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Flying with the best budget airlines is a great way to reduce the cost of your trip. The significant amount of money you save can go towards accommodation, food, and sightseeing activities instead. However, a few simple mistakes can make your cheap airplane ticket with a budget airline much more than anticipated and cause you unnecessary stress.
Having personally flown with many budget brands like Transavia, EasyJet, and Spirit, here are my best tips for flying with a budget airline. From buying the cheapest ticket to being comfortable on the flight, there’s useful advice to answer all your budget air travel questions.
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Deciding Which Flight to Take
When you look up plane tickets, make sure to use a website that compares several different airlines. Before jumping at the cheapest air ticket you see, think about how much you’ll pack for your trip.
Most budget airlines restrict you to one or two-carry on items and charge for checked luggage. Will you be able to fit everything into a carry-on or will you have to pay for a larger bag to check in?
If you have to pay for checked luggage, then the overall cost of your budget flight may be more than if you went with a regular airline, which sometimes includes a checked luggage for free.
Think about the total cost of a flight and not just the initial cost you see on a flight comparison site.
Buying the Ticket on a Budget Airline’s Website
Most budget airlines will try to charge you for whatever they can while you purchase your ticket. You may have to go through 10 different pages provoking you to rent a car, book a hotel, buy travel insurance, and even pay for a seat.
Sometimes, these options for choosing a seat or getting travel insurance will already be checked off. Go through the buying process slowly so you don’t agree to any extra additional charges.
Pro Tip: Many credit card insurance companies offer you the same coverage as whatever travel insurance the airline offers. Reach out to your credit company, and compare their coverage to the one offered on the budget airline’s site. If they’re similar, book with your credit card!
Packing for the Flight
Many budget airlines have a carry-on weight limit of 10KG, but some go as low as 7kg. They either say you can bring one carry-on or one-carry on plus a small bag, both not exceeding certain dimensions.
Double check with your airline what the carry-on limit is for your flight by getting information from the confirmation e-mail you got after you bought your flight, on the airline’s website, or from customer service if you call them.
By making sure that your bag(s) fit within the designated carry-on limits, you won’t be unexpectedly forced to check-in your bag at the airport, which costs money.
Pro Tip: When a budget airline only allows me to bring one carry-on bag, I pack a reusable, foldable bag. That way, when I get to my seat, I can pull out the important items from my one carry-on bag, unfold the reusable bag, and put my stuff in there. Then I put my carry-on bag in the overhead bin and have a smaller bag to hold my passport, cell phone, headphones, and snacks.
Besides easier access to what I need on the flight, I have it all in one secure place instead of spread out in my pockets and the seat pocket in front of me.
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Boarding the Plane
Budget airlines are really good about checking whether or not you have too many bags or if your bags are too heavy when you’re boarding the plane. Even though you’re so close to getting on the plane, they can still make you check-in your bag if you’re not within the weight, dimensions, or carry-on limit.
For a hassle-free boarding process, I make sure to consolidate multiple bags into one or two carry-ons, depending on the flight limit. I may even stuff some heavier items into my pockets just in case they decide to weigh my suitcase at the gate.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want the stress of possibly getting charged at the gate, weigh your bags at home with a travel scale. It’s compact so you can pack it with you too for the return flight.
Enjoying the Flight
Most budget airlines do not include food or drink with your flight ticket. This even includes water! Since food and drink tends to be pricier on the airplane, make sure to pack snacks like fruit, granola bars, and pre-made sandwiches ahead of time.
Definitely make sure to pack water too since planes are so dehydrating. For the most economical choice, bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up at a water fountain. But if you know that the airport you’re going to does not have a water fountain (for some odd reason…), then buy a bottle of water after going through security.
Got more tip for flying with budget airlines?
Hope these tips for flying with budget airlines helps you on your next trip. If you have anymore helpful tips, don’t be shy, and comment below.
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