I tried to book a cheap flight avoiding extra charges – the results

As summer approaches, I’m dreaming of a beach break in sunny Spain. I tried booking a cheap flight on easyJet, Ryanair, TUI and Jet2 to see how many extras each airline offered and how easy they were to avoid.


On the easyJet website, I tried to book a flight from London Gatwick to Ibiza on July 7. The base price of the flight on the website was £75.99. This got me a seat on the plane and one piece of cabin baggage that had to fit under the seat in front.

The budget airline immediately asked me if I wanted to upgrade to standard plus for £41.49 which would also get me a cabin bag for the overhead locker, speedy boarding and an upfront seat. I could also have opted for the essentials fare which includes an under-seat cabin bag, a hold bag of 23kg and a standard seat for £50.48.

After skipping both those options, I was taken to seat selection and offered the choice of picking a seat for upwards of £5.99. I skipped this, opting for a free seat allocated at check-in. If you can’t see the option to skip, it’s at the top right corner on easyJet.

I then had to skip past two luggage option pages, an option to book car rental, a food and drink voucher and travel insurance before I could book my flight at the original price of £75.99.

If you are looking to book an extra bag for the cheapest price on easyJet, check out our guide.


On Ryanair, I tried to book a flight from London Gatwick to Alicante on July 8 at a standard fare price of £98.03.

My value fare would only get me one small bag that had to fit under the seat in front, while I was offered three more options to upgrade for more luggage and a seat, ranging from £29 more to £87 more.

Ryanair then directed me to a seat selection page with prices starting from £10 to choose a seat. I chose to continue with a seat although the airline warned me that I could end up with a less desirable seat such as the middle one.

I was then asked if I wanted to add luggage. When I chose to skip this option, the airline warned me I could be charged a fee if I brought too much luggage to the airport. Ryanair then offered the option to skip the security queue for £5 or to buy travel insurance.

I was also offered car rental, transfers and parking which I had to skip before booking the flight for £98.03. If you want to book extra luggage on Ryanair, check out our guide to securing the cheapest fare.

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I tried to book a TUI flight from London Luton to Lanzarote on July 9 at a price of £286 per person.

The TUI fare included an overhead cabin bag weighing up to 10kg but I was offered the option to add a piece of hold luggage for upwards of £20.

The airline also offered the chance to choose a seat for £16 before check-in, although it made it very clear that a standard seat was included in the price of the ticket.

The only other extras TUI offered was airport parking, making it very easy to get to the check-out page and purchase the flight for £286.


On Jet2 I tried to book a flight from London Stansted to Malaga on July 8 for £171. The fare included 10kg hand luggage and I was offered the option of adding a 22kg hold bag for £33 at the next page.

The airline also asked me to select a type of check-in. Online check-in was free but I would have to pay £12 to check-in at the airport.

I was then asked to select a seat for a price upwards of £9.50 for a standard option. Although it seemed like I had to pay for a seat to continue, just scroll to the bottom of the page to continue for a free allocated seat at check-in.

At the final page before booking, I was offered the choice of pre-booking a meal or travel insurance before I could book the original fare for £171.


The price you first see isn’t usually the final price when you’re booking with a budget airline unless you’re happy to travel with very little luggage. Watch out for extra fees such as having to pay if you haven’t checked in online.

It’s important to remember you can skip all the extra services even if at first glance it seems as though you need to select a paid service.

Free seats will always be allocated at check-in so don’t panic about paying for a seat unless you’re desperate to sit with your travel companions.

Ryanair and easyJet’s fares are very cheap but usually only come with one small bag so make sure to add up all the options before booking a flight.

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