Be Aware of Budget Airlines

20th May 2011

With the cost of living continually creeping up everyone is on the look-out for some bargains and there are plenty of great deals to be had. Be aware before you book that cheap flight through a budget airline however, as it could end up costing more than you thought.

Here are the most common additional fees and some ideas to help cut the costs:

Card fees

If possible try to use a Visa Electron card which is free with all budget airlines including Easy Jet, BMI Baby, Flybe and Jet2.

Ryanair are the exception and still charge £12.00 per person for the use of a Visa Electron card. The costs can also be avoided when using a prepaid MasterCard.

Checking in fees

Ryanair charge £6.00 each for online check-in, or an £80.00 penalty if you haven’t done so by the time you arrive at the airport to cover the cost of reissuing a boarding pass. BMI Baby online check-in is free of charge if you don’t check-in any luggage. If you do there is an £8.00 charge each way. Airport check-in is charged at £22.00.

Easy Jet and Flybe come up top in this respect with both online and airport check-in free of charge.

Hand luggage that is too large

Always ensure that you are within the maximum allowable capacity.

EasyJet allows one item of hand luggage measuring a maximum of 56 x 45 x 25cm and weighing no more than 20kg. If your hand luggage exceeds this size, you will be charged a £25.00 fee at the check in desk, or £40.00 at the boarding gate. Ryanair adopts similar rules, but oversized baggage may be refused, or placed in the hold luggage for an additional fee of £40.

Reports suggest that budget airline add-on charges could soon become a thing of the past with an EU wide ban being considered by European Commission officials. Until that time though, to keep your flight fees as low as possible our advice is to do your research and check out the fees section of the airline’s website so that you can allow for any additional costs.

When booking car hire, make sure you check the more information link displayed on the quote results page, and booking steps one and two. This explains the fuel policy of the car hire supplier and any optional fees that may be applicable to your rental. Don’t delay, book your summer car hire now.

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