The November school holidays are coming soon. Are you looking for a short trip out of Singapore with your children?
Budget airlines are aplenty here, and for someone looking to fly short-haul, budget airlines are quite the perfect solution.
You pay for the basics because you don't need to bring a huge suitcase, you are ok with not eating or drinking onboard for a few hours and because the destination is near, you do not mind a less comfortable seat.
However, if you've been through the system to book your budget airlines ticket, you'd have soon realised that some little pesky fees and charges can add up quickly.
After spending so much time keying in your passport details and searching for the cheapest flight dates, you realise at the payment page the amount you saw at the first page has increased by 30%, which means you could have booked a full service flight with another airline.
In order to help you navigate this tricky situation, we at GET.com have listed some fees and charges below for you to take note of when flying with budget airlines:
1. Luggage Fees
Most budget airlines provide a maximum 7kg carry-on hand luggage free of charge so this should suffice if you are going on a 3-day trip to Kuala Lumpur.
However, if you plan to do some major shopping and know that your luggage is going to weigh more than 7kg, you should take the top-up option upon booking as it is cheaper than having your luggage weighed at check-in to see that it is overweight.
To give you an idea, Scoot charges $20 for check-in baggage allowance of 15kg when you top up upon flight booking.
But the same luggage weight will cost $50 at check-in. Excess baggage at check-in will be charged at $22 per kg as well.
If you are travelling with someone else who has extra space/luggage weight to 'lend' you, consider putting a few items from your bag into theirs to help you save some costs.
2. Processing Fees For Credit Cards
If you check online forums, you'd find many consumers complaining about the exorbitant credit card charges you'd have to fork out while paying for your budget airline tickets.
So no earning of travel miles here I guess, unless you want to pay for them.
As a guide, Air Asia charges $8 per way per guest, easily adding up to $32 for a two-person round trip booking. Scoot charges $9 for the same conditions.
The way to get around this is to use card-free methods, such as paying via Singpost or S.A.M machines. Do check the specific airline site to know which methods are free-of-charge.
3. Seat Selection Fees
Because it is a budget airline, we do not have the luxury of choosing our favourite seats – aisle, window, near toilet, etc.
But if you really want to sit next to your child (or family), the fees for seat selection range from $3 to $17.
The more expensive ones include seats that cater for extra leg room, so if you think you are going to be very uncomfortable during a long flight, it may be worth it.
If you prefer to save some money, we'll say skip it!
A tip is to try to check-in earlier with your travel partner so that there's a chance that you can get a seat together.
4. Finding The Cheapest Tickets
Because there are so many airline companies, consumers like to use aggregator sites such as Skyscanner to find the cheapest tickets.
You can easily look across a full month to find the cheapest air tickets if the date is not a concern.
However, once you find it, you should book from the airline directly as some of the prices shown are booked through third party sites which could be more expensive than booking with the airline directly.