The Hidden Cost of Cheap flights


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Most of us can agree that finding the lowest airfare has become super easy thanks to online aggregators such as: Travelpayouts, and Airflightcheaptickets. However, when booking low airfare tickets, avoiding annoying unwanted fees can be difficult.


There’s a misconception that most unwanted fees derive from luggage, however, depending on the airline, you could be charged for even a carry-on luggage! Don’t be surprised either if airlines charge you for printing your boarding pass or even peanuts!


It’s not just the thrifty airlines either, traditional, full-service airlines have increased fees over the years as well.


If you want to avoid these charges, you must be clear about what they actually are. Here are some of the most common airlines add-ons to know about, so you can be clear and ready for your next flight.

Flight Change Fees

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Sometimes it just can’t be avoided but if you can help it, try to avoid changing your ticket as much as possible! Sometimes the fees can be up to $500 for international tickets and $200 for domestic fees.


American Airlines charges from $75 to $200 to change a ticket. Meanwhile Delta, charges $200 for domestic flights and up to $500 for international travel.


If you want to avoid or simply minimize these outrages fees, know the airline’s policy, this is the simple most important thing to do! Know the policy and understand what your options are if something should happen.


While most airlines offer free cancellation within 24 hours, airlines such as American requires that its passengers purchase a refundable ticket or hold Executive Platinum elite status.


Alaska Air on the other hand, offers free flight changes as long as the flight is changed within 60 days.


Baggage Fees

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Let’s start with carry-on baggage, most airlines approve of one carry on and sometimes a personal item such as a laptop bag, backpack or purse. Allegiant, Spirit and in certain cases Frontier aren’t apart of the party, you will pay for your carryon with these airlines!


Now for checked bags. Checked bags range from $25-$35 and unfortunately could increase if your bag is heavier than 50lbs.


Now here’s a question on everyone’s mind. What can I do to fly my bags for free? You have a few options: Qualify for elite status on some airlines, apply and get approved for a travel rewards credit card that offers the benefit or drain your bank account for a first-class ticket. Fly Southwest if you want to carry two checked bags at no additional fee.


Printing Boarding Passes

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Rushing to the airport and you decide to just print your boarding pass at the airport? It’s possible, but it’s going to cost you! It’s hard to believe some airlines charge a fee for printing your boarding pass. Spirit charges $10 per boarding pass, while Allegiant charges $5.


So the next time that you decide that you want to print your boarding pass at the airport, remember, there may be fees associated with this. Use your mobile ticket or just print it at home and save yourself the time, anger and confusion.


Meals and Snacks

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Let’s be honest, most of us no longer expect meals when flying domestic. The good thing is you can plan ahead and pack yourself your own snacks until you reach your destination. One thing to remember is that you won’t be able to bring liquids, so you’ll have to purchase them near your gate or on your flight.


Seat Upgrades

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Discount airlines don’t offer assigned seats. If you want to sit with your family, friends, loved one, then makes sure that you are at the gate early to line up for a good seat, unless you’re on a full service airline then you don’t have to do this. Except for one airline, American Airlines who does charge more for seats in the front of the plane, aisle seats or seats with extra legroom.


American is not the only airline that does this. Jet Blue and Delta. Even Southwest, charges $15 for an early boarding pass.


The next time that you’re thinking about flying remember that there maybe a few hidden cost associated with flying that particular airline. Know the airlines policy, read it through and through! It may be advisable to read reviews from customers who have flown with the airline.


Be prepared! One last thing, don’t stress out to much because you are now equipped with the information that you need! The old saying goes, if you know better, then you will do better! Happy Flying!


We’d love to hear from you. Comment box below!

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6 thoughts on “The Hidden Cost of Cheap flights

  1. Hey, thanks for that!

    I always try to use budget airlines when travelling to mainland Europe such as Ryanair. They produce a very basic service with nothing included and if you want extras such as food/upgrades, you must pay for it. They are also very rigid with baggage weight/dimensions. Personally, this is a sacrifice I am willing to make for cheaper tickets.

    I think that the flight change fee is fair enough, because the airline may not be able to find a new passenger in time and if everyone did this, they would lose a lot of money.

    The one thing sticks out on this list which I think is totally unreasonable is the charge to print the tickets! I have never come across this, but I certainly wouldn’t be too happy if it ever happens to me!

    1. Hi Mark! Thanks for your feedback. Yes, it’s unbelievable! Some airlines actually make you pay for your boarding pass and a lot of passengers sadly aren’t aware of this.

      Ryan Air is a very popular European airline and they do provide great prices and you can even take a carry on for free! We are glad that you found this article to be useful. Are there any other budget airlines that you use in Europe? There are a few good ones such as Iberia, Vueling, Norweigian and the list goes on! Thanks again for your feedback! Happy Flying Mark!

  2. Great stuff!

    This article is quite interesting and informative as well. Most of the hidden costs are somewhat practical, and can be expected really – depending on how cheap one flies with these low-cost airlines.

    Thanks AFCT for the information, and I’ll keep updating myself regularly – and booking my flights through your website!

    1. Thank you Frank for your feedback. Nobody feels happy on arriving at the airport only just to find out that they have to pay extras either for luggage, boarding pass etc, that is why I do my best to get this information and more out their for those that don’t know. Please do visit for more updates and always browse here to get the latest deals and discounts on flight tickets. Looking forward to have you back Frank. Cheers!

      Happy flying!

  3. Hey there!
    Thanks for the great tips! As an avid traveler, I always find articles like this extremely helpful! It does make the traveling experience worthwhile!

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