Budget does not always mean cheap

Budget airlines may have cheap fares, but recent research has shown that ‘budget’ doesn’t always mean low cost, and many of them will slap on extra charges for things you take for granted with more mainstream airlines.

Here’s how five of the budget airlines size up against each other. The total price at the bottom of each shows the extra charges incurred should you pay for your ticket using a debit card and need to check in one bag at the airport:

Ryanair:
Price per checked bag (each way)
ONLINE: £15 per bag, up to two bags in total (£20 during July & August)
AIRPORT: £35 per bag, up to two bags in total (£40 during July and August)
Excess baggage fees: 15kg allowance – £15 per kg over
Booking fees – Credit/debit cards £5 each way. No charge for Mastercard prepaid debit card.
Price of extras £80

Easyjet:
Price per checked bag (each way)
ONLINE: from £9
AIRPORT: from £18
Excess baggage fees: 20kg allowance – £10 per kg over
Booking fees – £3.95 per booking, plus additional fee of 2.5% of fare (minimum £4.95), which is greater if you pay by credit card. No charge for Visa Electron.
Price of extras £39.95

Flybe:
Price per checked bag (each way)
ONLINE: £10.99
AIRPORT: £30
Excess baggage fees: 20kg allowance – £30 per extra bag (up to 3 bags total weighing a maximum of 40kg)
Booking fees – £4.50 per passenger per flight for debit cards, plus 50p for credit cards. No charge for Visa Electron.
Price of extras £90.98

BMI Baby:
Price per checked bag (each way)
ONLINE: £12.99
AIRPORT: £20
Excess baggage fees: 18kg baggage allowance – £12 per kg over
Booking fees – Credit cards £4.50 per passenger per booking, minimum fee of £6.50 per booking. Debit cards £3 per passenger per booking, minimum fee of £4 per booking.
Price of extras £43

Jet2:
Price per checked bag (each way)
ONLINE: £9.99
AIRPORT: £25
Excess baggage fees: 22kg baggage allowance – £6 per kg over
Booking fees – Credit cards and debit cards 3.5% of fare (minimum £4.99). Pay by Paypal and the charge is £3.39. Visa Electron and Solo are free.
Price of extras £54.99 (assuming the flights cost less than £140 in total)

As you can see, budget airlines make a lot of extra money from baggage and card handling charges.

Avoid the charges
There are ways to avoid most of the charges, for example, you can reduce your fees by opting to check in a bag online and if you opt to only take on hand luggage, you can often avoid the baggage fees completely but bear in mind baggage size and weight rules.

Similarly, if you pay for your ticket using the right type of card, you can usually avoid a booking fee. Most airlines will accept Visa Electron free of charge, while Ryanair won’t charge you if you use a pre-paid Mastercard.

Source – Lovemoney.com

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