Tonight I travelled home after a weekend away. I was lucky that I was able to use frequent flyer miles to book the flights so I only had to pay a small amount to cover the taxes. I travelled with a full-service airline so my short flight included a meal – a delicious quinoa and miso chicken salad -yum! and inflight entertainment – I was able to watch two episodes of Modern Family 🙂
When booking a flight sometimes the cheapest flight is not always the best deal.
Here are some things to look out for when you book your next flight:
- Food – is food included? will it be a full meal service or a snack (hello cheese and crackers!) are drinks included? is alcohol included? For a short flight you might not be worried about getting a meal included but if you are travelling a long-haul flight this might be a key consideration for you. If you are paying extra for food and water on a long-haul flight the costs can soon add up.
- Entertainment – does the flight include entertainment systems? are the entertainment systems free? can you bring your own device and stream entertainment? Some airlines will charge you to use their entertainment system, the price may vary depending on the length of the flight.
- Baggage – is baggage included? how much baggage is included and will this be enough for you and your family? what are the excess baggage fees? Many low cost airlines offer very cheap fares but the baggage fees are very expensive (this is how they make their money) and if you try and be sneaky and take a very heavy carry-on baggage you might be caught out as they often weigh all carry on baggage before you board the plane! I have seen passengers having to pay for their excess carry on baggage before they were allowed to board.
- Departure and Arrival Terminals – check where you are actually flying from and where you are flying to as many cities may have more than one airport. For example in Melbourne, Australia there is the main airport called Tullamarine (22km from the CBD) and another smaller airport called Avalon (57km from the CBD). You might find cheaper flights from or to a smaller airport but if you are using public transport or taxis you also need to factor in this transportation cost.
- Booking Fees / Credit Card Surcharges – if you book online some airlines will charge a booking fee per passenger, others charge a booking fee per booking and others do not charge a booking fee. If you are paying a booking fee per passenger this can soon add up. The same applies to credit card surcharges. Try and find a payment option that incurs no fees.
- What is the TOTAL price for the flight – some airlines do not show the flight price including all fees and taxes, they only display the base fare. So by the time you select your flights, meals, baggage and payment options you might find that cheap bargain flight you found has in fact doubled in price! It pays to do your research and make sure you know what is the total price for the flight before you book your next trip.