You must have surely noticed the on-going “special schemes” offered by various airline companies these days. How many times have you planned to book your tickets and stopped at the pay button only because there is a huge difference between the offer price and the final price that you are likely to pay?
Sometimes, these “offers” can be so expensive that it might surpass the usual cost you would otherwise pay if you are travelling without these special frills. Ticket prices that initially looked good rapidly rise once an array of extra expenses is clubbed into the equation. Boom News lists some of these hidden costs that are always written on that fine print that the travellers should not miss.
Taxes, charges and fees: Very recently, a popular Indian airline company offered tickets at Rs 100 as part of their anniversary deal to fly anywhere within the country. But when the team of Boom News did some research on their site, the cost from Mumbai to Delhi, one of the most popular destinations in India, comes to about Rs 4,300 as the company levied charges like fuel charges, insurance etc. Another very popular budget airline also offered to give away tickets at Rs 600 to fly to various destinations within India. However, when putting the same parameters into consideration as we did above, the cost from Delhi to Mumbai came to about Rs 3,800. Not to mention, these special discounts get reduced when the travelling distance gets increased. A one-way ticket from Delhi to Chennai costs Rs 6,200. (Does not look so special any more right?)
Popular destinations: How many times have you chosen a destination that is not so popular and found out that these schemes and offers are not included in these sectors? For example, when Boom News wanted to book a ticket from Mumbai to Guwahati, the gateway to North East, these special offers are beyond these sectors. A one-way ticket for the same sector costs Rs 2,300 as base fare. After adding fuel charges and taxes, the fare amounted to over Rs 6,000, and trust us, we have not even tried to go and check in the extra luggage.
Luggage: One of the main reasons for the traveller paying extra is hidden in their luggage. As per aviation guidelines, the maximum weight to carry in any Indian airlines is 15 kilos per person. Various airlines charge different amounts for extra baggage that can range from Rs 150 to Rs 400 per kilo.
Seat preferences: Not too long ago, a passenger could have a choice of their seat in their favourite airline and not pay a single penny for the same. However, according to the changed guidelines, a traveller may have to pay extra if he or she chooses a seat of their preference. For example, if you want to choose that extra leg space for your comfort, your pockets will be lighter by Rs 500.
Paying for your meals: With the introduction of low-cost airlines in India around ten years back, eating on planes comes at a cost. A packet of lunch costs about Rs 400-500, depending on your preferences. For example, a chicken Biriyani in one of the most popular budget airline costs you about Rs 350 per plate. And if you are adding a soft drink to your meal, the cost would shoot up to somewhere between Rs 450-550. A tea or coffee served with a cookie can cost you Rs 100. And yes, we are talking about budgeting here!
Beware late comers: If you are one of those people who reach nowhere on time, except perhaps your wedding, chances are that you might be a ‘defaulter’. All low-cost airlines enforce strict time limits and the gates are closed 30 minutes prior to the departure time. Any passenger failing to reach the gate at the schedule time will forfeit their seat. Also, the said passenger will not be entitled to any refund either full or half.
Cancelling/rescheduling costs money too: Not sure, if your boss will grant that long vacation you have planned three months from now? Let not these special offers entice you. A passenger might have to lose a hefty amount in case you have to reschedule or cancel your ticket. Upon cancellation, these airlines usually levy a huge cancellation fee or worse, don’t even pay back your ticket price. Also, if you reschedule, changes are that these special schemes and offers are no more available and you end up paying much more than what you would have paid for a regular ticket.