Hidden Extras

Gone are the days when our idea on getting a flight was to work out when we could escape work and hit the nearest airport.  Almost invariably Heathrow.  These were the days when timing and convenience were the most important factors.  Flights to Turkey were with BA and THY.

It is different now.  We are no longer constrained by work schedules and demands, and cost has become far more of an important factor.  So this week we started to look at options for a visit to the UK and Ireland in October.  Trawling ebookers and various airlines for the best deals, all the usual suspects, Pegasus, Easyjet, Monarch, Sun Express, Thomas Cook and a quick comparison with THY, BA and Lufthansa.  Lufthansa actually had some fairly good deals into Heathrow, but we no longer have a need to use Heathrow and the return departure was at some stupid hour in the morning which would have meant a hotel in the Heathrow area or a taxi which would have cost as much as a hotel.

This is always the issue with cheap flights, especially the budget airlines.  Arriving at Stansted at 23.45 or departing from Gatwick at 06.00 rapidly results in expenses which can more than wipe out any savings.  It is also worth checking for the other added costs, baggage, insurance, not printing your own boarding cards, and so forth.  We spent quite a while working through the various prices of flights, the hidden extras, and the additional costs of transport or accommodation to fit with departure and arrival times.

In the end we got what we needed, potentially with transfer costs from home to Adnan Menderes, but these are not unreasonable and a lot less than the alternatives.  This time to the UK and back with Pegasus, which at least means we can go shopping in the UK and not worry too much about weight.  Unlike some budget airlines, like the one we are using between the UK and Ireland, Pegasus include hold baggage up to 20 kilos in the ticket price.

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6 responses to “Hidden Extras

  1. I know, I gave up with most chartered airlines between London and Sweden as the cost of internal transport negated totally, if not made it more expensive, that a straight schedule Heathrow-Gothenburg.

    • We live fairly close to Izmir and only really look at flights from there. We get a reasonably priced private transfer if the times are difficult but, if we can get the train, it’s about £2.00 each. There’s a National Express bus from Stansted to Luton which, again, is pretty reasonable. Scheduled flights were an arm and a leg when we looked. We tend not to eat Pegasus. We take borek or sandwiches or something. It’s not chartered, but it is quite cheap.

  2. I do this every time. Spend hours checking out flight costs, but always end up back with THY. By the time you add in all the extras with the budget airlines, plus the inconvenient times, it doesn’t cost anymore with THY…in fact I have at times paid less. Pegasus would always be a second choice for me though because of the baggage allowance,although Stansted isn’t as convenient for me as Heathrow.

    • In this case THY were about twice the price of Pegasus. I know that is not always so. Our flight out is via Istanbul, which is a bit of a rush if the plane is late out from Izmir. We did spend a bit more to get the flights that arrive in Stansted at a time the cheap bus to Luton is still running.
      We were very anti-Stansted when we lived in London but it does have advantages over Heathrow.

  3. . . there will come a time when flying and strap-hanging on the underground will meld into the same experience.

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