Travelling on low-cost airlines have become an easy and convenient way to travel not to mention the small transition on the pockets. The advances in airline computerization facilities and the internet have made it convenient to make a booking and payment from a home computer. No doubt this has taken away the job of travel agents but in the process, the whole travel industry ranging from hotels to transportation has benefited from the greater volume of passengers. The immense popularity of low-cost airlines shows they are here to stay as the high volume has justified the very attractive ticket pricing structures.
There are quite a number of low-cost airlines around the world ranging from Malaysia’s Air Asia to Ryan Air of Europe. The 2016 Skytrax awards for best low-cost airlines was awarded to Air Asia, Virgin America, Norwegian, Easy Jet and JetStar Airways as the world’s five best low-cost airlines. There is a spread of low-cost airlines within each continent and one is advised to take note if intending to travel to a new place. For example, Air Asia operates extensively within Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Virgin America although a low-cost airline has achieved the status of being labeled as the best airline within the Americas. The airline, considered a San Francisco based boutique carrier provide the same high-quality services expected from the Virgin brand but at low-cost carrier price structures. Within India, the low-cost carrier IndiGo, rated 8th in position, provides a very high quality of cabin services on its domestic routes.
The fare for trips is relatively cheap especially if an early booking is made in advance. Normally airlines will send out emails advertising their prices as early as six months ahead. It is good to visit the airlines’ websites to check out prices especially during off-peak holiday periods when airlines reduce prices to attract customers. Although prices seem to be really cheap at first glance, it is advisable to run through the whole process until the end when additional costs such as airport taxes and surcharges are shown. This will provide a more accurate indication of the actual price of the ticket.
As low-cost airlines operate on small budgets, the services provided are minimal with limited baggage, seating positions and meals being areas where the airlines generate income. The baggage allowance depends on the airline with some airlines offering extremely low weight whereas others are generous with free baggage allowance. It is always safer to purchase excess baggage fees online especially if you are traveling in a group. The purchase of online excess baggage fees is cheaper than having to purchase it when checking in.
The choosing of the seating position is another area where airlines generate income. If you are particular regarding the location of your seat and you prefer aisle seat then it is advisable to pay an additional fee for the convenience. Family members who want to sit together or those who prefer to sit near toilets due to health conditions will be advised to pay the additional fee.
There are airlines who provide the menu for meal selection when purchasing tickets whereas others sell light refreshments on board. The quality and variety of meals depend on the airlines as some provide very high-quality meals.
The seat and leg room can vary with airlines as some have very comfortable seats whereas others are quite narrow and it can be uncomfortable especially if you did not book an aisle seat and is seated in the middle of a row. If there are few passengers, the cabin crew would allow you to change seats but if the airline is full and you are stuck in the middle, it can be an uncomfortable journey. So be prepared.
Low-cost airlines have opened the doors for traveling the world on a cheap budget. The airlines are doing a good job in serving those who previously could not afford air travel.