Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schengen Visa: Flight Booking

photo credit
One of the pertinent requirements when applying for a visa is a temporary flight booking. They specifically instruct you not to purchase the ticket until your visa has been granted.

Since internet age, I have been booking my flights online, and at the end of the process, they get your credit card details, thus leaving you no choice but to pay for it.

So how did I do it?

Via a travel agent.

photo credit
They're the only ones who can give you "dummy bookings" which, should you decide not to purchase, they can cancel the ticket for you. The only catch is you have to pay them around US$25 to 50 for their service. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who works for a travel agency (abroad) and prepare the dummy flight and hotel bookings for me. And not charge me for it.

Yes I had to cancel the bookings after my visa was granted, because, since my friend was based abroad, the bookings she made for me were pricey. 

BUT, what if you do NOT have a contact inside? 

Surely, I cannot divulge my friend's email so you can get her to do as I requested. Haha.

Exactly two weeks before my intended departure, I was already panicking when all the local travel agents I talked to suddenly became unusually silent. They haven't been replying to my SMS and emails! I still do not have any flight booking!!!

As I laid on my bed one evening, I could not sleep and had the urge to finally do it on my own. 

A week before, my last flight searches resulted in US$1,000++ one-way, so I was not really putting my hopes up. It's so freaking expensive!

I decided to look at partner airlines of Delta Skymiles since I have an existing frequent flyer account with them. Lo and behold, KLM had promo fares which fit right smack into my itinerary:

Manila - Paris
Rome - Manila

... all for a reasonably-priced US$1,300.00

Had I chosen to fly out of Milan, it would've been a hundred dollars cheaper. But since a cousin said that we have more relatives in Rome, then that sealed the deal.

But that's not my point.

What I wanted to share is that upon checkout, KLM gives you an option to pay at any of their ticketing office within 48 hours.

THIS is your solution!

If you don't have a contact in the travel industry and you wish not to pay for the "dummy booking" services, you can book it yourself!

Book your ticket a day before your scheduled interview. It would still be valid when you submit it to the embassy.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...