Low cost flights – how cheap can become expensive

Cheap deals sometime can get costly. This is the opinion of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) of many low cost airlines. Although OCU says that thanks to the cheap ‘low cost’ a lot more people can travel, it warns that these companies “even charge you for breathing.”

Thus, on the occasion of the Easter holidays, the OCU has developed a list of expenses ‘extra’ of low cost airlines which the passenger might not have expected.

For issuing the boarding pass: Certain low cost airlines charge passengers for printing boarding passes. The prices were in some cases up to 40 € for example, with Ryanair. Justice now considers abusive this clause.

For billing the suitcase: Travelers flying with ‘low cost’ airlines such as Vueling, Ryanair and EasyJet have to pay for billing the suitcase. Moreover, some of them charge different amounts if you have not billed it at the time of reservation, but at the airport.

For billing a second suitcase: Iberia also charges for the second bag, joining other companies, in addition to those charging to the traveler any baggage.

For carrying more kilos of luggage: Normally the limit is 20 kilos. Above that amount it costs a lot more. The companies apply varying criteria. For example, Ryanair charges 20 Euros more per kilogram over the 15 kg.

For choosing seat: Companies such as Vueling charge for choosing your seat.

For early boarding: Generally, all companies charge for what is called ‘priority boarding’, i.e. getting on the plane first in order to avoid queues. The price varies considerably depending on the company.

For a coffee: Cafeteria service is also charged to the traveler’s pocket. Furthermore, prices are not precisely popular. A coffee or a drink on the plane costs about 3 Euros, a beer 5 Euros and a sandwich than more 6 Euros.

In case of low-cost carriers, most do not include baggage insurance in the standard price, and it’s offered as an optional charge.


How to avoid paying too much?

• Check if you are offered alternatives to waive the charge for card payment (for example, Ryanair will not charge you if you pay with a prepaid MasterCard card.)

• Print your boarding pass beforehand

• Plan your luggage carefully. Try to limit yourself to one suitcase or carry-on luggage.

• Check the dimensions and weight of hand luggage allowed, otherwise you will be forced to check-in the bag.

• If you have to check-in, indicate it in the booking.

• Check the website of the airline you fly with to see the requirements, limitations etc.

The OCU recommends taking these precautions so that “if they charge you, at least you won´t be caught by surprise.”


Source: el mundo.es

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