Friday, August 12th, 2011 - Your Money Magazine
Budget airline Tiger Airways is flying again after a six-week ban, providing another low-cost option for domestic air travel. But is cheap really cheerful when it comes to airlines?

Your Money Magazine compared Australia’s major domestic airlines to find out which one offers true value for money. Looking at price, service, comfort and safety, the results were surprising, with no one airline rating significantly ahead of the rest.

Budget airlines might be more cost-effective but savings can sometimes be overshadowed by service nightmares and hidden costs. However, paying a higher fare for a more upmarket airline with perks does not always provide better value for money either.

Managing editor of Your Money Magazine Jackie Pearson said passengers should watch out for hidden extras.

“A fare advertised as $39 might end up being a lot more once you consider all the extra costs for booking fees, food and drink, and in-flight entertainment,” said Pearson. “It’s easy to get distracted by add-ons but if price is one of your main priorities you would do best to stick with a basic fare.”

With the cost of flights set to increase further under the proposed carbon tax, it is important to get the best value out of every airfare. Pearson says the key is to do your research.

“Unless you are signed up with a frequent flyer program with one particular airline, you should shop around to find the best deal every time you fly because no one domestic airline is always the cheapest,” said Pearson.

Your Money Magazine’s tips to manage your travel finances include:

• Book in advance – If you don’t get in early, you could be looking at as much as $329 for a one-way trip between Sydney and Melbourne
• Watch out for hidden extras – Airlines are renowned for online upselling, but do you really need that upgrade?
• Do your research – The current issue of Your Money Magazine includes a comparison table where you can see how the airlines stack up

For more information on how the different airlines performed, and more money management tips, pick up the latest issue of Your Money Magazine. On sale at leading newsagents and online at www.yourmoneymag.com.au.

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Your Money Magazine is for all Australians looking to increase their personal wealth and achieve the lifestyle they desire. Your Money Magazine’s key focus is to educate the Australian public about money management by providing down-to-earth, easy to comprehend content, detailed product comparisons across a range of categories, and recommendations from some of the country’s leading industry experts.

Combining in-depth research and product comparison tools with shrewd financial education materials, Your Money Magazine takes a unique place in the Australian market allowing readers to not only compare existing products but to educate themselves and take decisive action all in one place.

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Lisa Narroway
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