For those who have never traveled by plane, is an experience worth tasting. Air travel is generally the most pleasurable, fastest, and most efficient mode of transportation – be it a cross-country or international trip. It is worth the while to understand the procedures for booking flights in Nigeria. And how to simplify the process with a few tips and tricks, which we will present to you in this article.
You may have to abide by several flight protocols and plan your trip in advance, which might seem stressful. Especially for a tourist or traveler who does not travel frequently. Nevertheless, you can enjoy your air travel experience better by understanding how to plan ahead, especially as regards booking flights in Nigeria. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with airport facilities, and important check-in and check-out procedures, can reduce costs and stress for you.
Check for Any Travel Advisory Before Traveling Anywhere in Nigeria
As a necessary safety precaution, the Nigerian government (and foreign embassies/governments) will normally issue travel warnings to travelers. These warnings will clearly state which parts of the country are high-risk zones to avoid at certain times. At least, you must be extra vigilant if you need to visit such places.
Such areas include border regions (especially close to Niger and Chad), the Niger Delta regions, or some restricted areas. If you are traveling to urban areas, you should be wary of criminals who may be lurking nearby, and possibly targeting travelers.
We recommend you check the Nigerian embassy website for such details. The government website of your home country would likely issue such warnings as well (if you are a non-Nigerian). Following up on the latest news regarding your planned destination is always a great idea.
Booking Flights in Nigeria Must be Done Well Ahead of Time
The cost of an airplane ticket is determined by a number of factors. They include your chosen travel route(s), travel/departure date, the airline you are patronizing, and other such issues. In any case, it is best to book your flights well ahead of time. The nearer your date of departure, the more expensive the flight ticket will likely be.
Again, taking a one-way route (direct one) to major cities (such as Lagos or Abuja) may tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, taking a detour to a nearby city before arriving at the destination airport can be cheaper. This is more true for travelers coming into Nigeria.
Thus, a foreigner planning towards booking a flight into Nigeria should do so 3 weeks in advance of his/her departure date. If you are in Nigeria, apply similar wisdom by booking your flight ticket well in advance. By doing so, you will likely enjoy the best deals: reduced airplane ticket price, choice seating positions, and more.
You can check and compare costs on different airline websites within the country for affordable deals and cool offers. There are peak seasons when tourists usually flock into the country (around January, November, December and July). And the airlines (and hotels) usually charge higher at these times. If you have flexible travel dates, you can plan to travel during the off-peak seasons. Some airlines also offer seasonal deals you can take advantage of, during off-season periods.
Don’t Miss Out on Flight Deals, Discounts and Loyalty Programs
Many airlines are now more customer-centric. As such, they would often publish special discounts, promotional deals, and cheap offers. Such promotional deals may target a certain class of travelers, or otherwise some specific travel routes.
They also run Loyalty Programs (where you can accumulate points for every time you travel) to reward their dedicated customers. If you accumulate enough points, you may exchange them for a free flight (and other gifts). But you must sign up for such a program. And yet again, there are limited periods within which you can exchange your points for rewards.
You can find such cool deals by regularly checking their websites, social media pages, and travel magazines. You can also sign up for their email newsletters, to get such deals regularly posted to you.
There are also flight comparison websites and verified travel agents that can help you find prices for different flights and airlines. You only need to type in basic details such as the airports of arrival and departure, as well as your travel dates.
Handling Your Luggage & Essential Items
Always have a checklist of the essential travel items beside you before packing your luggage. Your toiletries (soap, brush, comb, fragrance, etc.) should be packed in a compact way. Learn to leave out the frivolous or optional items you can get later on. And while doing that, arm yourself with key information about the airline’s baggage restrictions, rules and regulations. Any prohibited item must be carefully excluded.
However, you can bring along items that can enhance your comfort without breaking the rules. Noise-canceling headphones, neck pillow, and other such portable items might end up very useful.
Keep Your Travel Documents Close to You
Your travel and identification documents should be prepared well ahead of time. They should also be kept close to you always as you plan to travel by air.
Booking flights in Nigeria requires that you carry all your necessary travel documents with you, and always within easy reach. For foreigners, this should include at least your valid international passport and visa. Ensure that you have allowed enough time to apply for your visa before embarking on the trip (at least 14 days or more). Keep your boarding pass close to you as well.
You may also need to have vaccination certificates (Yellow Fever, Covid-19, etc.), depending on your country of origin and the international travel requirements.
Handling Flight and Airport Protocols
It is definitely good practice to arrive at the airport well ahead of time. This will give you enough time to get cleared at every necessary point, including the check-in and security points. You may have the opportunity to use either self-service or online kiosks for checking in, to save time. By all means, keep your travel documents close to you; and obey all necessary security protocols and instructions to avoid any headache.
To make your waiting period easier, you can provide yourself snacks or any necessity from the airport amenities. Make good use of shops, restaurants and the lounges to make yourself comfortable.
As you prepare to board the plane, you need to pay attention to the boarding announcements to know your boarding group. Further instructions on how to properly store your luggage (and other safety and convenience procedures) will be announced by the flight crew. So ensure you pay attention and act accordingly.
There are enough overhead compartments and spaces under the seats to store your luggage. Your willingness to respect other passengers as you take care of your own, will also be priceless. Remember to stretch yourself from time to time to minimize cramps and discomfort during flight; and stay hydrated by drinking water regularly.
And on arrival at the destination, abide by the rules for proper disembarking from the plane (which will be announced by the flight staff). Also follow the required custom and immigration procedures at the destination airport. Finally, booking for your transportation and accommodation in advance (outside the airport) will be a great way of reducing your stress.
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