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I've found a ridiculously cheap flight from Southeast Asia to Australia via the flight search engine Adioso which then directs me to the online travel agent Expedia.

It seems that the advertised price is the lowest possible, with no luggage allowance at all. That's fine. But I do need to bring luggage with me.

I can't seem to find a way via these websites to book my ticket with a luggage allowance, or even to find out in advance how much extra the extra luggage allowance will cost.

Given that this is some kind of special price available only via Expedia, booking through the airline direct is not a cheap option.

Expedia tells me to book the ticket through them and then log in to the airline website and add the luggage. But gives me no hint how much the charge could be.

Low Cost Carriers are notorious for price gouging when adding extras so I want to establish the full costs before I commit to booking a ticket.

  • Can you see the airline that will be used? Or is a super-secret deal and you only find out after you book? It should be pretty easy to guess based on the departure point actually, only a few low cost carriers fly to Australia from SE Asia. – SpaceDog Oct 3 '15 at 6:53
  • In this case it's AirAsia but I am a bit paranoid that prices start going up when a flight starts getting attention (-: – hippietrail Oct 3 '15 at 7:06
  • But I also wonder if there's a generic way to find know the fees or maybe a website that lists them all or something like that. – hippietrail Oct 3 '15 at 7:19
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    AirAsia have a handy fees and charges page. In general most airlines have something similar, but I understand you want a generic answer which is why this is just a comment. I'll post an answer if I can dig one up, I've seen tables of charges like you mention but only for US carriers. – SpaceDog Oct 3 '15 at 7:20
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    I think the question is good as a generic one, I can do a generic answer in a few minutes – SpaceDog Oct 3 '15 at 8:58
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Every airline I've ever looked at makes their fees and charges pretty clear somewhere on their web page. For example, here's AirAsia's Fees and Charges page. That's because they generally operate in at least one country where it's legally required. I suppose a really small airline might get away without doing that. Just searching for "[airline name] extra charges" normally brings up the right link in the first page of results.

Alternatively you can pretend to book the same flight on-line and go through the extra charges pages to see what they are. This will often highlight the cost of things after booking as it'll say "Save X% by booking extra luggage now rather than adding it later", or something similar. There was one airline I booked with who did a really shady thing and made you put in (and authorize) your payment details before showing you the 'extras' pages but that was a while ago and I can't remember which one. If all else fails phoning, e-mailing or contacting the airline via social media will probably answer the question.

There's no definitive global list of charges per airline that I can find, it'd be difficult to keep up-to-date and so you'd want to resort to the methods above anyway. However, the Civil Aviation Authority has a table for Europe. For the major US carriers I found a site called Airline Watchdog. I can't find much for other areas of the world.

In general there's a limited number of things you need to worry about, assume that low cost airlines will charge for food and drinks on board (although legally on medium to long haul they may have to provide a free meal, depending where they're going from and to). They may charge to choose your own seat, they'll charge for luggage, and there may be other small charges (Ryanair has so far not managed to charge for using the toilet, and I strongly suspect that was only ever a "it doesn't matter as long as they're talking about you" publicity stunt).

Watch out for extra charges depending on your payment method, these are often not revealed until the very end.

However, in most cases it's in these airlines interest to get you to pay the money up front (less hassle and annoyed customers in the airport, plus they discount it to make it look like a good deal). So they're generally pretty open about the charges on their websites.

  • The only fees I ended up having to pay that I could not find in the fees and charges page were for payment. It seemed every payment method incurred a cost of varying price. Visa cost more than PayPal for instance. – hippietrail Oct 4 '15 at 4:06
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    @hippietrail Good to know, I edited in a line about extra charges for payment methods -- it's a good point and something that's pretty common for low-cost carriers. – SpaceDog Oct 4 '15 at 7:55

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