Depending on your destination and luggage, plane tickets can get quite expensive. If you add to this the so-called hidden airport fees (such as cancellation and change fees or overweight luggage), the overall cost of your air travel can get pretty steep.
Plus, the pandemic changed the way we travel nowadays. If you fly to a different country, you will most likely need to put some money aside for COVID-19 tests and many travelers prefer to bring their own cleaning supplies, which can impact the final cost of the trip.
So, to make sure you don’t spend more than it’s absolutely necessary, here are a few ways you can save your wallet while going through an airport:
#1: Pay Attention To Luggage Fees
It’s no secret that air companies will charge you for every extra kg or lbs you want to bring on board besides yourself. True, some companies offer a free carry-on, but you have to pay attention to the size they specify. Otherwise, you may end up with what you thought would be a free carry-on as a checked-in bag.
#2: Plan Ahead for Parking
If you drive yourself to the airport, chances are you’ll spend a small fortune on parking. Luckily, if you do a bit of planning, you can find a safe parking spot, in an area that’s convenient for you. You can use online platforms like One Stop Parking to find the best prices for airport parking and reserve a spot ahead of time. This way, you’ll have the spot secured, which reduces the stress that tends to accumulate right before the check-in.
#3: Book Your Ticket Online
All major airlines have websites travellers can use to book their tickets and check useful information. If you don’t like this approach, then you can find tickets on third-party websites that provide you with options from several different air companies, so you can see the difference in price.
In short, it’s best to book online as opposed to speaking with a live agent. If you book offline, you’ll be charged a fee.
When you travel with the family or a loved one, you’ll probably want to sit together (especially if the trip takes a few hours). After all, who would want to be seated next to a complete stranger when they could chat happily with someone close to them?
Airlines understand this desire of their travelers, so they allow you to choose a seat when you book the ticket. However, this will cost an extra $5 or $10 per ticket. While this fee may seem insignificant when travelling alone or as a couple, it will add up for families who travel together (especially if you have to change flights before reaching the destination).
#5: Cancellation, Change, & Insurance
Things happen and you may have to skip the trip you booked a few months in advance. Sadly, this means you’ll have to deal with the stubbornness of flight companies and try to reason with them to let you either change the date of the flight, cancel, or get a refund.
Luckily, there are a few airlines that are more flexible about this sort of event. They usually offer a window of time during which you can change the terms or get a refund. Also, some companies will charge a bit more, but they’ll accept a change of date easily or turn your tickets into credit.
Flight insurance is one way to avoid paying hefty fees for cancellations or changes. However, it’s still expensive to buy insurance that you most likely won’t have to use. So, unless you know there is a specific known risk that may turn your plans around, it’s best to stick with the flexibility window.
Overall, to enjoy your next flight without worrying about your budget, you should do thorough research ahead of time. It may take a bit of time, but it’s best to be well-informed and knowledgeable than to pay extra for stupid reasons.