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What To Expect When Booking A Budget Airline

February 14th, 2018

Once you’ve found the perfect destination for your next summer holiday, you’ll now have to consider how you’re actually going to get there. Often, accommodation and money for meals is enough to set your budget over the edge, so you’ll need to find a service that’s cheap yet gets you from A to B in one piece, and you could even look at the deals they offer such as a reputable charge for airport parking.

Budget airlines are fantastic for those on tight funds, however many are unsure about what to expect when booking a budget airline. Naturally, it won’t be all glamour and luxury as you’re pampered with champagne and endless leg room, however it isn’t always as horrific as people say either. To find out exactly what you should expect, continue reading.

Hidden Fees

When purchasing your budget airline ticket, keep in mind that this might not be the only price that you need to consider. While all fees aren’t hidden, such as in-flight food and drink, there are others that might catch you unaware and leave you reaching down into the depths of your pocket. Of course, should you want to request extra budget, some airlines will charge approximately £18 per checked bag and £21 for a second carry-on bag. Additionally, many budget airlines will require an extra fee to reserve seats. If you’re travelling solo, this shouldn’t be an issue, however families will want to stay together, especially when travelling with children.

Less Room

Being a budget airline, the organisation wouldn’t be able to afford a huge, roomy plane with the profits that they make from their tickets, therefore you can expect the legroom on your plane to be at an absolute minimum. Furthermore, the majority of budget airlines will have the same amount of room for every passenger due to the one-class designation system (there are no spacious first or middle class). If you’re lucky, there may be a select few seats with a little more room, however these will come at an additional cost.

Only Head To Popular Destinations

If you’re looking to head to a remote location, it’s highly likely that the budget airline won’t fly that route, simply because there isn’t a high enough demand for it. Usually, budget airlines will only operate on popular routes, as this way they can undercut the full-service airline that charge a higher fee for the flight. For example, flying from Gatwick to Las Palmas will be found on many budget airlines, however flights from Stansted to The Maldives? Not so much. As a result, you’ll need to plan your holiday destination around your chosen budget airline, and while this might seem frustrating initially, think of all the money you can save!

Flights Being Delayed And Rescheduled

No airline is perfect when it comes to delays or rescheduled flights. All airlines will make a conscious effort to arrive and depart on time, otherwise they’re losing themselves money and customers. When it comes to budget airlines, there are some companies who will be happy to give partial, or even full, refunds depending on the situation. We suggest that you conduct research into this for your selected airline however, as the insurance and refund policies will operate differently between each airline.

When booking a budget airline, you should never expect a seamless service, otherwise you’re better off booking with a full-service luxury airline. Instead, prepare yourself for what’s in store, and understand that you’re simply getting what you’re paying for.

Five ways to get your holiday off to a great start

February 1st, 2018

Holidays are great aren’t they? Your time to kick back, relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life.

However, travelling to your destination can really affect the start of your holiday. Here’s five ways to make sure you get off to a good start:

1. Pack light

We’re all guilty of over packing but there’s nothing worse than trying to rush to the airport with heavy bags and lots of clutter. Ask yourself are you really going to wear everything you’ve put in your suitcase? Create a capsule holiday wardrobe, and make sure you leave some space in your case for souvenirs!

2. Do some planning

Before you head to the airport, ensure you know what gate you should be at, and charge your phone or tablet so you have something to do if the flight is delayed. Bring a book, or an activity you like to do, so if you’re a nervous flyer or you have time on your hands you can occupy it doing something you love. Have you ever seen those people who knit at airports? They never look stressed!

3. Prepare for all eventualities

Prepare for being delayed on your journey, prepare for flight delays, and prepare for the fact it might chuck it down with rain just as you get out of the car. That way you’ll feel in control and if anything goes wrong you can take it in your stride.

4. See the travelling as part of your holiday

Re-frame your thoughts to see the travelling to the airport and the wait for the flight as much a part of the holiday as the holiday itself. Plan fun activities. Get together with friends. Make sure you’ve sorted all the stressful bits out before you go and get yourself a drink at the bar when you arrive.

5. Get your parking sorted

Airport parking is one of those things we often leave to the last minute, but actually this causes as much stress as a flight delay. Not knowing where to go or which car park you need does not add to your holiday feeling. Booking airport parking online can eliminate that. You’ll be glad you did on the flight back home!

