Cheap European AirlinesEuropean cheap airlines
Not only has the need for low fare flights led to a drastic rise in low fare airlines, with the annual creation of new airlines, but also to more and more European flights - nowadays it is often less expensive to travel between European cities than by rail or coach!
Apart from the low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet, which have a wide range of increasing air services serving almost every European metropolis, most low-cost carriers are operating between several different geographical areas. Minor airlines may only offer services between hub airports and important domestic destinations, and some airlines may offer services between certain destinations.
Wizz Air links West European towns with several Eastern European regions such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania. There are currently around 37 low-cost airlines, although sales are rapid and new businesses come onto the market every year.
In contrast to conventional airlines, low-cost airlines are often assumed to offer a "no frills" airline experience - with low-cost airlines you really get what you are paying for and anything but the fare will be costing you. While most airlines allow cabin baggage of up to 10kg to be carried free of cost (see size guidelines), there is a fee for baggage storage in the cargo area.
A 15 kg pouch could be £15-30, and sport equipment and prams are becoming more and more costly to carry. PLEASE NOTE: It is much less costly to inspect baggage on-line than at the airports. Also, keep in mind that most airlines levy charges for excess baggage - don't discount the size of your pocket, otherwise you'll be fined a heavy one.
- Occupancy assignment - Occupancy assignments are not made with low fare airlines, so if you want to make sure that you are sitting with your spouse or boyfriend it will take around 5 to book a place. While most low fare airlines offer free on-line check-in, don't do this and you'll pay a hefty charge at the check-in counter (up to 140!), so don't miss to do your on-line check-in before your trip!
The majority of airlines offer you the possibility of having your own printed timetable pass (usually an A4 printout). Remember, as a replacement for the tickets, the counter can be up to 20 pounds. Some airlines are ticketless and only need a verification number and your valid travel document, so make sure you verify this before flying.
It' less expensive to buy your ticket with a direct card as currently there is a 2% charge for using a direct payment system. Reserving with a single voucher is more secure - if you are spending more than 100 and something goes awry with the plane, the voucher carrier and the carrier are joint and several.
Many low budget airlines will also try to offer you holiday insurances, rental cars and hotels, so make sure you verify your bill before you make your payment to prevent undesirable expenses! Several airlines levy a royalty for traveling with an infant on your knee. Inquire with the carrier to prevent unpleasant surprise.
Even though the disguised charges of low-cost airlines can be large and dissuasive, even with additional charges and charges, air travel is still cheap. As a rule, the departures are relatively good and, although quite simple, inexpensive. Tactical bookings can incur a charge of up to 15 per leg, which includes charges. Air travel comparator sites like Skyscanner and Momondo are a good way to check the prices of competing airlines.
Following low-cost airline rivalry, incumbent airlines have lowered their tariffs and sometimes sell on air - monitoring their rates is always a good thing as their rates are sometimes only slightly more costly than those of low-cost airlines. If there are no cheap rates for your favourite destinations, get imaginative and check out the lower cost airport in the area.
Flying from London Stanstead to the Krakow Tourism Hot Spot can be expensive (around 300), but flying to Katowice (less than 2 hrs by coach from Krakow) can be almost 120 pounds cheaper. An advance book in Katowice to Krakow transfers can be up to 15 per passenger - a tactical reservation can help you safe time.
The city itself has three turnstiles for 3 low fare airlines - Stansted, Luton and Gatwick - with bus transfer between all three possible, so remember. Timetables are often densely packed, so you can anticipate delay due to dominance effects when a plane is overdue. The majority of low fare airlines are point-to-point and often have a dubious guideline regarding the reimbursement of delay or cancellation tickets (i.e. they will not do so), so make sure you verify this before booking.
Leave plenty of free space between connections, as low fare airlines seldom transport your baggage from air to air - you often have to pick up and recheck your own baggage. Low-fare airlines often use alternate destinations to keep fares low. If, for example, you are booking a low-cost ticket to Paris, you do not expect the ticket to arrive at the famous Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports - most low-cost airlines actually use Paris Beauvais International, a good 90 km from the town!
Even though these secundary airfields provide transfer to the downtown area, this can often be expensive, so it is a good idea to organize the transfer to the downtown area before you travel, or to lose the chance of the original savings you made on your airfare.