Purchase Your Tickets At The Airport To Save More Money At These Airlines
By Shenae Curry
You can save money with certain airlines by buying your tickets at the airport. Sounds like a no brainer right? Wrong.
In an age where almost everything is done digitally, it would seem like new methods would have our best interest at heart but when it comes down to the small print, you’re being charged fees for almost everything.
A writer at USA Today tested out the theory that you can save money on low-cost carriers like Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant airlines by buying your ticket in person at the airport – the “old-fashioned” way.
“These low-cost carriers impose a fee called a Carrier Interface Charge, Electronic Carrier Usage Charge or Passenger Usage Charge on bookings made online or through the call center. It’s usually hidden in the “taxes and fees” portion of your ticket. The amount of the charge depends on the airline and sometimes the flight. It can be as much as $20.99 each way.”
$20.99 that could be used for food or drinks while you wait on your flight.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, if a charge is referred to as a “fee”, it must be for something optional. In this case, your “option” is to go to the airport rather than paying the fee.
Melissa at USA Today reached out to Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit with questions on why they don’t just include phone or online bookings in the fare but got no answer. Her assumption is that fares are subject to a 7.5% federal tax. By charging this optional fee, the airlines can keep ticket prices low and reduce the amount of tax they pay.
Now leaves the question of whether or not it’s worth it to buy online or in person. Obviously, if you’re looking to book a ticket in advance it’s way easier to just use an app or purchase online and take the extra fees with a grain of salt but if you have easy access to the airport, I’d try it out.
Editors from The Arizona Republic put the tickets to the test and indeed saved money on flights by buying tickets at the airport. They landed $21 flights from Vegas to Phoenix which otherwise would’ve been a $40+ flight online.
Feel free to test this out the next time you’re booking a trip and would like to save some extra cash. A few things to keep in mind if you do: check the schedule online before you go to the airport, know which flight and dates you want and bring all of your information with you.