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Chossing a Booking Class when buying a ticket

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One of my readers Jack asked a question after I posted my post on Earning United Miles on Jet Airways flights. In the article I talked about how I did not pay attention to the booking class I was being booked into on Jet Airways and I earned no United miles, as a result. His question was how does one pick a booking class when using online search engines. The answer is that it depends on the search engine. If you are using a generic search engine like Expedia or Orbitz. the answer is no, you cannot pick the booking class. You can however call the travel agency after booking and ask to ‘fare-up’ to a higher booking class, if you get booked in one that does not earn miles (or less than 100% miles). Some airlines do allow picking a booking class when you book directly with them. United and Delta are two examples of those that do. US Airways, for example, does not allow you to pick fare classes, just whether it is an Elite Upgradable fare or not.

The attached screenshot shows how you can pick a booking class on delta.com.

To go back to the question of Jet Airways, they do not allow you to pick a booking class at the time of booking. However, it tells you which class you will be booked into (see attached picture). You can then call the airline and have them book you into a higher class, that does earn you miles (some airlines require a booking fee for using the call center.Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 2.00.26 PM.png

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  1. Good tips unroadwarrior. For international tickets, e.g. Jet Airways you could always try a travel agent also who should be able to book you in the exact class you want. Many times for international tickets, travel agent prices are the same or lower than online even, so it should not cost you more money. (Other than the fact the particular booking class might be a higher fare.)

  2. American Airlines used to have options to choose higher fare classes (useful for certain corporate upgrade certificates and the like), but they’re gone now. I have to call AA to upfare.

  3. I don’t know of any reliable, non-opaque booking engine which does not tell you the fare class prior to completing the booking. Most don’t let you specify what you want, but nearly all should tell you what they’re selling you.

  4. @Eggss4, depending on the fare class you choose, it may result in the fare becoming higher

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