There are some apprehension about using the online medium for purchasing air tickets online. However, these are unfounded and can be cleared in order to have a smooth online booking process. This piece of content familiarizes you with the United Airlines booking engine.
As can be seen in the screenshot taken from United Airlines website that there are options of booking Flight, Hotel, Car, Cruise and Vacation within this space. Our concern here is to show how flights are to be booked online. So, the first tab of ‘Flight’ is selected, and this is open by default when the page loads.
As can be seen you are required to select whether you want to book a round-trip flight or a one-way one. By default, the round trip flight is selected. No airline will want you to come back on another airline. So, this remains selected by default unless you change it. Once you select which type of journey you want to go for, you also have to select whether you want to book with miles or calendar shop. If you do not select any of these, it is clear that you want to book by paying money as usual.
‘Book with miles’ uses your frequent flyer points instead of payment by card.
‘Calendar Shop’ allows you to define the period of stay along with the departure date. This shows up the calendar of lowest fares on a particular day of calendar for your route for the next 30 days. This is what turns up in next step of booking when you select calendar shop for a 5 day period:
So, let us get back to the booking engine again.
Now, you to select the departure and return dates along with the cabin class you want to travel in. There are 3 such choices provided, as given below:
The next step is to select the number of passengers who want to travel. Please note that United Airlines reservations can be done for a maximum of 9 passengers on a PNR, including infants or children.
After selecting the cabin class of travel, you have to hit the ‘Find Flights’ button and you are off to a new page.
This is the most common and also the minimum set of options which you have to select in a booking engine in order to arrive at results. However, if you want to refine the search of flights further on United Airlines website, then you shall go for ‘Advanced Search’ option.
The Advanced Search option allows you to choose the following:
Search preferences allow you to sort the listing of flights based on best matches, price, departure time, arrival time, no of stops, etc.
You can also select which airline you want to travel with and preferred connecting airport or the airports to avoid when the search results for flights show up.
b. Another important feature of the Advanced Search option is to choose whether a pet is flying as well or not.
c. The Advanced Search option also allows you to select whether the flight results shall show up the Award flights or not. This requires signing up with the MileagePlus account on the website of the airline.
Furthermore, it allows you to search using the fare choices rather than the usual cabin class based searches.
d. The last option of Advanced Search feature is to enable you to enter any promotional code or certificate for redemption.
As can be seen, United Airlines allows you to search for flights using a range of filtering parameters provided in its search engine and advanced search options. You can make use of these to get the best results as per your requirement. Using these features helps you to find only those results which you want to see.