While frequent travelers are well aware of hidden fees, it seems that these days, the travel industry is finding new ways to make ends meet. While travelers are trying to cut costs and their employers are being more cautious about business travel, it pays to be a bit canny. Consumers also are feeling the pinch of rising costs across airfairs, hotels, car rentals and items as simple as boarding passes and pillows.
Phone Booking Fees
You already know this one, basically don’t do it. By booking your flight over the telephone instead of over the Internet, nearly all major airlines charge booking fees for this service. Try to book online whenever possible. Use a fare compare site to compare options and then check against your airline of choice.
Print Your Own Boarding Pass
Some airlines have started charging passengers to print their boarding passes at the airport. If this becomes a standard, print your online boarding pass at the office and bring it with you. You gain time as well by not being in the checkin que.
Travel Light – Don’t Use Checked Luggage
Generally, if you use low cost airlines for business travel, you are going to come up against fees for checked in luggage. If you have to travel with extra bags, try to pay online as this will avoid any airline handling fee and will be chaeper. If you are still one of the lucky ones in Business Class, you may escape these fees. Otherwise, take a carry-on bag instead of checking your luggage to avoid these travel fees. Learn the Wrap method of packing clothes for crease free clothes. Whatever you do thod – know your weight limits and stick to it or pay the price.
Seat Selection Fees
It’s one thing to buy your ticket for a flight, but if you want seat selection – in lower fare flights you will have to pay. These fees can add up if you are picky about seating. Even if your airline doesn’t charge for seat assignments, you may have to pay if you want to sit in a row that has extra legroom.
Priority Boarding Fees
If you want to board your plane early to settle in, get overhead space and not go through the stop start hassle of aisle blockers – most airlines have started charging for the privilege.
Pay for a Pillow
On some flights, a few airlines have started charging for the use of a pillow. American Airlines and US Airways is charging for a package usually like blanket, inflatable neck pillow, eyeshades and earplugs, some packages come with coupons for shopping.
Remember Overseas Credit Card Surcharges
If you plan to travel abroad, be aware your credit card company may levy surcharges on foreign purchases you make. These travel fees are typically about 3 percent of the purchase price. To avoid some of these travel fees, consider prepaying your international hotel and car rental costs. Some card issuers, don’t charge extra for currency conversions and spending overseas.
Rental Car Insurance
Collision-damage waiver, or CDW, insurance is a moneymaker for rental companies, and the bane of travelers. These optional policies cover you if you have an accident or experience a claims while renting a car. The charge for such insurance can really add to the daily cost of a car rental. Check if you already have protection through your credit card company or car insurer. If your credit card already has sufficient protection, you could skip the optional coverage – make sure to use that credit card when you make your rental reservation.
Hotel Wi-Fi for a Fee
Many major hotel chains, charge for high-speed Internet access in your hotel room. To avoid these charges, ask if free Wi-Fi is available in common areas, such as the lobby. Also, ask the front desk or concierge if there are restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi nearby. If you are not abroad and are still in your phones coverage, use your smartphone to surf. In large cities, free WI-FI is common, start up your computer and check. If you are staying for a week or so – look at cheap mobile broadband, you only need the chip if you have an Android – and turn your phone into a router.