Attention Travelers:


The crack CTM research team, headed by our own Jenna Nassrah, has investigated a number of international
discount and traditional carriers, including many that are listed on our website.

Bottom line: while their low fares are definitely for real, the add-ons can double or triple the amount. Here is
the lowdown on how to protect yourself from higher than expected surcharges.


1. After getting the fare, be sure to add in all Taxes and Fees; Examples of unanticipated add-ons include:
    a. ticketing fee
    b. phone fee v. using the net
    c. fuel surcharge
    d. airport surcharge
    e. security surcharge

2. Keep Baggage to a minimum. Some charge for:
    a. all checked baggage
    b. any more than one checked bag
    c. overweight and/or oversize bags
    d. sports equipment
    e. large sports equipment (bikes, golf clubs, surfboards)
    f.  musical instruments
    g. baggage for infants (some have no baggage allowance at all for infants; others have an allowance,
        but much lighter than for adults - 22pounds vs. 44-50 pounds)
    h. non pre-paid baggage (paying at the airport instead of ahead of time, online)

3. Where possible, bring your own food; otherwise, there could be charges for:
    a. soft, medium and hard drinks (water, tea, coffee, alcohol, soda, juice)
    b. snacks (cookies, crackers, candy, soup, sandwiches)
    c. headsets (not exactly food, but didn’t have a better category to use)

4. Credit and Debit Cards
    a. several charge a fee for debit cards
    b. some charge a fee for credit cards and, where they do, it may be up to 5 times higher than for debit cards

5. Boarding
    a. some offer priority boarding for a fee (so you don't have to make a mad dash)
    b. some charge for ticketing at the airport

6. Infants and children
    a. some will not let you purchase a ticket for an infant, thus no infant seat onboard the plane
    b. infant car seats count as checked baggage on airlines
    c. some airlines charge for gate-checked strollers
    d. a diaper bag counts as the carryon luggage
    e. infants get no baggage allowance when on a parent's lap and reduced allowances with a child's ticket