We track discounts and sales, plan trips for six months in advance – all in order to save at least half, and sometimes more than 90% of the cost of the ticket.
If you are new to this kind of flight, then you should know: there is no catch in the indecently low prices of low-cost flights. Cheap airlines simply try to save on everything: at the distance between seats, airport taxes, and many of the services we are used to are simply not included in the price.
So what is paid extra and how to avoid unnecessary expenses?
The largest expense item for a tourist can be checked baggage. This is the suitcase that you do not take with you to the salon, but hand over to the luggage tape. In all low-cost flights, it is paid and can even be several times more expensive than the ticket itself. You can only take hand luggage with you for free ( we talk in detail about the norms of carriage of hand luggage) – as a rule, this is a small suitcase weighing up to 10 kg and dimensions 55x40x20 cm plus a small bag, like a woman’s bag. If you doubt the size of your hand luggage, a stand with the name of the airline and a special measuring frame are usually placed next to the check-in counter. If your bag fits there, then everything is in order. However, be careful: even because of the wheels sticking out above the frame, especially scrupulous airport employees may ask you to check your suitcase in your luggage and pay for this service on the spot.
The cost of checked baggage can vary from the season (high or low), the route and whether you checked it online or do it directly at the airport. In one case, you can get away with only 15 euros for a suitcase, and in the other, you can give away all 70. Therefore, in order not to pay twice, or even three times, add baggage when buying a ticket online – it will turn out cheaper and there will be no “surprise” in the form of an additional a tidy amount payable upon landing.
By the way, not only low-cost airlines but also some ordinary airlines, such as Lufthansa or AirBaltic, have not recently included checked baggage in the cost of an economy class ticket. Therefore, be on your guard when booking any airline tickets.
Additionally, you will have to pay for the advantage. If your carry-on baggage exceeds the weight of 10 kg, then, depending on the airline, you will have to pay for each kilogram of weight or a special tariff, for example, with a weight of 10 to 15 kg. On average, 1 kg over the norm will cost 10-15 euros.
Check-in at the airport
For those who choose a low-cost airline for the first time, this is the most unexpected and unpleasant moment. A few days or weeks before the flight you need to do online check-in for the flight, that is, register. Usually, at this time, an e-mail or SMS message comes with a reminder. If for some reason you did not do this, you will have to pay at least 10-20 euros at the airport, depending on the air carrier, just to get your boarding pass printed out. Agree, not the most pleasant news, given that this could be done on a simple sheet of paper at home.
If you are unpretentious and mentally prepared for narrow seats and tight rows, you will not need this function. However, lovers of comfort or those who want, say, to sit at the window for such a privilege will need to pay extra. You can also do this while purchasing a ticket. All seats on the plane are divided into several sections with a different cost. Closer to the exit – more expensive, while places with more legroom are the most expensive. The cost of such a service ranges from 1 to 17 euros.
Often, perhaps the main question of flight – what will be fed? Those who like to eat on the road with low-cost airlines will have a hard time because all the food here is paid. You will be offered a rather rich menu, however, for a lot of money. To save money, it is better to order food in advance online – so it will be almost half cheaper. For short flights, you can just take a couple of packs of snacks with you. As a rule, the crew is loyal to their food on board.
Tea, coffee and other drinks are also not free, the only exception is ordinary water – you can get it for free. But, of course, not a whole bottle, but a glass.
Some low-cost airlines offer not to wait until a huge crowd of passengers passes control, but to buy the right of priority landing. That is, ticket holders marked priority will be served at the very beginning. It costs 4-8 euros, and you can stake out the right to be one of the first when buying a ticket.
When booking a ticket, you will be offered to buy airline insurance. The insurance may cover medical expenses (if something happens during the flight), and also act in the event of loss or damage to baggage, loss of personal belongings, delayed flight, canceled flights due to weather conditions or the fault of the air carrier; sometimes insurance covers return or exchange tickets. But before you buy insurance, think about whether you really need it. After all, in any case, you must ensure your health when traveling abroad, and in the event, your bag is lost, the company should search for it anyway. Moreover, the minimum insurance will cost 9-13 euros.
Sometimes during the purchase of a ticket, you can make seals in the first and last names or inadvertently choose a different date. Low-cost airlines set prices for any changes in the reservation made after the ticket has been paid. For example, to change the day or time of departure, you need to pay from 30 euros, and to correct a mistake in the name – from 40 to 45 euros.
Check-in usually ends 40 minutes before boarding. If the passenger is not punctual, he is no longer allowed to check-in later than this time. But for some carriers, for example, Wizzair, this is not a problem and you will definitely be missed, and if you do not have time for this plane, they will offer another. True, not for free. The late fee is about 70-80 euros.
It turns out that in order to fly really cheaply, you need to take a minimum of things with you, have a light lunch before the flight, endure the flight in not very comfortable chairs and, most importantly, be punctual and attentive when entering any information. In principle, these are not the worst circumstances that can be experienced for an inexpensive and interesting trip.