How to Avoid Ancillary Fees on Flights, Ground Travel and Hotels
In years past, booking a hotel room, an airline ticket, or car service for business trips was a rather straightforward procedure. The price of the ticket used to include a slew of services and amenities. That simply is no longer the case. Ancillary fees are on the rise across multiple industries, and these additional fees can quickly add up during a business trip. To keep business trips at a reasonable price, it is best to try and avoid ancillary fees as much as possible. To do so, it is important to remain vigilant and speak directly with the companies you are planning to book with prior to actually committing to anything.
With Air Travel
When booking plane tickets for business trips, it is important to read all of the fine print before committing to the price. Airlines have become notorious for taking on additional fees. You’ll want to look to see if in-flight movies, headsets, drinks and snacks are included in the ticket price, or if they are available for an additional charge. Baggage fees may also apply. While these fees are generally applicable to all fliers, you may be able to garner extras for a lower fee. Speak with a representative rather than booking online to try to accommodate additional luxuries as a minimal cost.
If the ancillary fees cannot be waived or reduced, you might be better off looking at competitors. It is also wise to advise your traveler to bring headsets and food with them, instead of buying the in-flight options. You should also advise your traveler to pack lightly, so a carry-on is all that is needed.
Traveling By Ground
If your business traveler is taking a chauffeured car service, you’ll want to follow the same procedure as you would if booking an airline ticket. Ground travel has many of the same additional fees that airlines have now. As a travel manager, you’ll want to call and speak with a representative before booking the ticket. Ask whether chauffeur gratuity, taxes and baggage fees are included in the quoted price. If they are not included you’ll want to ask for the total before committing to the booking. Make sure you are aware of exactly what is covered in the fee and what is not covered in the quoted price before you commit to booking.
At The Hotel
Hotel ancillary fees have risen in recent years, just as airline fees have. Before you book a hotel for your business travelers make sure to find out what additional fees may be incurred during the stay. Make sure you check to see if parking is included in the room rate, and if not, what type of fee will be incurred to park on premises.
You should also check to see if Wi-Fi is complimentary. While many chains offer free internet access, more and more locations are beginning to charge for the use of Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a necessity for business travelers. Before you book a room, call in advance and try to work out a deal for complimentary service if it is generally not offered. If the chain cannot provide complimentary Wi-Fi, finding an alternative hotel may be a better option. The charges can add up quickly. Like any other booking procedure, be sure to read all of the fine print attached to the pricing before you commit. The fine print often lists out all additional fees that may apply to the stay.
Related article: Hotels That Offer Free Wi-Fi For Travelers