Sunday, December 10, 2017

Avoiding Extras on Budget Flights

A budget airline may sound like a great deal, until the extras pile up, whether it's the pricy food options or the minimal free carry-on baggage allowances. I get around all of these add-ons by doing the following:

1- I bring my own healthy snacks, such as hummus dip with red pepper and unsalted pretzels; shelled unsalted pistachios, low-fat cheese, high-fiber low-sodium crackers, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, red grapes.

2- I don't check any luggage. Instead, I have a small carry-on that fits the airline's dimensions. I wear my bulkiest clothing and, aside from the shoes I wear, I only pack one additional pair.

3- I don't pay extra for choosing a seat, opting, instead for the seat I'm given.

I was recently interviewed on this topic and my one of my biggest tips is gaining access to an airport lounge without having to pay the day rate. American Express gives its Platinum members free access to lounges all over the world. Not only are lounges a prime place to de-stress but they also have numerous food and beverage options. In some, you're able to take a shower, which is a real perk when traveling across numerous time zones internationally and then having to deal with a long layover. And you can check email without paying a surcharge. Of all the lounges available, its AmEx's own Centurion lounges that are some of the best. The image below reflects just one of the many placid spaces in their lounge at the otherwise horrid LaGuardia Airport in New York City.