Photo: Airplane by coryhatchel licensed under Creative commons 2

4 tips for airport parking

January 24th, 2018

When planning a holiday, most people like to be organised. Everything from where you are going to what to pack is accounted for. One area that often goes forgotten, however, is airport parking. Being organised when it comes to parking can save you time and money and make for a more relaxing experience all round. With that in mind, here are four top tips for airport parking.

1. Book in advance

Booking in advance can save you money and time. By looking at parking options early you can compare airport parking prices to ensure you get the best price for you, and secure a space that is affordable and convenient. It also saves you time on the day, because you’ll already know exactly where to park.

2. Consider what you need

There are many options available when it comes to airport parking, so be sure to choose the one that is right for you. Park and ride options usually offer cheaper prices, because these car parks are further away from the airport, and you’ll need to transfer via shuttle bus. Onsite parking may cost more, but is more convenient and you’ll be within walking distance of the airport in the closest available parking. Or, you could use a meet and greet service, which is particularly useful for people travelling with a lot of luggage and/or young children.

3. Check the transfer time

Particularly if you choose a park and ride option, be sure you’ve checked how long it’ll take you to get to the airport from the car park. Allow plenty of time to avoid stress or missing check-in and departure times.

4. Check your car is safe

Ensure all personal belongings, especially valuables, are removed from the car before you go. You can also choose a car park with security and CCTV cameras, for extra peace of mind while you’re away.

To ensure you find the best parking options and prices, and for booking visit airport-parking.org.uk where our system will provide you with the best quote. Plan ahead and enjoy a wonderful, stress-free holiday!

5 reasons to fly with only hand luggage

January 18th, 2018

Packing light for a holiday has many perks. If you’re taking a short break, it’s worth considering keeping your packing to a minimum. However, make sure you check the airline’s weight and size restrictions before you go. Here are five great reasons to only take hand luggage on your flight.

1. Saves money

Most airlines will offer a single piece of hand luggage per person, included in the cost of your flight. Taking more luggage is available, but always at an additional cost. By committing to only taking your hand luggage you could dedicate those extra pennies to spending money, or simply save it away. Perfect for those travelling on a budget.

2. No fear of lost luggage

Everyone dreads the potential for lost luggage, but taking hand luggage minimises that risk. You’ll board the plane with luggage in hand and leave with it too. Cutting out the middle man and avoiding having your luggage loaded on and off the plane for you, means that you can relax in the knowledge that your possessions are safe.

3. Less to carry

When you arrive at your destination you’ll have less to carry, making it easier to navigate to your accommodation. You’ll take up less space on public transport or in a taxi, and have the ease and comfort of only carrying a small, lightweight case.

4. Saves time

Checking in at the airport takes longer if you have to go to the bag drop as well. Avoid bag drop queues by taking all your luggage with you. This gives you more free time to enjoy the cafes, restaurants and shops at the airport. You’ll also save time when you land, because you won’t need to wait for your luggage and can simply head straight from the plane to your accommodation.

5. More space in the car

If you’re travelling as a family, or in a large group, then restricting the amount of luggage makes for more room in the car. It’ll be a more comfortable journey to and from the airport.

If you’re jetting off somewhere soon then don’t forget about your airport parking. You should always compare airport parking prices to find the best deal and avoid paying over the odds.

Keeping the kids entertained at the airport

January 11th, 2018

Going on holiday is so exciting, especially as a family. However, when the kids are itching to get away the wait at the airport can feel far too long. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained, and it doesn’t involve spending a fortune in the shops! Take a look at a few ideas below:

1. Plan some games

Pre-planning some games to play is a great way to ensure you keep those young minds occupied. You could bring small, easy to pack games in the form of cards or even mini-travel board games. Alternatively, you can play games that require no equipment at all. Games like ‘I spy’ and ‘Simon Says’ require nothing but imagination and can fill up big periods of time.

2. Watch the planes

Whether they’ve flown before or not, most children don’t see airplanes up close very often. If there’s a waiting area near a window, children can be entertained simply by watching these incredible planes take off and come in to land.

3. Bring activity books

Activity books often include colouring pages, puzzles and other activities that keep children occupied. They are available in pocket sizes for easy transportation, or such activities can now be accessed via iPads and other electronic devices.

4. Make holiday plans

While you’re waiting for your outbound flight you could make plans for the holiday. Little things, such as going to the pool or exploring the hotel are often enough to keep children excited. You could also use your phone to look at local activities and plan days out and trips while you wait at the airport.

