Booking a flight on Virgin Atlantic's www.virgin-atlantic.com might look complicated at first, because of the multitude of options that the online booking system offers. For one, you can choose whether to book from Virgin's various sites, including the UK site, US site, Australian site, and the like. But if you want a no-frills booking, just look towards the main "search for flights to London and worldwide" box.
- Entering your details. First thing to input would, of course, be your preferred departure and arrival points, and flight dates. Virgin's booking system lets you book one-way or return-trip tickets. As for airport selections, you can select just the city, or if a city has several airports, you can select which particular airport you are booking for. Then key in your preferred cabin class, the number of passengers, and indicate if you're travelling with children or infants. If you're not so particular about the exact dates of the flights, you can choose the "lowest fare" option, which will search for the cheapest flights within the vicinity of three days prior to or after your indicated dates of departure.
Mileage or Discounts? You can also check the appropriate boxes if you are claiming discounts or mileage from club or alliance memberships.
- Choose a schedule and flights. Once you've clicked the "Search" button, you will be shown a matrix, where you can select the departure date (on the left side) and arrival date (on the right side) with corresponding fare prices. You can move the calendar dates to see fares and flights that are earlier or later, to expand your options.
The Virgin Atlantic booking system even lets you share flight details through major social networking sites like Facebook. This is pretty useful if you're visiting friends and relatives, and you'd like them to know which flights you will be on.
- Input your details. Once you have selected schedules, you will be shown your flight itinerary, and a summary of fares and other fees, such as taxes, baggage handling fees, and the like. You will be then asked to key in your personal details, such as your name, contact information dietary requirements (if any), and frequent flyer number. If you're already a registered member on the Virgin online booking system, you can simply key in your username and password, and these will be filled in automatically for you. The system also asks for other details, such as the reason for your flying (business or leisure).
Be sure that you input names exactly as they appear on your and the other passengers' passports. Otherwise, you might run into trouble with immigration, if your name doesn't match.
- Billing and confirmation. You are then asked to input your credit card details for payment. Once the transaction successfully goes through, you are then shown an onscreen payment confirmation and e-ticket, which contains the confirmation code for your flight. As airlines are usually saving on ticketing these days, an e-ticket would suffice when you check in.
Booking online through virgin-atlantic.com is not so complicated after all. Just remember to have all your travel details on hand, it's a matter of inputting these in a step-by-step manner.