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Budget Airlines

Travel Forums General Talk Budget Airlines

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1. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

I've seen a great many posts over the past few years deriding budget carriers such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Air Asia. My thinking is that these airlines do exactly what they say on the tin, and most people haven't paid attention before booking them. Here's a few notes that might help to clear up the budget airline thing.

- Budget airlines are great for short trips where you don't need much baggage. Check before you book what the airline restrictions are; measure and weigh your intended baggage before booking the flight to make sure its possible without incurring horrendous excess charges. If you want to take bigger bags a mainstream carrier might be a cheaper bet.
- Budget airlines are always point-to-point. Don't rely on them to make connections, because if the flight is delayed (or you miss a connection for any other reason) they won't help you. Only use them for flights where their end destination is where you want to be.
- Cheap Airports can be quite a way out of town, so check on a map where the listed airport actually is. This can sometimes be a bonus, for example Barcelona/Gerona is 2 hours from Barcelona, but really handy for the Pyrenees and some other destinations in northern Spain.
- Buy e-tickets where you can - budget airlines like them because they reduce costs, and sometimes you can get priority boarding this way.
- Get your snacks before the flight - cheap airlines top up their fares by offering expensive food and drinks on board.

Hope this helps - anything else anyone would like to add?

2. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Good post. I totally agree with you, too many people moan about the fact that their cheap plane ticket doesn't include a meal, drink, excess baggage etc. But so what, IT ONLY COST YOU 10 QUID FOR A RETURN TO SPAIN!!!!!!!

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

I agree also - too many complaints about the lack of comfort/facilities on the budgets! Here in the States we have quite a different picture (not for the good either). Budgets here such as Southwest and Air Tran are in direct competition with the legacy lines such as American and Delta, and it's often cheaper to get a ticket on one of the regular legacy lines than on a budget! The very best carrier in the USA regardless of airline type happens to be Southwest (the budget airline model often copied by your Easyjet and Ryanair).

4. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 8y

Alas, we don't have much in the way of budget airlines here in the US, but we do have budget airports. Odd yes, but anytime you can save a bit of cash......

The closest airport to us is in the booming village/city of Rockford Illinois (not including the very small plane airport in Freeport......). Rockford wants to be the "3rd airport" for Chicago....even though they were told, in no uncertain terms, by the FAA that they would NEVER be the third airport. Why Chicago is betting on a new greenfield airport, just as far away from the city as Rockford, is anyones guess. Though they "predict" it will only cost USD$20 billion....ha, a mere drop in the bucket.

Rockford has 1 airline, plus a UPS air cargo facility. The one airline, Allegiant Air, flies to a small handful of other regional airports in the US, plus to Cancun (so technically, an "international" airport!!). Rockford offers FREE parking....a big bonus since O'Hare charges a minimum of $18/day in long-term parking. Allegiant is modestly priced compared to the big airlines, but again, they fly to regional airports, which means easy-in/easy-out of check-in, security, etc. Really quite handy. Plus Rockford is only 45 minutes away, versus O'Hare which is an hour and a half away.

I've been proposing that Rockford Illinois build a maglev non-stop train to O'Hare......which would be about a half hour ride (less than from O'Hare to downtown Chicago on the elevated train). For the same USD$20 billion, we have an existing airport, and a modern train, without having to rape existing land with 200 acres of new blacktop and runways. Does anyone listen???? Noooooooo. Damn politics......Plus, Chicago is in the running for the 2016 Olympics, and there is no way that Chicago could conveniently house all the tourists. Enter Rockford. As a sideline, I'm also suggesting Chicago place Olympic venues where they would be more interesting. Diving and swimming competitions could be held in Lake Michigan.....make it a real challenge. Watch Michael Phelps dodge vicious lake trout while breaking new records!!!!! See marathoners weave in and out of traffic on the expressways....put the shooting venue on the west side....there's already plenty of shooting going on..... But I digress....