5. Find a play area

Some airports, particularly larger ones, actually offer children’s play facilities. These may be found within restaurants, so your family could also get a meal or snack while you wait for your flight.

Don’t forget that all holidays begin with finding the perfect airport parking. Here at Airport Parking we compare airport parking prices to help you find the best deal.

Make the most of luxury lounges for a pre-flight treat

January 3rd, 2018

For the ultimate in pre-holiday luxury, you might want to make use of a private departure lounge before boarding your flight. Sure, you can sit in the standard seats in the airport’s terminals, but why not spoil yourselves and upgrade to something a little more special before you fly? We’ve put together a few terms you might hear when you’re looking at your options.

‘Pay as you go’ access

If you don’t fly a lot, or just want to make use of these lounges as a one-off treat, paying only for the time you spend in departure lounges will probably be the most sensible option. Book through the airport or one of the many lounge booking portals. Choose your membership period – from one day to one year – and just pay for what you need. Just turn up at the lounge with your boarding pass and proof of membership to be granted access to the lounge.

Standard lounges

These are open to all passengers, regardless of their airline or ticket class. Expect to find access to WiFi, newspapers, and a selection of complimentary food and drink in a standard lounge. Charging points for your phone or tablet and televisions showing movies and news are also common sights. There will be comfy seating and a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy before boarding. Expect to find a casual dress code and restrictions on large groups.

Executive lounges

The domain of the business traveller, these departure lounges are tailored to the needs of the first class or business class passenger. Designer furniture and unique artwork, fine wines and freshly prepared food and even spa facilities can be found here. You can choose whether to work or relax pre-flight thanks to a high speed internet connection, live sport and news on large-screen televisions and even cinemas in some locations.

Arrival lounges

Some airlines have arrival lounges for their executive passengers, with showers and restaurants to refresh them before they head to their destination. Spa treatments, hair salons and barbers can ensure that you look ready to meet your colleagues or family on the other side of the arrivals gate.

Once you’ve booked your airport parking, why not spend some of the money you’ve saved and enjoy your pre-flight time in a lounge. You’ve done the right thing booking your cheap airport car parking through us so continue that great start and make fantastic memories of your relaxing break from start to finish.

The top European cities to visit in spring

December 28th, 2017

Spring is a beautiful time of year. New life, new goals, and new experiences. Whether you fancy a city break or a week-long relaxing excursion, Europe is guaranteed to dazzle and delight your senses, regardless of what you want. Here are some of the best cities in Europe to visit during springtime.

1. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the hip capital of Budapest and ranks as a popular spot if you’re hoping for a budget-friendly trip. The city offers edgy ruin pubs, iconic thermal baths, and a post-Communism gritty exuberance. If you fancy something different too, then explore the lower Pest side of the Danube River as it boasts theatres, opera, and the city’s historic Jewish quarter. You will never be short of things to do, eat and see.

2. Riga, Latvia

Drenched in European history, Riga is synonymous with elegance, classical music, and historic architecture. Wander through the quaint narrow streets on a beautiful spring morning and take a stroll to the city’s medieval centre, which boasts the largest collection of art nouveau buildings in the entire globe. These intact medieval architecture pieces are in fantastic condition considering they back to the 12th century. This has actually contributed to Riga’s World Heritage status. Don’t forget your camera!

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

Spring sees Danish architecture and exhibitions get a kick-start. Begin at the iconic Hotel D’Angleterre, which overlooks the famous Kongens Nytrov square and has been newly refurbished and is a wonderful spot to visit. Watch a show at the Royal Danish Theatre, or do a spot of shopping on the Stroget shopping street. There is even Northern Europe’s largest aquarium to visit, The Blue Planet. Copenhagen is also a city of bikes, and it’s the perfect place to cycle random streets and find quaint cafes and bars to make new memories.

Before jetting off on a trip away, there can be a lot to organise, but don’t forget about your airport parking. You can compare airport parking prices online to find the cheapest deal! Search as soon as you book for the best prices and the best availability. And before you make your journey to the airport, don’t forget these important tips!

Things to check before you drive to the airport

December 18th, 2017

There’s so much to remember when you’re about to jet off on your holidays. From packing, to making sure you have your passports and boarding passes. When you’re flying with young children there can be even more things to organise. It’s so important, however, that if you’re driving to the airport, you set aside some time to check the following things.

1. Petrol and tire pressure

If possible, don’t leave getting fuel until you’re about to start your journey. To avoid possible delays from busy petrol stations and needing to stop, fuel up the day before. While you’re at the station it is also worth checking your tire pressure for a safer and more comfortable drive.

