For year end travellers planning a holiday, do take note! Budget Airlines like Jetstar, Airasia, Tiger Airways and Skoot will charge you a fee when you use a credit card for online payment. The amount could add up to be quite significant as it ranges from $6-$8 per person per sector, depending on carrier. They term it as the Internet Booking and Service fee or Convenience Fee. Sounds more like an inconvenience fee. As advocates for online shopping, this doesn’t bode well and we at GadgetReactor suss out the best option for the Singapore budget traveller.
For Tiger Airways and Skoot, sorry. You are out of luck. You could attempt to make payment by vouchers but that’s not common. Also, like the other budget carriers, this additional booking fee only appears at the end when you do payment selection and you might miss it or hope that you would find it too troublesome to change or seek alternative. At times, this $8 Tiger Airways convenience fee may be waived with their ‘Tiger Raw’ fares promotion. Hence, if you are not on the promotion, do add an additional $8 per person per sector to the ticket price.
Jetstar is the most friendly among the budget airlines. To avoid the booking or service fee charges for internet payment you could choose offline payment to “skip” the convenience charges. You will then have up to 48hrs to pay for your ticket through the respective offline modes below.
Payment modes available for JetStar Asia
Singapore Post offices: Cash, NETS
7-11 outlets: Cash, Cash Card or NETS
An even better alternative is online bill payment at VBox (VPost Bill Paying Alternative), which accepts credit cards. You may need to verify your VPOST or VBOX account via fax or simply visit a SINGPOST office with your IC for bill payments. I had registered previously and on VPOST, select Pay Bills and choose Jetstar Asia and you would then see the following screen below.
Update: Thanks to Princess for sharing. VPost had since ceased local bill payment services and migrated them over to VBox instead. JetStar is still under the partner list – you can view them by looking at ALL partners or specifically, under Retail Merchants. Attached is a screenshot of the payment page.
Updates – 2015VBox has now changed to MySAM, and while you can still pay your Jetstar booking, they no longer accept credits – only eNets.
Payment modes available for AirAsia
AirAsia likewise charges a booking / processing fee and has no offline payment options like Jetstar. They do offer an option to avoid the choice though, which is direct debit or eNets payment, through the bank account. In Singapore, banks like DBS and UOB are supported. Read more here.