5 Ways to Save Money on Flights


Research the Fees

When you're searching online for airline tickets, the first price you see may not always be the price you ultimately pay. Often there are numerous taxes and fees that are not reflected in the initial cost of a ticket, so it's important that you be aware of any additional charges when you're researching airfare.

Some taxes and fees are mandatory and are tacked on to the price of every ticket. However, airlines are not always upfront about these additional costs. Prices quoted in advertisements or in the initial stages of a fare search are often base rates that don't reflect taxes and fees. When comparing airfare prices, ensure that the amount you're quoted is the final price; taxes and fees can add 30 percent or more to the base price of an airline ticket.

Perhaps the most reviled airline charge is the baggage fee. First instituted on the first checked bag by American Airlines in June 2008, the fee was intended to offset the cost of rising fuel prices. All American carriers charge between $15 and $33 for the first checked bag with the exception of Southwest and JetBlue, which charge nothing. All except Southwest charge $15 to $40 for the second checked bag [source: FareCompare]. Since checking just one bag can cost you an extra $50 on a round-trip flight, consider traveling with only a carry-on. Otherwise, factor the baggage fees into the price of the ticket when shopping for the best deal.