hilfiger uk The cost of flying on the chea

The cost of flying on the cheap

I have flown Spirit Airlines at least a dozen times, because it unquestionably the cheapest US airline if you manage to avoid its plethora of fees but my experiences have ranged from generally unpleasant to downright infuriating.

The US only two star airline in a five star ranking system, according to airline ranking site Skytrax, Spirit is the exemplification of no frills. There is no in flight entertainment, even for a fee; seats on the new Airbus 320s don recline despite having a button for this purpose (a particularly irritating feature); and even a glass of water comes at a cost. With spring break quickly approaching in the US, plenty of university students will likely be attracted to the low initial price tag when booking their holiday but the cost of flying cheap can be quantified in more than cash.

In number of flights and variety of destinations, Spirit dominates the US ultra low cost market, a model that was pioneered by Ireland Ryanair and is now booming throughout Asia. These airlines rely largely on and have been successful in charging fees to turn a profit, something that can be extremely tricky in the airline industry. But while operators such as Air Asia have managed to strike a balance between extra fees and reasonable prices, Spirit has followed Ryanair business model of charging ludicrous fees for just about everything but the use of the bathroom (something Ryanair actually considered). While Spirit has yet to follow its Irish counterpart by charging 60 fees for printing boarding passes, they have a price for pretty much everything else, including storing bags overhead something even Ryanair has yet to do.

On a recent trip, I checked prices hilfiger uk for nine of the 10 Latin American cities that Spirit services (I did not consider going to Lima), and in seven of the nine cases, Spirit offered the cheapest flight, with savings ranging from $49 to $289 round trip. I ended up selecting Cartagena, the cheapest destination apart from San Salvador, and booked the flight exactly one month in advance for $375. The second cheapest flight to Cartagena was $489 on the Colombian airline

Let say I wanted to put a bag overhead, which is not unheard of for a hilfiger uk n average passenger going abroad for eight days. That would cost an additional $70 round trip (more than the $60 it would cost to check it), bringing my ticket total to $445, saving only $44 from the Avianca flight. Virtually every other airline worldwide offers free checked bags on international flights and none charge to use the overheard bin.

And if I wanted to choose my seats instead of having Spirit select them at random, I have to pay anywhere from $10 to $25 per segment. Middle seats cost more than window seats, by the way, because Spirit knows that passengers flying together will want to book seats next to each other.

The cheapest window seat for all four segments, including a layover in Fort Lauderdale, would have cost another $60, putting my total up to $505, $16 more than the Avianca flight (which also would have included movi hilfiger uk es, free checked bags, a free selection of seats that actually recline, a splash of water (or even beer) and, perhaps, even a smile).

Like Ryanair, Spirit often only makes sense if you are a light packer. In a recent Ryanair search, a 40 return ticket from Liverpool to Dublin turned into 102 after checking a bag (15 for 15kg), selecting seats (10 each segment) and checking in online (6 each way). On a sample Air Asia fare from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok a hilfiger uk 331 Malaysian ringgit flight went up to only 417 Malaysian ringgit after checking in a bag (36 Malaysian ringgit) and selecting a window seat (6 Malaysian ringgit) each way.

With all three airlines, though, it best to pay for your bag in advance. Spirit, for example, charges $50 for an overhead bag at the check in counter and $100 if you wait until the gate.

Flying Spirit does have a few upsides. Being friendly at the check in counter can get you a free window seat (as opposed to Ryanair which charges you more for waiting to book a seat), and the website has an incredibly user friendly flight search. But my favourite thing about Spirit is that virtually every time I fly with the airline, I end up making friends. There often seems to be a sense of camaraderie among the passengers, a bonding over a common enemy.

I was once on a flight where the better part of the check in line vocally rooted for a man as he tried to stuff his bag into the carry on measuring box. When he succeeded in avoiding the fee, people cheered.

Yet, despite people distaste for Spirit, they we keep flying it, either because it worth the cost of flying cheap or because people just haven done the maths to realise how little money they are actually saving.

hilfiger uk The cost of cashing in your co

The cost of cashing in your coins

Coinstar claims its customers make 200,000 visits a week to its 1,500 machines. It says, at each visit, they tip small change worth an average into the hopper.

Changed at a charge

But the service is not free. At the moment the machine will charge a ‘processing fee’ of 7.9%. So of small change will be converted to a vouc hilfiger uk her for

And Coinstar told Radio 4’s Money Box that it is in the process of raising its charges from 7.9% to 8.9% an extra penny off each pound changed.

A spokesman said: “The fee covers the costs of processing the money, collecting it, a field team of engineers, and a small profit for Coinstar and the supermarkets.

“The costs of processing and security have gone up.”

Paying for convenience

Nick Harris, Coinstar’s operations manager, told the programme that customers were happy to pay the new fee.

“The fee’s never been an issue. Our customers don’t object to it. The supermarkets receive a portion of the fee and they also benefit from the sales.

“People tend to buy treats. It’s found money and people are happy to spend it.”

The voucher can be used to pay in the supermarket or cashed at the customer service till.

Taking cash to the bank

Coinstar is cashing in on the growing reluctance of banks to take change.

They will only do it for their own customers and insist it has to be sorted into different denominations and put in their own bags in set amounts for coppers, for silver, and so on.

Some banks limit the number of bags they will take per day, others will refuse to take bags of change at busy times and Royal Bank of Scotland told Money Box it may charge regular coin changers

HSBC takes a different view. It hilfiger uk has free coin changing machines in 200 of its branches and Barclays says it now has 15. They count coins and credit accounts immediately.

Another option is to try to spend it. But there are legal rules on how much shops have to accept though many will accept more.

What is in your piggy bank?

But there may be an easier way.

James Watson studies Coinstar machines and collects the items people try to put into them which are rejected a lot of foreign coins, a farthing a century old, washers, and a shelf support. Photographs of his found items appear on his blog.

“These things I find are almost like time capsules. They hark back to a story. It’s almost a modern form of archaeology,” he told Money Box.

“You’re looking at people’s rubbish. You are picking up these coins and washers, tablets and ringpulls, and to me it’s just fascinating. I want to know more about the people behind them. I want to know their story.”

hilfiger uk
But Mr Watson has his own way of getting rid of small change free.

“I’m not paying 7.9%! I use what I call the clever man’s way,” he said. “Get what you want, then use the self scan tills, feed in a h hilfiger uk andful of coins, as much as you can. Then pay the rest by card.”