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Old 11-15-2019, 11:56 PM
 
Location: NYC
4,101 posts, read 2,391,727 times
Reputation: 12027

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So today I got an email of a fare sale that got my attention. NYC to Madeira Island (FNC) plus a layover of up to 5 days in Lisbon for $226 RT advertised. That's pretty good right? Madeira only recently got on my radar after seeing a couple of youtube videos that really surprised me - the old town of Funchal looks like parts of Rome & not like some over developed resort town, plus Lisbon has become a favorite destination for me. $226? I'm going!

When I start the process of booking I realize that I want a longer, open ended trip & go to southern Portugal afterwards. Plus the specific advertised fare had a 12 hour layover. So I look at OW fares: NYC-LIS (5 day layover)-FNC $93! I take time to check dates, weather, my schedule, etc., & about an hour later I start booking. The OW airfare has increased to $112, no problem.

Booking my ticket & the inevitable fees & taxes I expected now bring it to $183 total, almost double the price but still really good for a one way, transatlantic/multi-day layover/2 destination trip. Seating comes up... another $15! Per leg! This is the first time I've ever run across paying more when selecting my seat. And $70 for "Economy Plus". Since this is a long red-eye & I'm party-sized & old I figure I deserve the "Plus" on the JFK leg: another $85 tax inc.

Ok, I'm not complaining $263 is still a pretty good deal (but it's not $93).

So I get my etickets by email & I'm reading the fine print at the bottom:

BAGGAGE POLICY
JFKLIS
1ST CHECKED BAG: 130.00USD
LISFNC
1ST CHECKED BAG: 80.00USD

Another $210!!!! I didn't see anywhere while I was booking online that baggage would be extra but I honestly wasn't looking since my usual preferred carrier gives me 1 free checked bag & it slipped by me tbh.
Now I'm (theoretically) paying $473, unless there are more surprise "add-ons"(meals, power & I think wifi come with my "Plus" seat). A pretty far cry from $226 or $93.

In reality I have a credit card that will credit me that extra baggage fee, but still I feel more than a bit p***d off. I can do carry-on for the JFK/LIS leg but I expect the LIS/FNC will be a smaller plane with Euro carry-on limits. (I don't think my smaller Euro carry-on will provide for the extra weeks I'm planning to spend in the Algarve after Madeira.) So now it's more like $343 & I'll get an $80 rebate from my cc. I tell myself that means I'm only spending $263 again. (I'll return home on FF points & my bag should be free.)

Okay most of this is venting but I think I did ok, but just a heads up if you're booking a "great fare" not to get too sold on it before really looking at all the sundry fees: meals, bags, distance secondary airport is from hotel, etc.,.. I remember a few years ago Ryanair tried charging for restroom use.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:51 AM
 
Location: NC
8,044 posts, read 10,838,903 times
Reputation: 17196
Thanks for the warning. I had not flown in several years and it took me hours to compare airlines and flights due to all of these ways people have found to upcharge. About half of the economy seats had different premiums. Then add cancellation insurance, which if you need to invoke it is a whole additional thing to go through apparently.

The marketing/business majors call this “adding value” by which they mean adding profitability. Really all it does is add obfuscation.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:08 AM
 
20,327 posts, read 11,900,541 times
Reputation: 35088
Welcome to the world of Basic Economy. Any service has a fee. Most flights within Europe are like that now at the lowest fare. You’re assigned a seat when you check in. You can only take one piece of small hand luggage. Even water on the flight has a charge.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Mexico City
9,847 posts, read 4,745,040 times
Reputation: 16886
That $130 is an absolutely brutal checked bag fee.

Most I've ever paid to check a bag is $50.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
17,467 posts, read 23,145,163 times
Reputation: 29790
What credit card reverses the checked bag fee for ALL airlines????
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Tricity
47,492 posts, read 68,292,130 times
Reputation: 108928
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
That $130 is an absolutely brutal checked bag fee.

