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What is Base Fare?

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    Jonathan Chum

What is a base fare? A base fare is the amount of money an airline is charging you to get from one place to another.

If you have ever seen television commercials with prices for plane tickets that are too good to be true, there is a chance that the commercial was only quoting something called the base fare. Of course, there are other charges that you have to pay if you are planning on flying somewhere. As experienced travelers, we have been surprised by the total cost of our trip more than once. This has given us the foresight to anticipate these charges in the future. We would like to pass this on to you so that you can save money on your travels.

We are going to explain what a base pair is, the different charges you may have to pay, and how you can save money on your future travels.

What Are the Different Charges I Might Pay?

When you are getting on a plane, there are lots of different charges that you may have to pay. Some of the most common examples include:

  • The Base Fare: This is the bulk of your plane ticket. This is the amount of money that the airline is charging you for a seat on the plane. Even though this is most of the charge, it is not the only one.
  • Taxes: There are also going to be taxes that you have to pay on a plane ticket. Even though you may not notice the sales tax on a candy bar, you are certainly going to notice taxes when you are buying a plane ticket.
  • Baggage Fees: There is also a chance that you are going to be hit with something called baggage fees. For most plane tickets, you are going to be given one free carry-on bag and one free personal item. On the other hand, if you are planning on checking a bag, you may have to pay for this. If you have a basic economy ticket, you may also have to pay for carry-on bags.
  • Customs Charges: If you are flying internationally, there is a chance to airline may be passing customs charges on to you as well. These charges will vary depending on the exact nature of your destination.
  • Preferred Seating: If you are picking a seat when you check in online, pay close attention to the seat you are selecting. There is a chance that you may have to pay to select certain seats on the plane. These are usually seats at the front of the plane, aisle seats, or window seats.
  • Mileage Multiplier: If you are earning miles for your plane ticket, make sure that you read the fine print next to mileage multipliers. You have to pay for additional miles on your flight.

These are all charges that you may have to pay before you even get on the plane. Make sure you understand exactly what you are buying.

How Can I Save Money on my Plane Tickets?

If you are looking for a way to save money on your plane tickets, you can avoid a lot of these extra fees. First, make sure that you do not check a bag unless you absolutely have to. This is the easiest way to avoid getting charged for your bags. In some cases, you may be able to take a bag with you through security. Then, if the flight wants to gate-check it, they will do this for you for free.

Furthermore, try to avoid paying for a seat on the plane. If there is a seat on the plane that you would like, you may be able to avoid paying for it if you get to the airport early and check in there instead. If the gate agent assigns you a seat at check-in, this assigned seat is usually going to be free.

How Can I Find Lower Base Fares?

Furthermore, there are ways you can reduce the base fare of your ticket as well. In general, the farther in advance you book your plane ticket, the less expensive it is going to be. If you wait until the last minute to book a seat on your plane, you are going to pay more money. Try to plan in advance.

In addition, if your travel plans are flexible, try to avoid flying on a weekend. Lots of people fly on weekends, so airlines will increase the price of weekend tickets due to supply and demand. There are also certain times of day that are less expensive than others. If you are okay waking up early enough to board a 6 AM flight, you might be able to save money by getting a seat on this plane.

Can I Use Rewards To Buy Plane Tickets?

One of the easiest ways that you can save money on your plane ticket is to use rewards. There are two separate reward categories you can use. First, you can redeem points from your credit card (if it is a travel credit card) and use them to buy plane tickets. Second, you can also use miles from your frequent flyer account with an airline to redeem plane tickets as well. If you take advantage of these reward opportunities, you can save a significant amount of money on your flying expenses.

Your Base Fare Is Not Your Only Charge

It is easy to get lured in by commercials on TV regarding inexpensive plane tickets. Remember that these commercials usually only include the base fare. You will also have to pay taxes, baggage charges, possible customs charges, and other premiums as well. If you anticipate a lot of these charges in advance, you may be able to avoid them. Finally, one of the easiest ways to save money on your plane tickets is to use rewards to travel instead. Make sure that you take advantage of all opportunities placed in front of you to get the most out of your flights.