One of the most important things you can do after you buy an airline ticket is to garden your reservations, especially when you book travel far in advance.
I take the term gardening from Nicholas Kralev, who was tending to the bookings and doing minor maintenance.
There are some common things that happen to reservations.
Schedule changes may cause you to have connecting flights that don't have enough time to connect.
If a schedule change involves partner airlines on an award ticket, you may have to have a ticket re-issued so that it matches your reservation.
Changes to the aircraft might cause you to lose seat assignments.
Sometimes seats disappear for no apparent reason, like if you are assigned a bassinet seat and not traveling with an infant, or if you are in a premium seat that your status or fare may not entitle you to.
It is better to get it done in advance than it is to check in. Seat assignments should be handled early when more seats are left unassigned.
It is worth checking a booking right after you make it to make sure everything was done correctly. Is it possible to assign seats? Does a partner airline see the booking? If the reservation is for a while, you should scroll through it at least once a month. It's a good idea to do it a few days in advance of travel.
It is important to check your reservation right away to make sure it is correct. It is important to make sure that you don't just have a confirmed reservation, but also ticket numbers, and that any partner airlines you may be traveling on can see those ticket numbers.
If you check your reservation between the time of booking and the time of travel, you can identify any problems early.
It is advisable to check your reservations prior to the date of travel to make sure that you don't run up against the clock of a pending departure.
One of the things I like about Award wallet is that it keeps your itineraries and frequent flyer account balances up to date, and then compares them to find changes. When an itinerary has changed, they will email you. It helps serve as an early warning system when you forget to tend to your reservations.
If you are worried about losing your seat assignment, you can set a free Expert Flyer seat alert. If someone has moved so they can take it, Award Wallet should catch it.
You should be able to get a credit for the difference if the price falls after you purchase your ticket, since most non-Basic Economy fares no longer have change fees. You have to ask and notice it.
It's important to do gardening on your bookings, especially ones that you make a long way in advance. I mean doing minor maintenance and checking the bookings. The things that can go wrong are preventable.
September 29, 2016
Things can go wrong after you make a reservation. You don't want them to go wrong for you, and you want to be able to fix them when they do. Don't get caught off-balance. Yesterday American Airlines advised travel agents to make double booking.
April 17, 2014).
Several travel tips that readers shared stood out. This is one that gives important advice. MrChu said to double check your reservations a few days before your travel to make sure everything is okay. It will prevent you from having headaches.