Budget Airline vs Cheap Flight

My plans for next year involve a trip to Greece to follow in some of the footsteps of St Paul. The trip starts in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city. I headed across to my flight search engine of choice, Skyscanner. Easy to use you simply type in departure city and destination city. In the case of London you are given several choices and a London (Any) option. Then you add departure date and any other filters you wish to apply.

British Airways vs Easyjet

Two options came up for the date in May when I wanted to travel; British Airways and Easyjet. Both departing from London Gatwick which is far more convenient for me. On the face of it Easyjet was cheaper by £3

Easyjet aircraft inflight
© Easyjet

However as you start to work your way through the booking process there are a number of extras to add. First up is the fee to use a credit card – £2.53. However they are upfront about it in the panel where your final price is displayed. Also in the sidebar was a panel that said

No additional fees. All our fare prices include flight administration fee – what you see is what you pay.

So no admin fee other than that charged for the use of a credit card.

Next you are asked to choose your seat. Depending on which seat you want it can cost anything from £3 to £12. Options include combinations of extra legroom, up front seat, the front row and speedy boarding.

Clicking through and declining the travel insurance option you come to extra luggage fees. If you need any more than what you can get into an carry-on bag then you have to pay and extra £15.38 to check in a 23kg bag.

On the 3 hour 10 minute flight you will have to pay for any food or drink consumed. A snack and drink will probably cost at least £6.

British Airways airplane inflight
© British Airways

British Airways on the other hand only have one surprise; the rather hefty £4.50 for paying by credit card. They are very upfront about no charges for anything else – they would be wouldn’t they. Checked in luggage is included in the price, so is a complimentary snack and drinks. You can choose your seat at check in which you can do online 24 hours before departure or at the airport. However if you want to be certain of any particular seat there is an extra £5 charge.

So how do the two airlines stack up against each other.

The British Airways ticket was £70 on the day I booked. Add to that the credit card fee of £4.50 and the total for the ticket, booked on their website was £74.50

The Easyjet ticket was advertised at £67 on the same day. Add to that the credit card fee of £2.53 and the cost of a checked in bag at £15.38. To bring it into line with some choice of seat offered by British Airways add another £3. Finally add the cost of a snack and drink on board of £6. Total ticket price with Easyjet is £93.91

Like-for-like British Airways wins by a little under £20. If I chose not to eat or drink during the flight (not a good idea), only take hand luggage and take my chance on what seat I can grab then the Easyjet ticket price comes in at just a few pounds cheaper.

Do I want to save £5 pounds? Not really when the extras all come without a price tag. British Airways it is then. Budget airline does not always mean a cheap flight. What are your experiences with so called budget airlines costing more?

Links: Skyscanner.net, ba.com, easyjet.com

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