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How to Avoid Hidden Airline Fees

Rebecca Bebbington·Oct 16, 2023

Discover the secrets to a hassle-free and budget-friendly journey by sidestepping unexpected airline charges.

Finding a great deal on a flight can be so exciting! However, it’s not uncommon to encounter additional charges that can somewhat dampen the initial joy.

Fortunately, with a bit of preparation and insight, you can navigate around these extra charges to keep you budget in tact.

And to help you out, we’re sharing some expert tips that can help you sidestep those hidden fees, to help ensure your journey is as budget-friendly as it is comfortable.

From wise booking strategies to smart packing tips, we have everything you need to know right here.

1. Be Booking Smart

First things first, always double-check the total price before finalising your booking! Some airlines have a knack for adding extra fees right at the end of the booking process. Stay one step ahead by keeping a keen eye on the total cost as you progress through the booking stages, especially if it’s not a necessity.

2. Pack Like a Pro

Overweight luggage fees can be a real budget kill. Why not get ahead of the game by investing in a luggage scale? It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and a guarantee that you won’t face any nasty surprises at the airport.

3. Be Flexible with Your Flight Dates

Did you know that flying on certain days can be cheaper than others? Play around with your departure and return dates to see if you can snatch a better deal. Sometimes, changing your flight by just a day can save you a bundle.

4. Choose Your Seat Wisely

While we all love a bit of extra legroom, choosing a seat with more space can sometimes come with additional costs. If you’re looking to save, opt for a standard seat and keep that extra cash for spending at your destination.

5. Bring Your Own Snacks

Airline food can be pricey and, let’s face it, not always tasty. Why not bring your own snacks? Just make sure to check the airline’s policy on bringing food onboard first.

6. Avoid Airport Parking Fees

Parking at the airport can be exorbitantly expensive. Consider other options like taking a taxi or arranging for a friend to drop you off to keep those costs down.

7. Use Your Air Miles Wisely

Accumulating air miles? Use them strategically to reduce your ticket price or avoid fees for extra services, making the most out of every mile earned.

8. Consider Alternative Airports

Sometimes flying into a smaller airport, a bit further from your destination, can be cheaper. Just make sure to factor in the additional transport costs to get to your final destination.

9. Be Insured

Travel insurance can sometimes cover the costs of those hidden fees, giving you a safety net in case of unexpected charges. It’s always a good idea to be insured, so shop around for the best deal.

10. Set Up Price Alerts

Navigating through the fluctuating prices of airline tickets can be a daunting task. By setting up price alerts on various platforms, you ensure that you are notified the moment prices drop for your desired route and dates, enabling you to snag tickets at their most affordable.

11. Explore Package Deals

Dive into the world of package deals where flights, accommodation, and sometimes even transport are bundled together. Not only does this save time, but these packages often come at a discounted rate compared to booking each element separately, protecting you from hidden costs.

12.Maximise Benefits with a Frequent Flyer Program

Loyalty does pay off! Frequent Flyer Programs often reward regular travelers with perks like priority boarding, extra baggage allowances, or even free flights, ensuring that you are shielded from certain additional costs and can travel with added comfort.

13. Avoid Additional Costs with Online Check-Ins

Ensure you avoid any unnecessary airport fees by opting for online check-in. Airlines often provide a more streamlined and user-friendly process online, and it allows you to skip potential charges and long queues at the airport.

14. Travel Light

Adopt a minimalist approach to travel by packing only the essentials and utilising hand luggage for shorter trips. This not only saves on checked baggage fees but also ensures smoother transit through airports without waiting for baggage claims.

15. Shop Around for Optimal Deals

Explore various booking platforms to ensure you secure the best deal available. Sometimes, third-party sites offer promotional prices or package deals that are not available on the airline’s direct site.

16. Explore Alternative Routes

Consider landing at alternative airports or cities and then traveling to your final destination via local transport. This can sometimes unlock cheaper airfares and offer an additional mini-adventure before reaching your final stop.

17. Get Clued up on Baggage Policies

Immerse yourself in the fine print of airline baggage policies to ensure you pack within the specified limits and avoid unexpected fees. Knowing your allowances can also help you pack more efficiently and avoid over-packing.

18. Plan Ahead to Avoid Last-Minute Request Charges

Ensure all your travel needs, from wheelchair access to special meals, are arranged well ahead of time. This guards against potential last-minute fees and ensures the airline can adequately accommodate your requests.

19. Check Our Comprehensive Guide on Airline Hidden Fees

For a deep dive into the world of hidden airline fees and how to avoid them, check our comprehensive guide. It’s packed with information to help you travel smarter and save more.

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