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Businesses beware: The hidden costs of flying

As the cost of living rises so too have the costs associated with travelling, as airlines cash in by charging unprepared travellers with additional fees. Savvy business owners can avoid these costs though, just by implementing some simple company policies.

According to Stage and Screen Travel Services general manager Sue Garrett additional charges can be prevented if company policies are implemented for employees travelling with extra luggage on a regular basis.

“Any passengers that have travelled with sports equipment such as a surfboard or golf club set, or musicians travelling with instruments will know that excess luggage fees need to be considered well in advance of booking airfares or going to the airport,” Garrett said.

Garrett said fares that appear the lowest in price, may not be so cost-effective when businesses have to take excess baggage costs into consideration.

To avoid any hidden surprises at the check in counter, check the following tips off when organising travel for your employees;

  • Always be sure to read the fine print: excess baggage charges differ with each airline so do your research and become familiar with your chosen airline to avoid any nasty surprises.
  • If flying with a low cost airline that only allows carry on, check to see if you can purchase extra luggage with your booking, as extra fees are significantly higher on the day of travel with budget carriers.
  • Explore joining an airline rewards club that will offer member benefits such as additional weight allowances.
  • When travelling with others, check-in as a group as this will enable all passengers to share the total free baggage allowance.
  • Just because you’re flying, doesn’t mean your luggage has to. Research freight options, which may be a cheaper alternative to airline baggage rates if travelling with equipment of heavier items.
  • If your company travels frequently with a particular airline, investigate the possibility of negotiating excess baggage discounts or waivers.
  • To be best prepared, always check your luggage limit before you travel, make sure to weigh your luggage in advance before travelling and if you have exceeded your weight limit organise the excess costs to be pre paid in advance (this is usually done online) as fees are usually higher for travellers with extra luggage who pay on the day of travel. For example, excess baggage on Qantas domestic flights is $30 per additional piece at the airport, but reduces to $20 per piece if you pre-pay online

– Claire Hibbert is a university student, who’s trying her hand at Journalism as an intern for Dynamic Business.

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