When to buy flights for my BNO Visa ⦁ 下年移民幾時買機票好

Airplane waiting to take off

CFY has been in the travel industry focussing on air tariffs for nearly 15 years. She gave Ying Goi Dim an insider’s guide to flight booking and offered some insight for those who are planning to move to the UK in 2021.

Do airlines or price comparison sites give better offers now ⦁ 去格價網定航空公司網站買機票好啲

Covid-19 has changed the travel market fundamentally. From my view, you should now focus on the security of your flight, not the cost of it.

Travel restrictions are changing all the time, so as long as Covid-19 is still around, you will likely have to rearrange your flights. Airlines have a duty to best serve the interests of customers, so I advise booking directly with an airline. It offers better customer service.

Airlines and travel agents face the same set of difficulties now, so dealing directly with airlines helps you to skip the middleman. 

However, if you require special assistance, say you are travelling with pets, an elderly relative or a baby, choose a travel agent. You will have an extra person to push for the help you need from your airline.

Which airline is the best for the HK-UK route ⦁ 飛英國邊間航空公司最好

For direct flights, Cathay Pacific and British Airways are the best. You can choose whichever one is offering the lowest price. I personally find the seats with Cathay quite narrow though.

For indirect flights, Emirates and Qatar Airways are among the best in safety and service standard.

Remember, due to Covid-19, if you are on indirect flights, check for travel restrictions at the transit countries before you set off.

Why are so many flights cancelled these days ⦁ 點解而家咁多班機被取消

The main reason is that airlines have to cut their cost when demand is weak. So, when a flight is not full, they would rather cancel it.

Some countries only let a fixed number of people enter each day because of Covid-19. In this case, airlines may cancel their flights to avoid its passengers not being able to enter the country.

What to do if my flights are cancelled ⦁ 如果我班機被取消,應該點

Due to Covid-19, many airlines now offer flexible booking. 

If you bought directly via airlines, call them up and pick a new date. You shouldn’t be paying for the flight change; it is their job to get you a seat that you paid for. 

Airlines also offer vouchers or travel credit, so the money you paid for your original flights can be used for a new flights within a time limit.

I also want to remind everyone to give correct email addresses or phone numbers to airlines. This way you will know immediately if there are any changes to your flights. 

I plan to apply for the BNO Visa in 2021, should I book air tickets now ⦁ 我想下年用BNO簽證移民過嚟,好冇而家買機票

If you are definitely applying for the visa next year, yes. Book them soon to take advantage of the flexible booking that comes with Covid-19. Many airlines let you change travel dates for free (but you pay for the difference between the flights). 

If you want to change your destination – say you want to move to Taiwan instead of the UK in the end – some airlines (such as Cathay Pacific and British Airways) will offer a voucher or travel credit. You can then use the voucher/credit to book flights with a new destination.

If you are not sure if you will apply for the BNO Visa yet, then don’t waste your money unless you have a lot. There’s no point in locking your money up as travel vouchers. Buy the tickets when you know where and when you want to go. 

How to get a good HK-UK flight deal in general ⦁ 點揾最優惠機票嚟英國

Avoid public holidays in the UK, such as school holidays, summer, Christmas and New Year. Avoid Chinese New Year, too.

You may not be aware of “student tickets”. This is for Hong Kong students studying abroad, including the UK. The biggest benefit is it gives you 40kg baggage allowance.

Some airlines offer student ticket bundles, including three tickets. If you already found your kid a school, then I would suggest you get a bundle, use two tickets for your kid, and one for yourself as a parent. The extra baggage allowance is ideal for moving!

Image: DynamicWang

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