Problem Solvers’ tips for flying discount airlines

DENVER -- Airline industry experts say many passengers are paying a high price for cheap deals on plane tickets. Some airlines are now even charging for drinking water and restricting some passengers from bringing along carry-on bags.

Seasoned travel consultant Joyce Masyga, co-owner of Endless Travel in Evergreen tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers that airlines keep fares down by offering "a la carte" choices based on a tiered fare system.

"It's called basic economy on most of the  airlines. It doesn't allow you to get a seat assignment until you get to the airport. You are not allowed overhead space," Masyga said.

Masyga says you don't have to be miserable if you have a discount ticket; enjoying your flight just involves planning ahead, especially if you are travelling with children. She says times have changed,.

"Don't rely on the airlines to make you comfortable," she said.

These days, passengers should pack non-perishable food items that are easy to store in a purse or bag that fits under the seat. While most airlines have traditionally provided food and beverages during extended flights, some are cutting back. Masyga says passengers should never take for granted that they will be provided refreshments, so a stopping at the airport convenience store should be a priority after passing through security.

Regardless of whether you're flying first class or basic economy, bring creature comforts to enhance your flying experience, like a scarf that can serve as a pillow or face barrier, headsets to block noise and toys for children.

Masyga adds that, most importantly, pack your patience and focus on your pleasant destination during the holiday travel season.

"You just have to go to your happy place do a little breathing and just get through it," she said.

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