How Booking A More Expensive Airplane Ticket Can Actually Save You Money
For many of us, travel is a luxury that's only attainable through a combination of sales, deals and promotions, meaning, it's a subjective possibility at best. Though sometimes the sound of an airfare ticket sale might seem extra alluring (when you're trying to travel on the cheap), it's often not the best value. According to The Points Guy's 2019 airline report, airline ticket inclusions often make a full-priced ticket more valuable. Aka, saving a few bucks on a ticket price might not save you more money than a full-price ticket that comes with a free meal, or other accommodations that you'd have to otherwise pay for.
What's more, some full-price ticket inclusions go as far as to cover the cost of traveling with a child, or giving you access to an airport lounge. These kinds of inclusions can save you far more money (and hassle) than however much money you'd save on a flash sale. That said, these kinds of equations aren't totally intuitive. Saving a few hundred dollars on a ticket price will totally save you more money than getting a free meal, so you'll have to run the numbers for each offer.
So, before you book your next trip, enticed by a very low ticket price, make sure you check out the inclusions and do the math. What you might find, Summer Hull of The Points Guy tells Bustle, is that it's not always worth it to jump on that sale, because for what you save in one area, you'll spend more in another. Here are some amazing inclusions that come with some airline's full-priced tickets, according to Hull:
Yes, if you if fly Business Select on Southwest, you can get a free adult beverage when you board. Though a small inclusion, if you usually spend $14 on a drink, this is something to consider.
First To Board
Business Select on Southwest also gives you the privilege of being the first to board, Hull tells Bustle. If that's important to you and it takes you a while to get adjusted and ready for your flight, this might be valuable, despite not technically saving you money or time. Additionally, Southwest offers free WiFi and entertainment on all flights when you download the Southwest app.
Jet Blue flights offer free WiFi, so if you have work to do, and don't want to pay for in-flight internet access (which sometimes costs over $30) this is definitely something to consider.
On all JetBlue flights, you'll get free snacks too, Hull shares. Though flight attendants usually only offer you one to two little snack packages of chips, cookies, or nuts, you can always request more — and they're usually very generous. Relying on a few snacks being available on the plane will save you a few bucks from the gate shops which sell snacks at a premium.
"Those business and first class lounges might include full-service meals, open bars, rooms to shower, nap, and more," Hull tells Bustle, all of which can be an invaluable perk when you're traveling far or for work. Though you might spend hundreds more on the ticket, you might save hundreds on all of the included services you have access to.
Bring A Kid For Free
According to Hull, "Frontier Airlines booked with a Discount Den membership may result in the right to bring a kid along on the trip for free." While additional taxes may apply — as well as a membership to Discount Den, a subscription service that gives you access to low ticket prices and saving options — this can be a huge saving worth taking into consideration.
Fast-Track Through Immigration
According to Hull, if you book an international trip in business class (with miles or cash), you may be fast-tracked through immigration in certain countries, when allowed. Check with the airline before booking the ticket to ensure that the international business class ticket includes TSA perks, as this inclusion varies.