Budget airlines are known for their "gotchas". While yes, the tickets are cheap, if you are flying a budget airline you'd better be sure you've crossed your t's and dotted your i's. Depending on the airline, you can be charged extra if you don't:
In particular, the last one is a big gotcha. Take Thai Lion Air, a budget airline based in Thailand --- they charge as much as $10 per KG if you don't buy your baggage in advance. So for a normal 20kg bag (44lbs) you'd need to pay $200 USD !!! Considering the tickets are often only $50, paying that much for a bag is practically a scam.
People get burned by this every single day of the year, just look at their TripAdvisor review page:
Notice in the last review, the reviewer realized that their US credit card (or any foreign credit card) was not accepted on the Thai Lion Air website or call center. Turns out, only local Thailand-issued credit and debit cards are able to be used to purchase the baggage in advance.
So people get in a tricky situation, where they buy their ticket using a 3rd party OTA (online travel agent) like Kiwi.com, Trip.com, Yatra.com or MakeMyTrip.com and then are unable to add any baggage to their itinerary... When pressed on this, the Thai Lion Air call center staff will explain that you can simply arrive at the airport more than 6 hours ahead of your flight to buy the baggage at the airline counter (where they will accept foreign payment methods). So you either have to show up ridiculously early for your flight or pay insane ripoff baggage fees.
And that's where BuyBaggage.com comes in. After having this problem myself on a recent flight from Jakarta to Bangkok, I decided to open my own Thai Bank account and start BuyBaggage so that nobody else would have this problem ever again. We charge a fair markup of $10 per order for the time to buy the baggage and ensure that you won't pay any extra fees at the airport.
While we've solved this problem for Thai Lion Air, turns out, there are other budget airlines that have this problem as well. There's Indonesian Lion Air, Ural Airlines in Russia, Tui Airlines in Europe and more. Our goal is to support every airline with awkward, terrible websites that don't accept all forms of payment.
If you've had a similar experience with a budget airline, let us know. Email [email protected] and tell me your story.