The top 3 hidden costs of budget airlines

Budget airlines are popular features of travel these days. You’ve probably seen numerous adverts of cheap travel flights on television or as you surf the Internet. While cheap on adverts, budget airlines often have hidden costs and extras that are not so obvious to the unsuspecting traveler. If you don’t want to get stung by hidden costs of budget airlines, look out for these top hidden expenses:

1. Airport departure and arrival terminals

Many budget airlines in the Britain operate from a base departure terminal located somewhere around London. Buzz and Go departure terminal, for example is located at Stansted, while easyJet is located at Luton. The problem with these base airport terminals is that it can be quite difficult and expensive to reach them.

It takes over 40 minutes to reach central London using the Stansted Express. The cheapest return fares in this case typically range from £19.50 to £35. This hidden cost can be quite significant if not factored in from the start.

A similar scenario often applies with the arrival terminal of budget airlines. Most budget airlines use secondary or minor airports as their base arrival terminal, which can make it difficult and expensive to reach your final travel destination. Buzz and Go, for example, does not fly to any major airport as of the time of this writing.

2. Baggage fees

Another of the top hidden costs of budget airlines touches on baggage fees. Days when you could check in your baggage for no extra costs are over for most carriers. Today, expect to pay up to £35 one way per bag on European flights with only 15kg or 20kg of weight allowance with that bag.

Some carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and BMI International, however, still allow you to have one checked in bag weighing 23kg as part of your booking at no extra cost, so look out for that.

3. Taxes and surcharges

All carriers levy various fees, taxes and surcharges, ranging from surcharges to cover additional insurance costs following the September 11 bombing in the U.S. Easyjet, for example, charges £5.50 for using Luton airport, which can increase the first flight fare quoted considerably. Some budget airlines even consider airport check in to be a luxury worth about £10. These airlines want you to check in online.

Always check the policy of the airline you're travelling with carefully before you set off for the airport. This will ensure you avoid these and any other hidden costs of budget airlines that may exist.

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