Before you book your airline, remember these things.
If you’ve never booked a flight through a budget airline, you’ve probably been tempted to. Airlines like Frontier and Spirit are constantly offering super-low airfare deals that sound too good to be true; while they’re technically not, they may come with some extra fees or restrictions you should consider before booking. Here are some things to remember when you book a flight deal through a budget airline:
There are date restrictions
First of all, there will most likely be a time period in which you have to fly in order to get the deal (for example: October 19th – November 14th). After that, there are usually only certain days that are included in the deal, and many of those days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. To narrow it down even more, there may only be a handful of days to pick from for your return flight.
You’ll see extra fees
Budget airlines are able to offer such low rates because they charge their passengers fees elsewhere. When you fly a budget airline, expect to pay fees you wouldn’t normally pay, including a fee to pick your seat and a fee for an in-flight tea, soda, juice, or other beverage.
Luggage costs are different
While free checked luggage is becoming less and less common, the majority of airlines still offer travelers the option of a free carry-on bag (and some still offer your first checked bag free). Budget airlines, however, often charge you for checked luggage and for a carry-on bag.
Customer service may be a problem
Because airfare deals from budget airlines are often much than competitors, their customer service isn’t always the best. In fact, many customers have experienced flight delays and trouble rescheduling flights when they booked with a budget airline.
Destinations are limited
When there’s a specific deal going on, you’ll likely find that if your departure city is included in it, you’ll only have a few destination options to choose from. (For example, if you’re flying out of Newark, you may only have the option to go to Miami, Houston, Raleigh, or Cincinnati.) Many times, these cities are either close by or are major hubs for the airline.
Flight times may be inconvenient
If you do find a flight to and from your destination that fall under the airfare deal, you may notice that your flight time choices are limited. You may only have a choice between an early morning flight or a red-eye flight. In some cases, there may only be one flight time available.