Air travel is expensive, but you may have mastered the best ways to save on the cost of your actual airfare ticket. There are options to save money by browsing sites for offers such as Yatra coupons or flash sales, or maybe you’ve signed up for Google Flights alerts so you’ll know the best time to buy your tickets.
Saving on the price of your actual ticket is great, but what happens when you realize your baggage and other fees are going to be nearly as much as the price of your ticket?
Most airlines are significantly upping the fees for baggage and other associated costs each year, so what can you do to combat these costs or avoid them?
Know the Fees
The first line of defense against exorbitant airline fees is simple. Just knowing what the fees are can help you plan accordingly to avoid them. Make sure you research airline policies before booking tickets. You may realize after crunching the numbers that even though the cost of the actual ticket is less expensive with one airline over another, once all the fees are added up, you could be better off going with another airline altogether.
Get An Airline Credit Card
If you frequently fly with one airline over any other, it can be worth your will to get a branded credit card. Most airlines have their brand associated with at least one credit card, and you can not only earn miles in many cases, but you may also be able to get discounts such as free priority seating, or free checked luggage.
Most of the most expensive fees you’re going to pay when you fly are associated with baggage, so if you can think ahead and pack smart, you’ll save money. First, learn what the baggage restrictions are, including the allowed weight limit.
Then, make sure you weigh your bags before you leave the house.
Also, you might find that airlines offer something such as the first checked bag free, so you would try to plan so that you’re able to pack everything in that one bag.
Avoid bringing toiletries, hairdryers and other items you can find at your hotel or buy inexpensively once you arrive at your destination as well.
Choose Your Seat for Earlier Boarding
If you want to get on board before everyone else, you’re likely going to pay a premium for that privilege. Instead of paying addition fees, learn how airlines board and choose a seat that will let your board first.
Most airlines have a certain order based on ticket and seating sections, so you may be able to get on right after the priority boarding passengers without paying extra.
As a final note, if you want to avoid fees, you might consider booking a higher level ticket. It can sound counterintuitive if your goal is to save money, but sometimes moving up a step from economy to a premium seat can actually afford you more privileges, and you’ll save more in overall fees, and also have a more pleasant flight experience.