Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Understanding the Real Costs

I have been posting travel tips trying to help consumers see that there are sometimes hidden fees or extra costs associated with so-called "great travel deals." I just posted a new video earlier today again explaining that there are most likely some asterisks associated with really good deals that you need to read and understand before you get into the booking process.

I came across a so-called deal today that is a great example of what I was discussing. Here is the headline for the special:

$107 & up -- Las Vegas 3-Night Packages w/Air, incl. Taxes*

Notice the asterisk??

Now here is the fine print associated with that asterisk:

* Terms/Conditions:
Offer based on a buy one (1) air/hotel package, get one (1) round-trip companion airfare for free. Minimum two (2) night, two (2) person air/hotel package required. Companion travel must be on same itinerary as regular fare passenger. Must be purchased by July 22, 2009 for travel completed by January 31, 2010. Offer not available Dec. 11–14, Dec. 30–31 and Jan. 1–2, 2010. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11 security fee of up to $10.60 per segment. A convenience fee of $14 per passenger will apply when booked on A convenience fee of $14 per passenger, plus $10 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant Air call centers. When purchased at the time of booking, a first checked bag fee of $15–$20 per bag, per segment. and second checked bag fee of $25 will apply per person, per segment. If purchased at flight check–in, a fee of $35 per checked bag, per person, per segment will apply for the first two bags checked. Additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. A segment is one take–off and one landing. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets.

If you look through the fine print, you will see that additional costs will apply and several others that most likely will apply depending on how you book and how many bags you check on. The actual price could be as much as $100 more per person once you add in the extra fees that the headline does not tell you.

So...just be aware of these fees and it is always a good idea to use a professional and reputable travel agent (shameless plug..ha) to help you understand what a trip will cost well before you get to the point that any payment is made.

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