The Extra Cost You Need to Pay For That Cheap Ticket You Just Bought

The other day, I posted about a fantastic fare sale from Toronto, Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I found multiple routings, for multiple days available at $385. I would have flown from Toronto to Miami, then onto Rio, and for the return, from Rio to JFK and then back to Toronto. All in, this is an extremely cheap ticket pricing in at 3.1 cents per mile, which is nearly unheard of these days.

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But, is that ticket really $385? Not exactly. What’s not widely publicized, and isn’t being circulated as much as it should be is that Brazil requires a Visa for both Canadians and Americans. While the price is a bit cheaper for Canadians, it isn’t something you want to ignore in the US – it prices in at a whopping $160.

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So, that $385 ticket you just bough has turned into a $545 without any additional effort, simply because you’re required to have a visa to enter the country. While $545 is still dirt cheap for this routing, it’s an added cost that’s not advertised and many may not realize it until the last second, or until it is too late.

It’s a word to the wise when booking flights – if it’s a cheap fare, great. However, make sure that the cost of added, required expenses doesn’t outweigh the value in cost savings.

Unfortunately, I’m not a great example of this – I’ve done plenty of 1 night mileage runs where the hotel I stayed in outweighed the cost of the airline ticket itself. Sometimes I try to justify these trips as “getaways” more than  true mileage run so I don’t feel as bad, but it’s still a cost of doing business.

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Did you get in on the YYZ to GIG sale with American? Did you remember the added cost of the visa?

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  1. Em says

    Personally, I like the concept implemented by Brazil in terms of Visa.
    ” If you require brazilians to have a visa to enter your country. Then Brazil will require a visa for your citizens to enter Brazil and they will pay the exact same amount to issue the visa”
    I would like to require to see that implemented in my country and it is not that I have a problem with americans or europeans. I live and study in the US and besides the huge amounts that you pay in visas, you will feel like a second class human being during those interviews in the embassies of countries that claim they promote freedom and human rights.
    I am just saying if country X screw our citizens out of a 100 dollars for visa interview, treat them the same. you do not need to get a visa, let them enter visa free, just charge them 100 dollars in the airport

  2. Patrick says

    Thank you for the reminder of the tourist visa and the cost. For me, Rio is a trip I had planned to take for some time, so I consider the added cost something that I would have had to pay anyway, and the low fare just reduces the overall cost of the trip. What I’m confused about is the best service to use to get a quick Brazilian visa. My trip is less than a month away, and, after some research, I see that there are quite of few agencies that advertise expedited visa processing for an added fee. Can anyone guide me to the right resource? I’m in New York and can get to the Consulate (with a reservation required, I’m told).

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