Budget airlines might come across as the cheapest option at first, but this might not always be the case. Investigate a little deeper into your options and you could soon discover alternatives at a much better price.
Here are some added costs and alternatives that you should look out for when planning and booking your next trip:
If you frequently travel with hand luggage then your perfectly fine and budget airlines are your perfect option. But sometimes you Don’t have a choice and need to check in luggage. This could be for a number of reasons such as studying abroad or heading to the ski slopes. You should consider this whilst looking at flights, budget airlines charge roughly an additional £20 to your flight total each way. This normally comes included with many commercial airlines, which could make the budget airlines more expensive.
Final destination transfer
Budget airlines have the tendency to fly to airports located far away from city centres to cut costs. This is one way they can bring down prices. It’s important to check before you book how much this length of travelling will cost. Some places such as Bremen, its only a few euros on the city tram and you’re in the city in a couple of minutes. Cities Such as Frankfurt, which has many airports can come at a large cost. The Frankfurt international airport is a lot closer to the city centre and won’t cost you a €14 one way ticket compared to Frankfurt Hahn Airport.
Credit card handling fees
Budget airlines tend to charge high credit card fees, it’s plain stupid, but they do it and you have to pay it. Even though its small its still going to be charged to your account and you should also take this sum into account.
Travel by train instead
Sometimes it might be cheaper to travel by train instead of using budget airlines, it might be more time consuming, but can be a great way to see the country you’re visiting from from the window. However, Eurostar prides themselves on speed compared to taking a flight as you don’t have a lot of the airport hassle to go through. If your under 26 Eurostar have good youth rates and low season ticket can go for cheap prices so its always worth a look.
Entertainment, food, beverages and many extra perks
Lots of added extras come along with not flying with a budget airline, such as Comfort kit, food, beverages, entertainment, seat selection and also flyer reward schemes which you can use to claim for free flights in the future. All of these are extras which you normally have to pay for on a budget airline, however, I can live without all of the above and go for the cheaper budget flight if available. If the budget airlines are more expensive than the commercial airlines then consider that all the above comes as an added bonus for no additional cost.
How about the bus?
Again a slower option but could be affordable, take the Megabus from London to Glasgow which allows you to sleep in a bunk bed for the duration of the trip. Saves a night in a hotel and you wake up in the city. Prices have been advertised for £1 with Megabus, do check it out. If you’re travelling around South East Asia, Budget airlines can be tempting, but sometimes sleeper buses can be more affordable and as buses go they are rather luxurious. Normally a standard sleeper bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumper can cost you around £30 and comes with reclining chairs, free water, meals, entertainment and air conditioned, for the price they are very comfortable indeed. Plus, you can take an overnight journey and wake up on arrival at your new destination.
Might come as a surprise, but totally possible.
To instantly book with a budget airline without comparing prices with carrier airline can be a big mistake. They may come across as a lot more expensive, but do check with competitors before booking. Airline routes are commonly operated by multiple airlines and they are extremely competitive to win over customers, they will even try to undercut budget airlines in some cases. For example, when I was flying Iceland Air I found them to be of much better value compared to the budget airline Iceland express which was far more expensive. Not only this, but Iceland Air was awesome! They included free drinks and check in luggage at no additional cost which added to the saving as I needed to take additional outdoor equipment.
Make travelling less stressful.
Budget airlines can also be a lot of hassle, paying a little extra for the convenience is sometimes worth it to avoid the stress. As a backpacker on a budget I always opt for the cheapest option as value is key, but if the price is cheaper or the same, you might want to consider opting for an easier alternative for your travels.
I do want to make it clear that I love to fly with budget airlines as they are normally miles cheaper than the recommend alternatives above, but far more recently I’ve been noticing that it’s not always the cheapest option and if you can get a much better alternative for a lower price, you’re only adding convenience and enhancing the outcome of your trip.
Thank you for reading this blog post and I would love to hear from you about your experiences with budget airlines and seeking alternatives below in the comment section, Thank you and happy travels!