The airport is a really fun place, but if you don't play your cards right, it can also be a really daunting place, too. That sounds very odd in principle, but it's the truth.
One of the primary reasons for that is the constant threat of additional fees that may need to be paid. Sometimes you have to pay some extra cash because your luggage is too heavy, your bag is too big, or you hadn't actually told the airline about that extra bag you're holding. Here are 10 ways to avoid paying extra fees the next time you're at the airport.
10 Choose A Backpack Over A Suitcase
If you get spotted with a suitcase as part of your hand luggage, that automatically increases your chances of having to pay an additional fee. Why? Because even the smallest of suitcases are still pretty notable in size, and you'll be asked about it as soon as someone spots it.
We would recommend using a backpack instead of a suitcase. It functions really well and has a lot of different compartments (and it also factors into one of our other entries later on).
9 Pay Beforehand
If you’re someone that likes to play by the rules, then boy oh boy do we have an entry for you.
It really is simple: if you’re concerned about the possibility of spending more money before the holiday is even underway, just get online and double-check to see if you actually need to pay the required fees that you’re expecting. It’s usually going to be a lot cheaper, and while it may be a hit, it almost certainly isn’t going to be as bad as you are imagining in your head. It never is.
8 Quick Drop-Off
These days it really is quite common to see people getting stopped and fined or the spot or fined after the fact due to the drop-off zone. Even if you’ve gone over the amount of time you’re allotted to be in there for by 30 seconds, they will almost always make sure to catch you in the act.
As such, make sure you say as quick of a goodbye as you possibly can with whoever you’re dropping off so that you can help move things along.
7 Show Your Strength
Picture the scenario: the airport staff are scanning everyone’s bags in order to see which are the biggest, and which are the smallest.
In a call back to our first entry, if you have a backpack and it’s pretty heavy and/or big, there’s still a good chance they’re going to take a look if you’ve gone overboard. So then, if you decide to put it onto your back and soak up the pain of the weight, you’ll massively decrease your chances of receiving a fine. They’ll see that it is on your back, and they will automatically assume that means it is fine to take on the plane.
6 The Final Call Run
It’s incredibly risky to try and time when you’re going to get to your gate, especially if your aim is to wait until the final call. So, why would you do this in the first place?
One of the main reasons is because for every minute you are late, the airline/airport is losing quite a lot of money.
Therefore, when you’re running to the gate at final call, all they’re going to care about is getting you on the plane. They aren’t going to worry about the weight of your bag or how many bags you actually have in your possession.
5 Show Confidence
It could be the way you dress or simply the way that you address the staff, but either way, you need to try and showcase your confidence as much as you deem humanly possible. We know that this isn’t some kind of dramatic performance that you’re trying to put on, but as long as you treat it that way, you’ll have a great chance at not catching their attention.
Let’s face it, most of the extra charges they try and implement are a bit silly, so stay confident.
4 Bring Your Own Liquid Bags
It’s going to sound ridiculous, but there are some airports out there that will insist upon charging you for a liquid bag. Most of us don’t think to bring one or just expect them to be free but be warned that this isn’t always the case.
Therefore, our advice would be to buy a relatively cheap, reusable bag that will ensure you never have to purchase another one again (well, until your purchase has a hole in it). It’s so simple, yet it could save you time, money and an extra headache.
3 Wear Extra Layers
It may be the middle of the summer but if you want to make sure your baggage allowance doesn’t tick on over into the “you need to pay extortionate fees” territory, this is a sacrifice you will have to make.
You may just need to wear one extra hoodie or you might have to wear three pairs of trousers, but one way or the other, you should be doing everything within your power to utilize your resources as they are presented to you.
2 Pack Smart
Before you even arrive at the airport, you need to pack smart. If you’re going for seven nights and it’s somewhere incredibly hot that you’re visiting, then you probably don’t need 14 t-shirts, 12 pairs of shorts and a thick, cozy sweater.
We all overpack purely because we want to make sure we’re prepared for every possibility or eventuality, but there are points in time where you need to stop and realize that it’s better to be safe than to be sorry. And chucking away clothes at the airport, or panicking and paying the fee, is not a feeling we want to experience.
1 Read The Fine Print
It’s boring and it shouldn’t be as much of a necessity as it is, but you really do have to double-check the fine print in any contract or document that comes along with your adventure. Cheaper airlines are especially notorious for wanting to slip in different rules and regulations, knowing that most of their customers won’t read through them properly.
This could quite easily be the difference between you being able to afford that extra cocktail when you arrive at the hotel or having to settle for water before your funds transfer across from a savings account.