Full-service airlines can offer passengers better value and comparable fares on many routes from Perth a survey conducted by Travel in The Weekend West has found.
The survey revealed that once baggage, meals and drinks were added, the fares were often similar, while Qantas and Virgin have free entertainment on most flights.
And it pays to shop around with airlines frequently offering promotional fares for limited travel and to compare the total cost of extra baggage, meals, drinks, entertainment, online booking and credit card charges when booking flights.
The survey, conducted on February 28, compared airlines on routes to Bali, Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney for two travel periods; the April school holidays and May.
Fares on the Perth-Bali route varied widely from $326 return on Virgin Australia, to $800 on Jetstar once some basic extras were added.
Virgin Australia was the cheapest for the school holidays while Air Asia was the cheapest at $426 for May.
On the premium Perth to Sydney route, Virgin Australia was cheaper than Qantas by $68 with low-cost Jetstar in between.
On the increasingly popular Perth to Brisbane route, Jetstar came in $58 cheaper than Virgin and Qantas during the school holiday period.
Tiger Airways is the low-cost leader on the Perth to Melbourne route with return fares at $358 and $333 for the two travel dates.
Qantas was slightly more expensive than Jetstar on both dates but Virgin Australia was cheaper than both.
Tiger Airways was also the lowest on the Perth to Singapore route with fares from $451.
The sale of baggage, meals and drinks is a cash cow for low-cost airlines accounting for as much as a quarter of their revenue.
And those extras can really add up.
On the Perth to Sydney route, 20kg of baggage on Jetstar costs $40. Meals and drinks add another $40. And selecting a seat with extra legroom costs another $10.jetstar.com, virginaustralia.com, airasia.com and garuda-indonesia.net.au.
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