Lonely Planet Writer

The price of no frills?

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It's a great time for those who want to fly. Air fares are plummeting as airlines try and win back travellers who've been driven away by high prices and economic anxieties.

But with the deals comes trimming - extra charges for checked bags, meals, pillows, even use of the bathroom. The fine print also tends to enlarge. The flight's only $20, but if we cancel it, tough luck. If you're late checking in, there's a hidden fee. And so on.

So is the bargain worth the (sometimes not terribly obvious) bother? These travellers share some experiences mixed with the fine print (and customer service) that comes with cheap flights, meanwhile, these members wonder how prices can actually be so low.

What are your experiences with cheap airfares? Is there a better range out there than ever? Or do some hidden costs make it not worth the effort after all? Does customer service go out the window when you fly shoestring?

Do the homework before you take advantage of some of those enticing offers on our Travel on a Shoestring forum.

[Photo: raphco/Flickr]