Are Cheap Flights Really Cheap? Find Out Some Hidden Costs and Ways to Avoid It


Finding a flight at a reasonable cost is the first and foremost thing most travellers look for while planning a vacation or a business tour. But the question is, have you booked a flight at the right price? Multiple airlines provide tickets with a hidden cost that you might not be aware of or miss-out sometimes. Let us find about them in detail.

The competition in commercial airline space has increase multi-folds in the last two decades. With new carriers joining in, the competition has worked in favour of the travellers. Offering the best prices while promising supreme services, airlines are fighting for the market share.

This has benefitted air travellers looking to strike the best deal on their next flight. “Cheap” flights have become a hot search word for those looking to fly at the lowest prices. Airlines over the years have responded to it by offering great discounts, low-cost and no-frills flights. However, are those cheap flights really that cheap?

Some of these “cheap” flights may look like a great deal but come with some hidden costs that can increase your travel cost by the time you land. Let’s look at some of the standard hidden fees you should be aware of when booking the lowest fare flight.

5 Hidden Charges of Cheap Flights

  1. Baggage Cost – Some flights offering cheap tickets charge a decent amount of money for putting your luggage on the plane. They either allow cabin baggage only or have low weight restrictions on the allowed weight limit for the check-in baggage. Thus, it is wise to check the final luggage cost or any cost that the airline may charge once you reach the airport.
  2. Booking Fee – Many cheap flight tickets look like a lightening deal while searching but come with a high booking fee charged on your credit/debit card when you make payment.
  3. Showing prices without including Taxes – There are multiple taxes like airport charges, convenience fees, service charges, etc., that airlines levy on the ticket’s final cost. Thus don’t get swayed by the initial price and check the final cost before deciding.
  4. Costly In-flight Meals: Most low-cost or no-frills airlines don’t offer complimentary meals onboard. These meals can cost you a lot.
  5. No Refund on Cancellation: Some of the best deal tickets may come with a disclaimer of being non-refundable. Cancellation or change in the itinerary in such flights can make you lose all your money.

What Can You Do?

  •      Compare Journey Cost not Just Flight Costs:The next time you’re looking for flights, don’t just look at the lowest fare flight. Instead, calculate the total cost of the journey, including cab expenses (which might be higher if the departure or arrival is during the night), fees, taxes, meals, etc.
  •      Look for Discounts: Rather than looking for the lowest fare, look for discount codes and offers that airlines roll out regularly. Sometimes this can help you save a lot more while also letting you travel in a full-service airline.
  •      Earn or Redeem Miles: If you’re not part of any travel and lifestyle loyalty program, it is time to join one. While most loyalty programs restrict you to one or two airlines, some loyalty programs will allow you to make cheap flight booking across airlines while also helping you earn some miles along the way. Once you have accumulated enough miles, you can use it for various benefits and upgrades, including a free flight to a destination of your choice.

These tips will help you find a cheap flight without compromising on the comfort when you travel. Use these smarter tips instead, and travel like a pro.