Too good to be true! Yep, that was I thought when I saw some Airlines with a 1 Peso ticket promotion. Of course there will be hidden charges and other charges that you’ll encounter once you are about to check out and process the payment. And if ever there are low price tickets, airline staff, their relatives and friends will be ahead of the line and will sell like a hot cake. So, the passengers who receive the frequent email newsletter don’t have any tickets to avail. Am I talking about Cebu Pacific? Maybe, maybe not. I will leave it at that.
Anyway, like what the article title says, I just booked 8 tickets with AirAsia for our very first family trip in Boracay. All are round trip tickets from Clark to Kalibo. At first I thought it was cool that one round trip ticket will only cost me P2,571.00 (US$59.79 $1=P43) and total for eight will be P 20,568.00 (US$478.33 $1=P43). But as I breeze through the booking procedure, these are the additional charges that I have encountered.
1. P2,571.00 includes Aviation Security Fees, Fuel Surcharge and 12% VAT and these charges are each way.
Total of the ticket without add-ons
2. Choosing your seats. It is always convenient to choose your seats online prior to your departure, in case you are late on check-in you already have an assigned seats. This is advisable if you are travelling in group and you all want to seat alltogether.
Other airlines will allow you to book your seats after the flight itinerary is confirmed and no additional charge at all. But with Air Asia, the online booking system will allow you to book your seats and by default it will choose the best seats available and the costliest one if there are still available. Per seat cost PHP 450.00 plus 12% VAT for one way. Let’s say PHP450.00 + 12% VAT = PHP 504.00; then multiply it by two for the round trip. The total additional charges for one person is PHP1,008.00 (USD$23.50). And if you are booking for eight people, that is a whopping PHP8,064.00 (USD$187.50). No way Jose!
To save money, I chose the not so expensive chairs that can seat us all in one place and not to be scattered all over the plane. Per seat cost PHP90.00 + VAT x 2 way = PHP202.00 (USD$4.70). Not to bad, but still an additional cost that could ruin your travel budget.
3. Another possible charge is travel insurance. It is advisable that a passenger is protected when traveling, if you have spare budget for your travel then go for it. AirAsia give you an option to purchase it online and will cost you PHP329.75 + 12% VAT. The total amount to be charged additionally is PHP369.30 (USD$8.60). But if you have travel insurance then you can skip this section. I did not avail this add-on even though it is advisable.
4. Luggage’s, Food, etc. Another add-on that I am forced to include is the luggage which is charged per one way trip. There were three options, No luggage which is free of charge of course, a luggage up to 15 kgs and a luggage up to 20 kgs. I chose the 15 kgs and it cost me PHP258.93 + 12% VAT. The total amount for the round trip was PHP580.00 (USD$13.50). Imagine if you are booking for eight passengers.
Then the in-flight food, it is an option but I added one meal of Chicken Adobo Combo for the Clark to Kalibo flight and nothing for the return. In case everyone gets hungry, you can always ask the Flight Attendant to sell you. The price is much higher than if you add it to your ticket.
Price is PHP139.00 (USD$3.20) and that includes VAT.
Everything you purchase in the Philippines includes 12% VAT (Value Added Tax), but to think of it, NOT everything.
Total of one round trip ticket to Kalibo, Aklan