The number of low-cost airlines has increased dramatically in recent years. With Southwest Airlines leading the way, new entrants RyanAir and EasyJet quickly attracted mainstream travelers from Europe and brought low-cost flights out of the shadows. European low-cost airlines have become very popular, as airline fares are often significantly lower than train tickets for travel between European capitals. In the US, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airways, Air Tran, Jet Blue, and now Virgin America all have a reputation as low-cost carriers. Recently, there has also been an expansion of low-cost fares between major US gateways and cities in Europe. For example, Eurofly Airlines flies popular routes between the US and Italy at half the fare of traditional airlines.
But here it gets tricky. There is a fee for distributing tickets through online booking sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, etc. Many low-cost airlines refuse to pay these fees and all tickets must be purchased directly through their site. This makes it very difficult to compare shopping or find the right budget airline for the route you are going to travel. Fortunately, a new type of airline search engine has emerged on the market to address this need. Each of these sites searches both major legacy and low-cost airlines to give you the cheapest airfares again. Take a look:
It’s important to do your homework once you’ve narrowed down your flight choices, as you may be presented with choices on airlines you’ve never heard of. Low-cost airlines are as stingy with service as possible to save money, not to lower prices in good faith. Before purchasing a ticket, visit the airline’s website to read about rules, restrictions and fees. You will also have to pay extra for 1 checked bag, 1 drink, 1 food or some entertainment. Finally, check out what other travelers are saying about your flying performance on consumer review sites like Jaunted and Epinions.
With a little advanced research, you can fly to your next vacation destination for a bargain ticket price!