It’s easy to assume that low cost airlines are cheaper than regular airlines. The cheap tickets are usually advertised without tax, without the extra costs of paying with certain credit cards, luggage fee, extra luggage fee, overweight luggage fee, assigned seat fees, food and drinks on the airplane etc. Overweight luggage can easily cost more than your ticket, today I made that mistake, not weighing my luggage. It wasn’t much overweight, but that cost 100 USD for only a few pounds. I’ll bring in an example here: I was flying from Tromsø in the North of Norway above the arctic circle to Paris. On the day I needed to fly, everything was booked as it’s a remote location except the budget airline Air Baltic had business class available. It was a pretty good price for business class to I took it even if I had to fly to Riga for a few hours of waiting time.
When I arrived at the airport in Tromsø, I saw an incredibly long line on the economy class so luckily I had the fast lane in business class. As I was checking in I overheard the people in the economy line. They were paying hundreds of euros in overweight luggage and they were complaining about all the other fees they paid. I realised that they were paying more for their tickets plus overweight luggage than I was paying for the business class ticket. I had an allowance of 2 suitcases of 30 kg each and at that point I was walking straight past the line of people paying more than me. On the airplane I had choices of several dishes to eat, I had unlimited drinks of my choice and the normal comfort you expect for business class. During my transfer time in Riga which was several hours, I sat in the business lounge and could eat and drink as much as I needed. And the flight from Riga to Paris was equally comfortable. I realized that by flying in comfort, I probably paid a couple of hundred euros less than the people flying economy on a cheap airline.
- CHECK THE LIMITS – How many kilos/pounds can you bring per suitcase and for your carry-on. And how many suitcases are you able to check in on your ticket.
- LOOK FOR EXTRA HIDDEN COSTS – Do they charge extra to pay with certain credit cards? Do you have to pay extra to choose your seat? Do you have to pay for food? Is the tax included in the price you expected?
- BOOK EARLY – The earlier you book, the more easy it is to find a cheap ticket.
- USE PRIVATE BROWSING – While searching for your tickets, open up a private browsing window in your browser. You may have discovered that you have found a cheap flight and after you keep looking the price of that flight has risen. That is no coincidence, so make sure that doesn’t happen by snooping on your flights in secret.
- ADD UP THE EQUATION – After researching these aspects, assess if it might actually be cheaper to fly business class.
So before you jump on that great deal, that ticket to Barcelona for 1 euro, do your research. The cost of a 1 euro ticket to Barcelona will usually multiply by 100 in price at least. Research your airline companies, because you might just be flying economy, standing in long lines, having to unpack your suitcase at check in to throw away things because of being over-weight. Or, with some research you might find a business class ticket for the same price or cheaper, travel in comfort and get as much food as you would like.
Experience and iPhone photos by @xMaiki