Should I or Shouldn't I? Navigating Travel Day Upsells
September 8, 2016
When you travel, you will be faced multiple times with opportunities to purchase better features for your travel.
Let's walk through what you should spring for and what's a bunch of snake oil.
"Preferred seats" -These are airline seats that have extra leg room or are closer to the front. Usually, unless you have some level of status with an airline, you have to pay for them. If at the time of booking there were no free aisle seats available but you drink a lot of water and don't want to ask your seat mates to get up, then it can be worth it.
"Lounge Access" -If you don't have a credit card that offers you lounge access, it can absolutely be worth purchasing a day pass, especially if there is a delay. They usually will be between $40-$60, so if you're traveling in a group it may be difficult to justify but if you're solo it's not the worst idea. You'll get food, drinks and some peace and quiet.
"Priority screening" -Some airlines offer an expedited screening option, but unless it's TSA Precheck it's not worth the extra money.
"Priority Boarding" -Early boarding is reserved for first class passengers and those with status. Priority boarding allows you to get on the plane early, a better chance at getting prime overhead bin space, and out of the gate. I wouldn't spend money on it.
"WiFi" -Airplane wifi usually sucks. Sure you can surf the web a little bit but you won't know until you have purchased your plan. If you have a long flight and don't have any material to pass the time (you should have planned better) then it may be worth the $10-$20 but it can get expensive quickly. Don't buy it unless you have to.