Six Low Cost Carrier’s Real Fare costs

I have significant frustration with all of the “extras”, most discount airlines charge and get away with. I understand that airlines want to charge us for our choices (eg carrying a bags on board or choosing to sit at an emergency exit seat).  I don’t agree, however for paying for an everyday seat on the plane. I think it wrong to demand I pay by Credit Card and then charge me a fee to do so. To show taxes as extra also annoys me. I can’t personally make those suckers optional. They should be included in the base fares. I looked up six Low Cost Carrier and compared the fare I would pay versus what they advertised:

1. Edinburgh to Oslo with Ryan Air


Fare advertised:  10 pounds. 
 There are of course no ten pound seats left when I try to book one- The seats are now 26.99 pounds (see right).  They then add:
  •  a compulsory web check in fee of five pounds – If its compulsory I believe it needs to be in the advertised fare
  •  a five pound admin fee (why is this not included in the original fare if everyone is going to be charged it?)
  • bag fee-a 15kg of bag for 20 pounds
  • I choose to board first – Ryanair seats are not allocated – you choose where you want to sit once you are on board so early boarding guarantees you access to the “better” seats.I like the emergency exit so 4 pounds more
  • Travel insurance. I decline it but they are quite persistent at trying to get me to buy it
Total Fare for a ten pound flight? 60.99 pounds. Six times what they advertised.

2. Sydney to Melbourne with Tiger Airways


Fare Advertised: $38.95
Tiger claws these expenses from you:
  • a seat! Yes, the advertised fare entitles me to a ride in the plane but not a seat! Everyone pays for their seat: $4 gets you a poor one (think middle seats and back of plane), $10 are the average seats.  For $30 you get a good one like front row or emergency exit- I choose emergency exit
  • a bag $20 for 15kg
  • a Credit Card fee of $6

Total Fare for  a 39 dollar flight? $94.95 -170% higher than advertised.  It would seem to me that the advertised fare of $38.95 needs to be $48.95 to include the tax, seat fee and “convenience” fee as these are non optional.

3. Atlanta to Washington DC with Spirit Airways


Fare Advertised: $9.00
I searched every flight every day through all of August. Not sure where that $9 seat was hiding. The actual cheapest fare available in all of August: $85.74. Then add:
  • Taxes and fees of $29.40
  • Carry on bag $30 (thats extortion)
  • Checked bag $25
  • Emergency exit seat (my choice) for $20.

Total Fare for  a 9 dollar flight?:  $190.14 ! Ten times the advertised fare. The funniest part of it is that if I join their Spirit club for $39.95, they will reduce my baggage charges by $20! I wonder how many fall for that one. Advertised fare should be: $145.64 (include the carry on baggage charge)


4. Toronto, ON to Vancouver, BC with WestJet



Fare Advertised: $219.00
To that we add taxes and charges:
  • Harmonised Sales Tax: 35.64  -why is this not included in the advertised fare?
  • Airport Improvement Fees:  25.00
  • ATSC: $7.12 (Air Travellers’ Security Charge)
  • NAV/Ins:  $23.00 (I assume Navigation and Air Traffic Control Services)
  • Seats which start at $11.30 (i choose emergency exit for $16.95)

Total Fare for  a $219 dollar flight? $326.71 This is 50% higher than advertised

5. Kuala Lumpar to Phuket with Air Asia



Fare Advertised: 130 MYR
Air Asia adds:
  • Taxes 25MYR
  • Bag 15kg for 20 MYR
  • Meal options are 8 MYR (on such a short flight that makes sense as an extra)
  • To reserve a seat is 5 MYR (25 for a “Hot Seat”)
  • a “convenience fee” of 5 MYR to pay for your ticket

Total Fare for  a  130 MYR  flight:   185 MYR -40% higher than advertised

6. Christchurch, NZ to Melbourne, Australia with Jetstar



Fare Advertised: $169
The Jetstar fare includes the taxes but not a luggage charge of $20. It also includes your seat unless you want an upfront seat ($10) or an emergency exit seat ($25). They also charge you a $5 “extra” for your credit card fee-that is not an extra.
TOTAL FARE for a $169  flight? $194 -16% higher than advertised


The whole system makes comparing fares tricky eg Airline A includes a bag but charges for a seat while Airline B includes all and Airline C waives the seat fee but and charges for bags. Not convinced thats being competitive
Can I please be quoted a fare that includes travel, seat, taxes, check in and booking fee? To bring a bag or ask for an emergency seat, charge me (although I think frequent flyers should get a discount on that charge!)
What do you think? Do you find the charges as annoying as me? Rude? Confusing?

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