Although budget flights often appear to be the cheapest choice, after extra charges are added the price can soar.
Whether it’s paying for a seat, hand luggage or buying travel insurance through the airline, a cheap flight might not feel quite as much of a deal at the end of the process.
As the Government announces plans to look into hidden charges on flights, hotels and car hire, I wanted to see if Britons can avoid pesky additional costs.
Prices for extras can vary based on the demand for the flight and the time of year so it’s always worth checking different dates.
Most budget airlines will ask passengers to pay if they want to see with their friends and family.
easyJet offered me a standard seat from £7.99 but British tourists can skip this step at the top of the page. The airline will assign seats at check-in to all passengers and often travellers will be seated next to each other if they’re early to check-in.
Ryanair offered me a standard seat on the plane from £11 but British tourists can opt to skip this step at the top of the page.
Jet2 offered a seat from £10.50 but there’s no need for passengers to select a seat. However, the airline’s website makes it a little harder to skip and passengers will need to press continue without choosing a seat on the plane diagram.
Although it may appear as though you need to pay for a seat, all the airlines allocate seats for free at check-in. If tourists are quick to check-in, they’re unlikely to be seated apart except on one of the budget airlines.
Many passengers opt to travel hand luggage only to save money and all the airlines offer tourists this option.
On easyJet, a small under the seat bag is included in the basic fare but a large cabin bag for the overhead locker costs £22.49. I would also get speedy boarding with this fare.
On Ryanair, a small under the seat bag was included in the price but a larger cabin bag cost £19 extra.
Jet2 included 10kg of cabin luggage in the price of the flight but there was an option to pay £3.50 to ensure the bag wasn’t put in the hold if the plane was busy.
Unfortunately it’s often a struggle to fit everything for a week’s holiday in one small under the seat bag so passengers often end up paying extra for a cabin bag. It’s worth checking how much a piece of hold luggage is first to see if you can split the cost between your travelling group for a better deal.
easyJet also offered me options for car hire, food and drink on the plane and travel insurance. It’s worth shopping around for car hire as the airline is unlikely to be the cheapest choice.
Ryanair also tried to sell fast track boarding, travel insurance and car hire before I finished the booking.
Jet2 also offered car hire and travel insurance as optional extras. There’s no need to purchase any of these products from the airlines so it’s important to check comparison sites to find the best deal.
I found that the price of a flight could rise substantially after extras were added but there’s often no need to purchase them. Although the companies sometimes make it appear as though passengers can’t continue without buying a seat, there’s always an option to skip.