Find even more savings in those airfare specials
Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:32:23 GMT —
The holidays may be called the most wonderful time of the year, but they're not always the most wonderful time to fly.
Rochester, New York native Ora Gail Cooper sees the rising cost of airfare first hand.
At least three times a year, she takes a flight from New York to Myrtle Beach International to visit her parents in Georgetown, always searching for the best available price.
"I go on the travel websites and pick the one with the best price," she said.
But you have to be careful because sometimes those taxes and fees can be more than you expected, she said.
"I don't like those fees."
On some occassions, those fees that Cooper doesn't like are hidden in plain sight.
Wednesday, NewsChannel 15 compared travel costs between Spirit Airlines and its much larger competitor, Delta Airlines. A round trip ticket from Myrtle Beach International to LaGuardia Airport on Dec. 23 and returning Dec. 26 costs $348 dollars on Spirit and $432 on Delta. Spirit's $30 carry on bag fee was included in the prices. Delta does not charge for a carry on item. Both airlines charge for checked luggage depending on the weight.
But while Spirit price is $84 cheaper, there's more savings at the low fare airline if you dig deeper.
The flight insurance on Spirit's fee and charges web page is already selected when you book your flight. So if customers don't pay close attention, they could be paying an extra $14 for flight insurance that they might not have otherwise.
Picking a seat on some airlines is free, but Spirit charges $10 to $25 extra, depending on leg room and specific seats. You can get out of the charge if you opt out of picking a seat, but you'll be placed in a middle seat. People travelling with a group who opt of picking a seat and want to sit together can try and change the seating arrangement for free when they get to the airport.
Another travel saving tip is what brought Dana Wells to the terminal.
"A friend told me yesterday that if I am traveling on Spirit I can save money by booking the flight at the airport," he said.
The Myrtle Beach snowbird estimates he saved about 15 percent on his one way flight to Boston.
So, back to our $348 ticket from MYR to LGA.. if you take off $40 for booking at the airport, $14 for opting out of the flight insurance and between $20 and $50 on choosing a seat, you could bring that down to anywhere from $274-$234.
"Everyone can use a little extra. Especially this time of the year," said Wells. "I wasn't too far away so I decided to come by and pick up my ticket."
But as long as people can paying those extra fees, the airlines will continue to charge for them, said Cooper.
"I mean we have to fly," she said. "What are we going to do, drive?"
How have airline add-on fees changed how you fly? Leave a comment below.