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How to avoid sneaky surcharges when booking flights

Posted at | Updated as of 04/25/14 2:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines – If you want to avoid being charged with unnecessary fees when booking flights on budget airlines, you should take the time to read each item carefully before ticking the box.

Budget airlines have gained popularity due to its cheaper ticket prices, but according to Seair’s Patrick Tan, some flights on budget carriers may cost more than full-service flights.

“Some budget airlines are actually more expensive than full service or leisure airlines because they tend to capitalize on the thinking that they’ve instilled in the buying public… the public thinks that they’re cheap,” he told ANC’s “On The Money.”

According to a travel report by Ideal.co.uk, budget airlines in Europe cost just over P2,000 more per seat than standard airlines.

“I used to choose the airline based on budget, but lately, what I’ve discovered is that the price of a ticket of a budget airline a lot of times it’s so much more when you actually go through the process of booking it,” travel blogger Lois Yasay said.

Yasay said passengers tend to overlook small details when booking, which result to higher ticket prices.

These include seat choices, meals, baggage allowances, donations, and travel insurance.

Yasay said she will only purchase travel insurance if she is vacationing more than 3 weeks.

Tan, on the other hand, admits to never buying insurance when flying, but noted that those concerned for health, safety or loss of items will find it useful.

“Travel insurance will pay for your hotel accommodation in case of a broken schedule or if you have an accident during your vacation,” he said.

Tan added that while budget airlines regularly offer promo fares, standard airlines also lower prices during the lean season.

Not all promo fares from low cost carriers, Yasay said, offer big savings when fees and taxes are factored in.

“Some of them could be good value for money but some could be quite deceiving,” she said.