Make sense? Hardly, I know, but still.....I'm a big advocate of using the more regional airports and train stations, rather then the centralized big box stations. And you get to see more of the rural life.....see cows, sheep, farmers and sheep........

5. Posted by flaminjo (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

liked what you have written here, i have had quite an experience with an low cost airlines, they said some limited 10Kgs of luggage allowed, it was written in the web-site, but it is really difficult to read all the instructions while booking them online, and when i finally went with around 15 kgs, they charges me extra per KG, i was really disgusted. as i was coming back from a vacation, i was little short on money, i had to take 6hrs flight withour water and anything to eat, coz i was not left with enough money after that!

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 8y

Someone mentioned sheep?

Though i've obviously never used one, i'm quite a big fan of the budget airlines for asst reasons, specially in that they give you different options and fly to places that you would otherwise often never even hear of, let alone visit. ((begin rant)) Ryanair, however, annoy me for 3main reasons - 1. they always make out that they are so cheap, yet there are always extra's. I have no problem with non essential items being excluded from the price, but things like fuel surcharges and taxes are not extra. Everybody has to pay them so they are not extras, and thus should be included in the upfront price. A 0.01p flight NEVER actually costs that. 2. their policy of playing airports off against each other and changing extremely rapidly if they get a better offer. Our local airport in sweden was a very early ryanair destination. They got a better offer and then moved to Gothenberg, OVERNIGHT. People turning up for the following mornings flight were told that it is actually now leaving from a city 3hours away and they had sent out emails by 6pm the previous evening so it wasn't their fault. 3. They can sometimes be, erm, overly inventive with names. Again for our local one, it was marketed as Copenhagen, despite the fact CPH is well over 2hours drive away and in a different country, and the only easy way of getting there, the Ryanair bus only accepted Swedish krona (which caught out any number of people who were going to Denmark and so had no Swedish money) ((end rant here))

Notes i would add to your original list:
- Always pay by CREDIT not Debit card for your flights, In case the airline goes belly up before when you travel as sadly happens, usually very quickly ((The loss of Sterling a couple of days ago completely caught the rest of my company out as we used them allot, and we ended up, i think, with 4 stranded, 3unable to fly and about 20 advance bookings now useless)). If you pay by credit card, you should get your money back. With Debit, you probably won't.

- In addition to the point about checking where the airport actually is, check if you can get there/to where you want to go. Many flights leave very early or arrive very late, and at times where onward transport connections (even to the city listed) or connections to get there for check-in times, aren't always easy or possible. So be aware that you may have to sleep in the airport, especially if the flights are delayed.

7. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Quoting flaminjo

liked what you have written here, i have had quite an experience with an low cost airlines, they said some limited 10Kgs of luggage allowed, it was written in the web-site, but it is really difficult to read all the instructions while booking them online, and when i finally went with around 15 kgs, they charges me extra per KG, i was really disgusted. as i was coming back from a vacation, i was little short on money, i had to take 6hrs flight withour water and anything to eat, coz i was not left with enough money after that!

This is exactly what this post is rallying against...people complaining about excess luggage, no drink or food onboard etc, and now someone is on here complaining about excess luggage, no drink or food onboard!!!!!

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by tmaiden (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Instead of booking on budget airlines, I usually look out for deals and specials on regular airlines instead. That has really worked for me so far..

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

10. Posted by terry11 (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

Quoting Daawgon

I agree also - too many complaints about the lack of comfort/facilities on the budgets! Here in the States we have quite a different picture (not for the good either). Budgets here such as Southwest and Air Tran are in direct competition with the legacy lines such as American and Delta, and it's often cheaper to get a ticket on one of the regular legacy lines than on a budget! The very best carrier in the USA regardless of airline type happens to be Southwest (the budget airline model often copied by your Easyjet and Ryanair).

I'm always on the look-out for the cheapest vacation packages. I'm on a budget everytime I travel. I will be spending the holidays at Pepermill Resort at Reno with my family. We were able to book ahead for just a cheaper cost, thanks to -snip-! I suggest you avail for it.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]