2. Wiper fluid and engine coolant

Take a peek under the bonnet and check everything is replenished if needed. Particularly wiper fluid and engine coolant. Keep the car running smoothly and minimise your risk of breaking down by checking everything. You may also need to check your levels of oil and brake fluid.

3. The route to the airport

If you’ve never driven to the airport before it’s a good idea to check the route in advance, even if you plan on using a sat nav or similar device. Having an idea of the route will help you to drive more confidently to your destination. If you do know the route it’s still worth checking online shortly before you leave. Unexpected road closures, delays or accidents will flag up and you can pre-plan to re-route yourself to avoid them. If you’re using a sat nav or mobile phone, make sure they’re fully charged and take an in-car charger with you just in case.

4. Airport parking

If you are going to need to park at the airport make sure you’ve planned where you’re going. There will be various parking lots based on drop-offs, short stays and long stays. To save time and money you can compare airport parking prices and book yours online. For a smooth journey that leaves you feeling completely prepared visit Airport Parking today.

Last minute European Christmas market ideas

December 12th, 2017

With Christmas fast approaching, this is the perfect time of year to jet off to Europe for a quick weekend getaway. Better yet, you may as well make full use of the gorgeous Christmas markets on offer in destinations scattered across Europe. If this sounds like something you may love, here are four last-minute European Christmas market ideas. Being so close to the UK, getting to them won’t break the bank either!

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Famed for being one of the happiest places on Earth, Copenhagen is a delightful city to visit any time of the year. However, throughout December, their famous Tivoli Gardens are transformed into some of Europe’s most wonderful Christmas markets.

2. Berlin, Germany

If you’re looking for festive cheer and yuletide feelings, then the Berlin Christmas markets really have it all, from ice rinks to toboggan runs and from fairground rides to good old-fashioned German cooking. It’s a wonderful city for a couple’s retreat or even a group of friends.

3. Vienna, Austria

The classic baroque architecture, coupled with Christmas lights and decorations, makes for a spectacular setting to spend a weekend relaxing away from home. It’s a great spot if you want to get away with the kids, as the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace has spots for the children to make classic Austrian candles and cookies.

4. Gothenburg, Sweden

The Gothenburg Christmas festivities have something for the whole family, including winter carousels, a Rabbit Land, treasure hunt, ice ballet and the Liseberg amusement park. And of course, you can still find all of the traditional market stalls where you can pick up great European food and small gifts for loved ones back home.

By having a quick search on flight-comparison sites like Skyscanner and Momondo, you should be able to pick up some cheap flights to any of the above destinations. It’s the perfect way to get in the true Christmas spirit, and pick up some last minute presents for the family. You can save even more money by using our airport parking comparison tool to find the cheapest parking deals at all UK airports.

Why being early for a flight rocks

December 1st, 2017

The early bird catches the worm, and this saying certainly rings true when we’re talking about getting to the airport on time! Whilst some fliers see little point in urgency and leave about as late as they can get away with, the smartest folk know that spending an extra couple of hours at the airport is preferable to running down a terminal at full pelt with a minute until boarding closes. Read on as we explain why being early for a flight rocks.

Passengers with children

There’s nothing worse than rushing when you have children in tow. Youngsters have no sense of urgency and can stop for a tantrum or toilet trip at any given moment, holding everyone up. Those travelling with youngsters will do well to leave the house as early as possible and take plenty of disposable ‘things to do’ to enjoy at the airport. This can include colouring books or cheap toys from a £1 shop.

Miss breakfast

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you miss the most important meal of the day, but rather than eating breakfast (or lunch or dinner, depending on the flight time) at home, why not arrive even earlier at the airport and dine there? Yes, you’ll pay a little more for your meal, but at least you can enjoy it, safe in the knowledge that you have plenty of time before checking-in. In large international airports, you may even be able to check-in before you eat. Although smaller airports won’t have restaurants past the check-in post.

Hotel

If getting up and getting moving really aren’t your style, then booking a hotel at the airport is one of the most sensible things you can do. Airport hotels, especially the budget variety, are far cheaper than you think. They often lay on a buffet breakfast too and then involve a simple drive to your pre-booked airport parking zone and from there it’s plain sailing. Making sure your airport parking is booked and paid for in advance can take a huge stress out of getting to the airport on time.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to kill time at the airport, and being there early can mean the difference between lying on the beach and a missed flight.