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Book flights without hidden fees: Avoid extra costs on alleged low-cost flights

It is important for most travelers to be able to save money when booking flights. In fact, within the framework of momondo's 2017 International Travel Study* 49% of respondents say they consider price the most important factor when booking a flight.

Find cheap flights with momondo's flight search
Finding cheap flights is great - but hidden fees can quickly make a supposedly cheap flight expensive. With these tips you can avoid extra costs when booking a flight.

Book flights with no hidden fees

With momondo flight search, you can compare all flight offers from with one click

  • countless airlines, with which you can book directly
  • Travel providers like Opodo or Expediawho provide you with airline tickets

Often customers are then afraid of hidden fees that can be added specifically to travel agencies.

In order to give you the best flight search, momondo requires all of its travel providers to include all mandatory fees in the price, which we then show on our website - so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Note: there is 2 types of fees when booking your flight:

  • Mandatory Fees: In the prices we display, travel providers are required to include the mandatory fees. These include, for example, fees for payment or service fees.
  • Optional fees: Since every traveler has individual requirements, services such as B. Checked baggage, meals on board or certain seats on the plane are subject to optional fees and some airlines charge them extra.

We'll break down these fees for you and show you the best tips to save money and avoid additional fees on your next flight.

Optional fees: baggage fees

You will often find cheap flights that do not include hold baggage, especially with low-cost airlines. So if hand luggage isn't enough for you, you'll have to pay extra. Although the tickets may seem cheaper at first glance, they can end up costing a lot more, depending on whether you want to check in an extra suitcase. Of course, the safest way to avoid such charges is to only travel with hand luggage. But if you can't do without a large suitcase, you should try adding it online. In most cases this is much cheaper than paying the baggage fee at the airport check-in counter. Note that the maximum size for hand luggage differs depending on the airline: To avoid having to pay extra for a suitcase that is too large on site, you should always read the hand luggage guidelines of your respective airline.

Hand luggage only? Tips for easy packing

In general, it's a good idea to weigh your suitcase before leaving for the airport. The weight range for hand luggage ranges from 7 kg to an impressive 23 kg. Checked baggage can normally weigh a maximum of 23 kg. If you exceed these limits, you can expect fees of up to 110 euros in some cases.

Hand luggage: backpack or suitcase?

If you are traveling with someone who usually travels with significantly lighter luggage than you, it is worth using the storage space together. So if your travel companion still has enough space, there's nothing wrong with putting some of your belongings in their suitcase. In this way, you will avoid being confronted with additional fees for excessively heavy luggage at the airport.

Extra costs for reserved seats

If the free choice of your preferred seat is not included in the ticket price (this is very often the case with European low-cost airlines), you can usually reserve a seat for an additional fee.

If you are traveling in a group, you should try to book all tickets in one booking, as this will usually give you seats next to each other. If this is not the case, you can contact the airline's service center by email or phone so that the problem can be resolved.

If you don't mind reaching into your pocket for the seats of your choice, you should use an app like Seatfrog, with which you can buy better seats shortly before departure - usually much cheaper than when booking online.

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Food and drink costs on board

When it comes to eating and drinking on board, each airline has its own guidelines. Some offer free drinks and maybe even a light snack, while others offer absolutely nothing for free. On most long-haul flights, at least one free meal is compulsory for all passengers (this is then included in the ticket price). To be on the safe side, however, you should carefully check the conditions on your respective flight.

10 tips for long-haul flights

Food and drinks at airports may be expensive compared to what is available in cafes and restaurants in cities - but when measured against the food available on airplanes, they are both cheaper and of higher quality: Salt and chemical additives are often added on board so that the food is at high altitude stays fresh. If you still want to have something to eat on the plane, there is also the option of booking a meal or snack online. This is usually cheaper than buying on board. You can take your own bottle of water or other drinks with you on the plane - but only buy them after you have passed the security check. It would be a shame to throw away a whole bottle of water just because it doesn't meet the 100 ml rule and can't go through the control. You can also buy snacks that you can take on board with you after passing the security check in the airport.

Mandatory fees: credit and debit card fees

When you're ready to buy your ticket and get to the payment page, you might notice a slightly higher final price, depending on the payment method you choose. You usually have a choice of different payment methods, from credit and debit cards to bank transfers to online services like PayPal - if possible, choose the one that has the lowest fees. momondo requires all travel providers to list at least one major credit card type that can be used at no additional charge. If you have such a card, you should use it as a payment method. If you only have one type of card, it can be worthwhile in the long run to apply for additional cards to save you the fees. We also don't allow travel providers to add extreme credit card fees after the user has been directed to the final checkout page. If you discover a fee from one of our travel partners that seems completely excessive to you, you should contact us so that we can resolve the problem as soon as possible.

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Travel and travel cancellation insurance

Airlines and online travel agencies often offer you the option of purchasing travel insurance and travel cancellation insurance when purchasing tickets. Cancellation insurance gives you basic protection in case you have to cancel your flight for any reason, and travel insurance protects you when you travel.

You can find more detailed information about the different types of insurance and their scope in the article How to get the best travel insurance for your next trip.

If you know you don't want travel or cancellation insurance, just click the No option. If you are considering taking out such insurance, you should check carefully whether you may already be covered by your bank or insurance company when you are traveling. This will avoid paying twice for insurance that you may already have.

Momondo tools help you avoid additional fees

Fees change all the time, and we do our best to keep you updated with the latest airline information.

If you are ever unsure which fees are included in your price on momondo, you can use the feature "Estimated additional fees“Inform exactly about the additional costs.

The small box above the price clearly opens all the additional fees in a new window. Simply click on the button and get an overview of chargeable extra services that you can book from various providers.

To be on the safe side, it is always advisable to also read the terms and conditions for your ticket purchase. Our fee feature reminds you of potential extra costs before booking your ticket. So you can easily book your next flights with no hidden fees!

* As part of the 2017 ITS survey, momondo asked 24,700 people from 23 different countries about their travel habits.

Other tips that you should keep in mind when booking a flight