In a winter as cold as this one — when record low temperatures are sweeping the country — planning a vacation seems like the only way to stay sane. You can’t help but to look up airfare prices, whether you’re determined to flee the frigid chill (even if only for a weekend) or you’re already fantasizing about a balmy summer getaway. As you search flight prices, you’re pleasantly surprised by what you see from low-cost carriers: $46 from Akron to Miami? $139 from Chicago to Palm Springs? Perhaps sun and warmth don’t have to be distant memories after all.
Cheap ticket prices are enticing, but they can also be deceptive. Unlike larger carriers, low-cost airlines begin by showing you base prices that don’t include luggage, in-flight snacks, and other fees. Some even charge for carry-on luggage, and you may need to shell out if you’re tall and want adequate legroom. You’ll likely pay extra to choose your own seat, so budget carriers aren’t all that budget-friendly if you’re particular about your flying experience.
Even if you don’t mind traveling light and you’re comfortable rolling the dice on your seat assignment, don’t book that low-cost ticket just yet. Double-check where they fly out of — you may find yourself departing from a smaller hub that lacks the transportation options and amenities of larger airports.