Top ten airlines that charge the most hidden fees

The post Top ten airlines that charge the most hidden fees appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Travel Daily.

Hidden fees from airlines can easily add up. While your airfare might seem cheap, once you add on all the necessary extras, you can easily end up paying even more for those extras than you would for the flight.

These fees have even found the attention of U.S. President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who, earlier this year, both expressed concerns over ‘drip-selling’, a term used to describe when a service ends up much more expensive than first advertised. This is incredibly common in the airline industry.

At NetVoucherCodes, they’re passionate about helping consumers save money, so they decided to put in the leg work and found out exactly which airlines are charging the most in hidden costs. To do this, they built a seed list of the world’s top airlines and curated a route for each one which resulted in roughly the same amount of time in the air and set to leave on the same day. They then calculated how many hidden fees were added to the airfare for add-ons like carry-on baggage, 20kg checked bags, seat selection, fast track, insurance and onboard wifi.

Using this data, they were then able to determine how much more expensive each flight would be due to additional hidden fees.

20kg Check-in Baggage
Carry-on Baggage
Fast Track
Seat Selection
Onboard Wifi
Flight Cost
Total Hidden Costs (USD)
% More Expensive

 Spirit Airlines





 Wizz Air

 Sun Country  Airlines


 Air Europa

 Delta Air Lines

Their study shows that while Spirit Airlines’ flights seem cheap, passengers are paying up to 736% more in hidden charges, a bigger increase than any other airline in the world. The airline charges £161.13 in hidden costs on top of the $21.89 base fare, a 736% increase if you choose to include a 20kg check-in bag, carry-on baggage, fast track, seat selection, insurance and onboard wifi. While the cost seems high, Spirit Airlines has a very cheap base ticket which explains why they choose to charge extra for add-ons.

Volaris, a Mexican low-cost airline, comes in second place charging just over 6x their airfare in hidden fees. The hidden costs are 626% of the original airfare, asking customers to pay $82.20 on top of a $13.13 flight. Again we see the trend of budget airlines offsetting the price of their base airfare with optional add-ons.

We found that seat selection is the most common hidden fee with over 90% of global airlines and 89% of U.S airlines choosing to include it as an add-on. Airlines started to experiment with seat selection fees back in 2008, and now act as one of the biggest pet peeves of holidaymakers either wanting to travel as a group or have extra legroom.

Rebecca Bebbington, a money travel expert at NetVoucherCodes has curated some top tips to dodge hidden airline fees: “While airlines tend to charge hidden fees that customers don’t expect until they go through the booking process, there are a couple of strategies you can use to help ensure your airfare stays cheap.

“To avoid baggage fees, try fitting all your belongings into a carry-on bag. These tend to be free with budget airlines but be sure to pack strategically to avoid overweight baggage fees.

“You should also research the seat selection fees of different airlines. Consider skipping seat selection during booking and try selecting seats for free during online check-in, within the 24-hour window. If you’re traveling in a group, book tickets together to increase the chances of being seated together without paying extra for seat selection.

“If you’re flying long-haul, research meal options beforehand to see what’s included and avoid being stung with on-flight prices. Sometimes it’s better to prepare snacks beforehand and bring a reusable water bottle to avoid high in-flight food and beverage costs.”




The post Top ten airlines that charge the most hidden fees appeared first on Travel Daily.

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