Save money by buying Breeze tickets at the airport

In the era of e-ticketing, a large majority of people buy their plane tickets online. However, did you know that you could save on the price of your Breeze Airways ticket by booking it at the airport on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET? Let’s talk about why…

Why should you buy Breeze tickets at the airport

Breeze Airways is one of the newest airlines in the United States, and the airline is a unique ultra low cost carrier. Breeze Airways’ base fares tend to be quite low, but when you get to the booking page you might notice an interesting quirk, in the form of a ‘Technology Development Fee’.

For example, take the $39 flight below from Tampa to Huntsville.

Breeze Airways Fare

You’ll notice the base fare is only $13.40, but then there’s $25.60 in taxes and fees, including a $10 “technology development fee.”

Breeze Airways “Technology Development Charge”

The amount is not the same for all routes. For example, take the $107 flight below from Tampa to Las Vegas.

Breeze Airways Fare

For this flight, the “Technology Development Fee” is $27.

Breeze Airways “Technology Development Charge”

If you book your ticket on the Breeze Airways website, you are responsible for paying this fee. However, there is a way to avoid it – if you instead book at any Breeze Airways ticket office on a Tuesday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. ET, you will not be charged the “Technology Development Fee”.

Breeze Airways justifies the “technology development fee” by saying that “we are a technology company that flies planes” and that “we use this part of the fare to create a seriously enjoyable airline”.

Why Breeze tickets are cheaper at the airport

Okay, you can save money by booking your Breeze Airways tickets on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, but what’s the logic behind this seemingly random policy? Well, it comes down to taxes.

Airlines must pay a 7.5% federal excise tax on airline tickets, but not on optional fees. For something to be considered an optional charge, there must be a way to avoid paying it. So Breeze doesn’t have to pay taxes on the “Technology Development Fee” portion of the ticket cost, as it’s technically a fee, rather than a plane ticket, since you can ‘to avoid.

Of course, Breeze doesn’t want to make it easy to book at the airport (it’s a much more expensive ticketing technique), which is why there’s only a two-hour period over the whole week where you can book tickets at the airport.

Virtually all ultra-low-cost carriers have similar fees that make up a large portion of the airfare, to reduce the taxes they have to pay on ticket prices.

I tend to think it’s worth being aware of, although for most people it’s probably not worth making a special trip to the airport just to save that fee. Of course, if you book multiple tickets or are traveling for many people, the savings can add up. If you find yourself at an airport on a Tuesday anyway, this might be more useful for a wider audience.

Save money by booking Breeze Airways tickets at the airport

At the end of the line

The cheapest place to book Breeze Airways tickets is not online, but rather at the airport on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. This is because the “Technology Development Fee” does not apply when ticketing Breeze reservations at the airport.

The logic of this policy is that ultra low cost carriers try to minimize the taxes they have to pay by charging as much of the fare as possible rather than the base fare. This is because airline tickets have a 7.5% federal excise tax, while fees do not.

A large majority of people are not going to go through the hassle of booking at the airport, while those who do can come out on top.

Could you see yourself issuing a ticket for a Breeze reservation at the airport?

(Tip of the hat to @RossFeinstein & InDeals)

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