Budget airline extras can double flight pricesBaggage, food and extra legroom costs can add up

26 December 2013

Budget airline extras that can double flight prices

Which? has found holidaymakers using budget airlines could see overall flight costs double if they choose all the airlines' extras .

We found taking up common add-ons with well-known no-frills airlines could increase the cost of your flight by up to 94%.

We compared costs for putting a bag in the hold, booking a reserved seat with extra legroom, paying by credit card and grabbing a sandwich and a hot drink on the flight. 

Airline add-ons can add up

Monarch and Ryanair had the highest charges for the extras when compared with the cost of the flight, with the overall cost of flights for these airlines increasing by 94% and 86% respectively. 

Ryanair charged the most for hold luggage at £30, while Monarch and EasyJet charged the highest price for a sandwich and a hot drink at £6.50. 

We applied the cost of going all-out on extras to one scenario - a short-haul flight to Tenerife for a spring break - with the airlines most used by Which? members. 

How do the traditional airlines compare?

If you want these added extras when you fly, are you better off going for a more traditional airline? 

As a snapshot, we took a look at what British Airways would offer on the same flight to Tenerife. Most British Airways fares include one free 23kg bag and some refreshments, though exactly what is included varies depending on where you fly. 

You can reserve a seat free of charge 24 hours before departure (or in certain circumstances at the time of booking), although choice may be limited. Booking a seat in advance is possible, and costs from £8, but you can only pre-purchase extra legroom on long-haul flights. Paying by credit card would set you back £4.50. 

Best deals on no-frills flights?

You should check exactly what extras you can't do without and calculate what this will mean for costs before deciding which airline will offer the best option for you. 

Paying by debit or prepaid card will avoid additional credit card charges, and you could also consider sharing one hold bag on your flight to keep costs low. 

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