Beware of Terms for Low-cost Flights

A ruckus broke out at British company Thomsonfly's check-in desk as travelers were asked to pay double for services such as baggage checks, because they had not reserved in advance online.

The low-cost airline Thomsonfly isn't always all that cheap - travelers to London learned first-hand on Sunday, when they were asked at Ben-Gurion Airport to pay double the list price for services, such as baggage checks, they had not reserved in advance online. A ruckus broke out at the British company's check-in desk as a result.

Thomsonfly, part of the TUI AG group, inaugurated its new route between Luton airport, near London, and Tel Aviv last week. The company does indeed offer two-way tickets to London for $99, but passengers are charged extra for any additional service, such as being served food or drinks, and checking luggage.

Now, it turns out, not ordering these "extras" online will cost you double at the Ben-Gurion Airport checkout counter. Passengers who want to check a bag, which the Web site lists as a $20 service, were told to pay $40 at check-in.

"When the company began its operations in Israel late last week, we encountered several cases where passengers had ordered their tickets through travel agents, who, due to unfamiliarity with the terms, did not sufficiently advise them on the nature of reservations with the company," a spokesman for Holiday Travel, which represents Thomsonfly in Israel, responded. "We advise all passengers who order tickets through travel agents to review Thomsonfly's user-friendly, easy-to-navigate Web site, and make sure that all the parts of their order have been carried out correctly. This will save them unnecessary grief," the representative added.