Just as airports are big business’ dependant on passengers spending to stay afloat, so are airlines! Where some airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways being more reliant on selling first and business class tickets for most of their income, low cost carriers are more dependant on passengers spending more on add’s on to make up for the low cost of the advertised tickets!
As much as it may be tempting and more of a pleasant flying experience to book a couple of these add on’s onto your basic air ticket, it can very quickly drive up the price of your cheap flight ticket!
Following on from my post of ‘5 ways to avoid getting ripped off at airports‘, here are 5 ways I avoid getting ripped off by airlines and on flights.
#1 Skip the 3rd party add-ons when booking your ticket! Chances are you either already have them or will not need them!
If you have ever booked a flight online through an airline like EasyJet or RyanAir you will find yourself being bombarded with add-ons, airlines will try and offer everything from travel insurance to hire car rental when you book your flight tickets.
If you already have everything you need then skip right past these, alternatively if you are interested in getting some travel insurance or renting out a car, go direct! often you will find it is a lot cheaper and in the case of car rental you could even get an inclusive upgrade by going direct!
#2 Dodge the checked baggage fees and fly hand luggage only!
Nearly every airline will charge for checked luggage! When you are flying on a long haul ticket, the cost of the checked baggage is not that noticeable because the ticket is already several hundred pounds! However when you’re airfare is only something like ten’s of pounds, adding a checked bag could potentially double or even triple the final cost of the flight.
So decide firstly whether you really need to add a checked bag or could you get away with just going hand luggage only? For a couple of days, man or woman it is more than possible to leave the big case at home, and you will be saving a large chunk of money as well! Just be aware of the airline you are flying with’s hand luggage policy as well what you can take through security as far as liquids and electronics are concerned.
#3 Give the priority boarding a miss (you don’t get there any quicker!)
Besides getting first hands on the overhead storage bins, there is really not any point of going for priority boarding! Providing you are at the gate on time, the flight is not going to exactly take off without you! My best advice, besides not choosing for priority boarding is just wait seated by your gate until everyone else has got on and you can just walk on with no queueing and no time standing around! You might however have to deal with having your bag by your feet for the duration of the flight, but thats it!
In my past experience onboard flights with low cost carriers, sometimes the priority boarding line has actually been longer than the ordinary line!
#4 Do you really need to select a seat or are you happy sitting anywhere?
For short hops around Europe, I very rarely pay for seating allocation! Even at 6ft 4 I usually just sit wherever my boarding pass indicates! Even on airlines that are often heavily criticised for their legroom, or lack of! I have rarely had an issue.
The only perk that could come with choosing your seat, depending on where it is that you choose in the aircraft, is that you are close to the main doors, meaning you are one of the first off or you are near to the toilets, but you can make your own mind up on whether you need to pay extra for that or not!
Also remember that on most flights (except the ones with low cost carriers) around 24 hours before the flight is due to depart, you will be able to choose any remaining seats for free, with potentially huge savings to be made if there are several of you travelling!
#5 Give the food and drink trolley a miss and bring on your own!
This point was covered on my previous post about how airports try and rip you off, many people think that you simply cannot bring any kind of food and drink into the airside airport area of an airport! This is partly untrue! as long as it is under 100ml in liquid volume you can pretty much bring any kind of food and drink you want airside.
So instead of paying a ridiculous amount for a some dinner in the airport consider taking a pack-up with you, or better yet even get something before you set off to the airport, or somewhere off the airport site along the way!
I hope you have found this tips useful and consider them the next time you are booking a flight somewhere! Airlines are already getting a good chunk of money off you when you book your flight so why do they need anymore!
What are you tips? Let me know in the comments below!