Lonely Planet Writer

UK website releases guide to help travellers avoid concealed costs on flights

A leading UK travel website has come up with measures to help passengers avoid hidden charges while flying.

The jet used will be one that
Website helps travellers avoid hidden costs. Image by Getty Images

Cheapflights.co.uk, a global flight search and travel deals site, has issued a guide for travellers on the most levied charges by Britain’s top 20 favourite carriers. The advice, based on changing or cancelling bookings, highlights the extra costs facing airline customers when their travel plans change.

Holidaymakers' concerns
Holidaymakers’ concerns Image by Cheapflights

More than half of UK passengers pinpoint hidden charges as their biggest annoyance surrounding the booking of holidays. Cheapflights managing director, Andrew Shelton, said most travellers don’t like feeling they have been duped by costs, even when they’re not. The website says you should book a flexible fare if there’s the slightest chance your travel plans might have to be changed. It is cheaper to make changes online because there are added fees when changes are made over the phone or at an airport. Cheapflights also says it is important passengers provide proof of identity if names are being changed on a booking.

Thomas Cook charges up tp £70
Thomas Cook charges up to £70 for changes on long-haul flights Image by RHL Images / CC BY-SA 2.0

However, the website stresses that sometimes all is not lost in the event of a non-refundable ticket. It suggests that in the event of an emergency, airlines have the discretion to offer a refund if circumstances are seen as exceptional. Cheapflights also reminds people that they have a 24-hour cooling off period after purchasing any type of ticket to cancel and get a full refund. The biggest snag with the cheapest tickets is the fact that normally there is very little flexibility.

Cheapflights Infographic