Keeping costs down when you go traveling is essential if you want to travel longer. Most likely your biggest expense will be airfare. But is it always best to book the cheapest flight?
As my time in Southeast Asia was coming to an end, it was time to book a flight back to New Zealand. So I done my usual and checked around all the price comparison sites and booked the cheapest flight.
Flying from Kuala Lumpur the cheapest flight available was with Air Asia. A cheap no thrills airline. The itinerary was to fly to Melbourne change flights and depart for New Zealand.
Having flown through Australia many times I am aware that if you fly into the country and your connection to your next flight is less than 8 hours then you do not need to acquire a transit visa.
Transit Visas. Certain passport holders, including all European Union passport holders do not need a transit visa if they: Will depart Australia by air within 8 hours of the scheduled time of their arrival; and. They hold confirmed onward booking and documentation necessary to enter the country of their destination– Taken from government website
As my transit was only for two hours there was no need for me to obtain a transit visa. Or so I thought…
As Air Asia are cheap ass fuckers, it is written in their policy buried in the small print, in the depths of one of the worst websites to navigate around that states, unless you have a visa for Australia, then permission to board the plane will not be granted. Basically they don’t want to incur for any costs if passengers are refused entry into Australia and have to fly you back to your original destination. I was pissed.
What can you do? The only way to board that flight was if I had a visa. So after unleashing some of my anger towards the “customer service” staff (which gets you nowhere by the way), I frantically tried to obtain a visa online.
Needless to say after my ranting, poor customer service and dismal internet connection at the airport we missed out flight. Not only did we miss our flight but we had to pay for new flights. Which was definitely an expense I could have done without after 5 months of travel.
It’s safe to say that I will never fly Air Asia again but would I fly budget again? Well there are a few factors to consider when flying budget airlines. Always keep an eye out for extra expenses. Does your flight include baggage? If you get to the airport and baggage is not included this can almost double the price at times. How long is your flight? If it’s a long haul flight over 8 hours do you want to have to pay for your meals? Do you want to stare into the seat in front of you for 12 hours because there is zero entertainment on board?
These are some of the reasons budget airlines are so cheap. So next time booking a flight, don’t always go for the cheapest as it can sometimes end up costing you more.
Have you had similar problems with budget airlines?
P.S please share this if you know someone who is booking budget airlines or has to transit through Australia.
Follow me on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bonvoyagebryan/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bon_voyage_bryan/
YouTube – https://youtube.com/bonvoyagebryan