an erroneous fare, to investing in a fraudulent travel club or timeshare.”
2. If you know it’s a mistake
If you’re shopping at Best Buy and the sticker on a laptop says $25, you know it’s a mistake and so will the store, who won’t be required to honor it. The same holds true for air travel. “Virtually all of the experts I spoke with for this story told me that knowingly booking an erroneous fare is wrong,” says Elliott. “The argument that airlines wouldn’t be as understanding if the roles were reversed made no difference to them.”
3. If the company is wishy-washy
Explains Elliott: “Obviously, having to wade through pages of fine print on a “bargain” can be such a turn-off that you would want to walk away. But if you see a terrific offer and make inquiries, and the answers are less than satisfactory, perhaps you shouldn’t be making reservations.”
4. If it’s a dramatically lower price than anyone else is offering
If you see a fare offer that’s remarkably less than what you’re seeing elsewhere, you should be suspicious and look into it before booking. “A price that’s far lower than those of competitors can be assumed to be either wrong or defective (or both),” writes Elliott.