We all love budget airlines. For the times when we just want to get from Country A to B, and don’t mind not having any frills, they are a great option.
Sometimes though, some of these add-ons that budget airlines charge for are actually things we might need, such as having the ability to check in our luggage after a shopping expedition, need a hot meal on board when we’re travelling with children, or just wanting to ensure that we are able to seat together with our travelling companion.
When choosing between budget carriers, many people simply look at the base price of tickets when searching for the cheapest flight on aggregator platforms such as Skyscanner and Expedia. However, such a method may not truly deliver you the cheapest flight, since the add-ons (which you may select) vary between budget carries, making it difficult to calculate which of the airlines offering flights to the same destination is truly the cheapest.
For easy reference, we’ve compiled the common add-on charges among Singapore-based budget airlines. How should you make use of this information? It gives you a gauge of charges you can expect to be added to the listed ticket prices, if you need those “optional” add-ons.
Note About Prices:
Actual fees will vary depending on your origin and destination, as there are differing fees and taxes charged by each airport. Also, the distance of your trip will affect the price of some line items.
For the purposes of illustration in this article, all prices are based on flights departing on April 1, 2018, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, with the exception of Cebu Pacific, where a flight from Singapore to Cebu was used instead.
The actual price of the fare you pay also varies according to when you book the flight. Algorithms adjust the pricing depending on how in-demand the particular flight is and seasonal travel patterns.
The best thing you can do to get the best bang for your buck is to use the above guide as a gauge as you compare the different carriers and then actually click through the ticket purchase process and look at the final amount due. With online ticketing, things are more transparent than before when tickets are booked on the phone or through tour agents.
But the competitive nature of flight aggregators like Skyscanner also means that airlines are pressured to offer cheap fare rates to look attractive alongside their competitors, and make up for the revenue through “optional” add-ons that most people will likely need, such as checked baggage or seat selection (for families).
By knowing about the costs of these add-ons, consumers are able to make the most informed decision on which airline to take, and decide if they might even be better off with a full-service carrier instead.