Most I've ever paid to check a bag is $50.
Maybe, maybe not. Those "super cheap" flights still cost exactly the same as regular (or even more) - is just a game with the numbers.
There was time when all fees were included in total price (loved it!) but to make the rising flight costs more appealing they switched to segmentation and now you have bare price plus adds on.
I often noticed a super low airfare like $85 plus $600 in taxes!
The "idea" behind it was that all adds on should be people's choice and some might take full advantage of the offerings and some not. Some can fly cheaper than those who want full comfort with food and drink, leg room, window view, overhead compartment space, 2 pieces of luggage plus carry on.
Of course for average customer most of them are necessary - everyone has some luggage and everyone has to eat and drink something during long flights. However, there are super thrifty people that wear layers of clothes, eat and drink before boarding or bring water and snacks with them to the cabin. Those people have a chance to fly cheaper than others.
I heard that some airlines try to make the economy class so uncomfortable and unappealing that no one would buy the tickets and they could get rid of the bargain seats and make them economy plus, for higher price, of course.

So, yes - there are very cheap flights, but if you are an average customer with all basic needs, and you add all those ads-on to your ticket price, you will end with a normal air ticket price, not a bargain.

Also - choose your flights and airlines carefully. There are still some that offer pretty good deals and don't add luggage charge.

Note: the computer price often rise when you repeatedly check on items without cleaning cookies and history of your browsing. Their algorithm figures out that you are interested, therefore willing to pay higher price. You can often see it on Amazon too.
Try to use incognito browser.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Tricity
47,492 posts, read 68,292,130 times
Reputation: 108928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
What credit card reverses the checked bag fee for ALL airlines????
I don't know about ALL airlines, but there are credit cards, like some co-branded airline credit cards that offer travel credits each year that you can use for checked bag fees, upgrades, food & drinks, priority boarding and other airline charges.

Read more here:
https://www.johnnyjet.com/avoid-bagg...-credit-cards/
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:40 AM
 
3,595 posts, read 2,497,877 times
Reputation: 4543
The real reason for basic economy is that folks shop by price, and air fare search engines typically sort by price. So airlines developed what are called "unbundled fares". If you do the math, you'll often find that, if you want to select your seat in advance, the old fashioned regular economy fares are cheaper. They're harder to find, though, and much harder to compare.

Airlines know about website stickiness - once a prospective customer lands on an airline's site, they're less likely to look elsewhere, even if elsewhere could be lower cost. That's stickiness.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:14 AM
 
2,882 posts, read 4,554,014 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
BAGGAGE POLICY
JFKLIS
1ST CHECKED BAG: 130.00USD
LISFNC
1ST CHECKED BAG: 80.00USD

Another $210!!!! I didn't see anywhere while I was booking online that baggage would be extra but I honestly wasn't looking since my usual preferred carrier gives me 1 free checked bag & it slipped by me tbh.
Now I'm (theoretically) paying $473, unless there are more surprise "add-ons"(meals, power & I think wifi come with my "Plus" seat). A pretty far cry from $226 or $93.
You have some sort of a point but you are mixing up a lot of different things. Economy plus, seat selection, 3-week trip to Algarve.. you are far from the advertised fare because you picked far from the advertised product.

Regarding the quote above, where did you buy your ticket? I easily found the $225 RT ticket on the TAP web site and you very clearly get to pick your fare and it is very clear that basic economy is cheaper than economy but does not include a baggage allowance nor seat selection. If you pick economy from the outset, it’s $60 USD extra from NYC to Funchal (not $210) and another $60 extra for the return, and then you get a checked bag.
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:17 AM
 
Location: NYC
4,101 posts, read 2,391,727 times
Reputation: 12027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
What credit card reverses the checked bag fee for ALL airlines????
Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel-focused CC with a large annual fee but gives a $300 annual credit for travel expenses & I'm going early in 2020, "travel" is also liberally defined to include buses, Uber, etc... (It also includes primary rental auto insurance, no foreign transaction fees & upgraded airport lounge access & a lot of other benefits.)
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