Budget holiday airline hack can save vacationers up to 60% by adding cabin bags at a certain time

Traveller in an airplane
-Credit: (Image: GETTY)


Summer vacations are in full swing but those looking for last-minute flight deals could also save a pretty penny by adding their cabin bags after selecting their fare instead of doing a bundled deal. Most airlines offer a variety of ticket options from budget tickets that essentially only offer a seat on the plane to all-encompassing economy packages with check-in luggage, cabin bags, pre-flight seat selection and priority boarding.

Many holidaymakers will be quick to just select the ticket that suits their needs, particularly regarding how much luggage they are taking, but Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert site detailed how avoiding this impulse can actually save holidaymakers up to 60%.

Looking specifically at Ryanair, a popular budget airline in the UK but not always the cheapest for certain flights as the experts pointed out, travellers may be better off going for the cheapest ticket option and adding bags at a later stage. Ryanair allows every passenger to bring a small piece of hand luggage on board with any ticket, but a 10-kilogram bag for the overhead locker will require a Regular fare or above, generally anywhere between £20 and £40 more expensive than the Basic tickets.

Selecting the Basic fare instead of Regular and then adding extra cabin bags and priority boarding just before checking out can cost significantly less than using the bundled fare. MSE found that a family of four could save almost £100 on return flights with this simple trick that doesn’t affect how much luggage they can take.

However, it’s important to note that this trick may not always work and MSE encouraged flyers to check if the Regular fare may still be cheaper than booking the add-ons individually on top of a Basic fare. Customers may also be able to shave off a few quid from their holiday bill by paying for their tickets in euros instead of pounds, depending on where they are heading.

One simple trick to save money on holidays includes triple-checking your details before pressing ‘continue to payment’ as MSE highlighted that mistakes on flight bookings can sometimes exceed the cost of the tickets themselves. A misspelled name or booking the wrong date doesn’t have to be the end of a summer getaway as Ryanair allows customers to change their name at the airport up to 2 hours before departure or change their flight up to 2.5 hours before they were set to take off.

However, this can come at a steep cost. Changing flights online currently costs £45 per passenger per one-way flight while doing so at the airport will incur a £60 per passenger per one-way flight. Changing a name can be an even more extravagant cost, from £115 online to £160 through an agent.