In the event of an emergency, swipe your credit card…
The development of the low cost flight industry has revolutionized international traveling, allowing millions of travelers to book a flight seat at surprisingly low cost. Low cost airlines offer significant benefits to anyone looking to see faraway destinations without having to spend a lot of money. However, these airlines do have a way of using elaborate tactics to discreetly inflate the total cost of a flight.
It’s fairly common to come across tricky price-traps set up to deceive passengers; making them spend more cash than they would originally anticipate. If you don’t have much experience with low cost flights – or even if you’re not up to date on the latest strategies used by low cost airlines to “extort” money from distracted passengers, this article will help you prepare adequately.
Extra temptations on-board
One of the most typical price-traps of low cost airlines involves “offering” extra products on deck – everything from food and drinks to magazines, toys and even lottery tickets. While purchasing these items is by no means a requirement, they amount to temptations to which many passengers simply won’t resist. Unless you don’t mind the temptation (or the extra spending), you may want to take some snacks into the plane, or simple satisfy your hunger and thirst before boarding the plane.
Whereas traditional airlines tend to include airport taxes as part of the ticket price… with low cost airlines it’s not quite so. Usually, such fees will be charged separately, and often the cost will be higher than the actual price of the ticket.
What’s worse, these extra charges are often applied in a deceiving or elusive manner, during the process of purchasing tickets. If you’re just focused on the price of the plane ticket, you can easily get confused; make sure you must pay special attention to the total price before processing the payment.
Credit card payment charges
Low cost flight tickets are normally purchased on-line, since there are usually no other options available. While shopping on-line, most passengers will just use their credit cards, since it’s often the most convenient form of payment. The problem here is that low cost airlines have adopted significant processing fees for credit card payments.
Even worse, they’ll sometimes charge double processing fees on two-way tickets, even when they’re purchased together. Often, the passenger will only realize this (if at all) after eventually checking the credit card statement and noticing a significant discrepancy between the amount charged and the expected price.
To avoid these processing fees, you should check for other available payment options, such as Paypal or pre-paid credit cards, since (for the time being) these options will keep you from paying ridiculous processing charges.
Dynamic price adjustments
The cost of a seat in a no-frills flight will vary suddenly (a minute is all it takes!) depending on the number of remaining seats available on the plane. If you happen to get distracted while booking your ticket, you may realize the price of your ticket suddenly soared! How do you get around this issue?
You need to be attentive and prompt while purchasing your low cost flight ticket. As soon as you find an available seat at a price you find attractive, make sure to buy it immediately, and pay attention to the total figures before approving the payment. Only once you’ve actually paid for ticket will you know for sure that your expense will remain locked.
Passenger check-in charges
In the last few years, low cost airlines started availing passenger with free on-line check-in via their official websites. This option is extremely convenient and advisable, since it will keep you from wasting time unnecessarily in the traditional check-in queues.
On the flip side, low cost airlines are now charging extra for traditional check-in of passengers, since this service implies extra expenses with staff. With that in mind, there is absolutely no valid reason not to choose checking into your flight on-line before heading for the airport.
Extra luggage charges
Looking to achieve maximum savings with fuel, low cost airlines have been coming up with strategies to minimize the total load on their airplanes. In that sense, it’s now fairly common to be charged extra to be allowed to check luggage into the plane cargo. For anyone traveling with extensive luggage, the additional cost can be significant.
That’s why many passengers are now choosing to travel light – with nothing but hand luggage, which for the time being is still allowed into the cabin with no extra charges involved, as long as it doesn’t exceed the size and weight requirements which differ from one low cost airline to another.
Given their aim to minimize costs and maximize profits, low cost airlines keep coming up with all kinds of tricks and hidden charges. Adepts of frugal traveling must keep up to date with such ploys, and prepare adequately before their flights.