Enjoying the convenience of an international airport close by is not one of the perks of living in a city with a population of 70,000. Finding a reasonable airfare can be daunting. More recently, budget airlines have been expanding, and I’ve tried a few of them out.
Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of flying budget:
Their business model usually strips the ticket right down to just the flight itself, no inclusions, no exceptions.
Before purchasing a ticket that appears too cheap to be true, dig into the fine print and find out what your needs are versus what is offered in a basic ticket. They charge extra for things such as seat choice, food and drink, luggage, and often have processing fees. I have almost purchased flights that ended up being approximately the same price as a higher end airline simply because I needed to bring a carry on as well as a checked bag.
- Safety features are not sacrificed in order to provide cheaper fares
- They actually can work out to be significantly cheaper – if you understand ALL of the rules & regulations before hand
- Extra fees can add up
- Often do not cover as much as higher end airlines in the case of lost/delayed baggage
- Usually no entertainment system
- Blankets and pillows are often not provided for long haul flights
- Frequent delays, clear disorganization (understandably, this could happen on any airline – in my personal travels I have had issues much more frequently on discount airlines)
- If you are worried about making a connection, check the airline reputation for delays
- Jam packed waiting areas
- Often you are pushed to a smaller terminal where the budget flights leave from, they are usually way over capacity crammed with people sleeping on the floors, and no places to eat
Overall, every individual will have a different view of budget airlines. Always remember to add up the extra fees that you’ll be paying before purchasing the ticket, then compare that with a ticket on a non budget airline and determine what the perks that airline offers are worth to you before making your decision.
For example, if the price difference turns out to be $100 – is being able to watch movies, fee food, blankets, and pillows worth the extra $100 on a long haul flight? Is your flight only 4 hours or is it 15 hours?
Always research the airline you would potentially be flying with before purchase because some budget airlines are fantastic and you could save yourself a ton of cash for a small amount (if any) discomfort. And sometimes, those extra perks outweigh the (usually) cheaper cost.