Low Cost Airlines Europe
Over the past decade, Europe has certainly seen an increase in low cost airlines and it has made flying throughout Europe a much more viable option for travellers. These low cost airlines now provide flights to many major airports and cities that were once regarded as ‘High priced ticket’ destination. The introduction of the low cost airlines has certainly made Europe a smaller and much more accessible place to explore. It also now means that a quick weekend break in one of these major cities is no longer an expensive experience.
It crazy to think that you can actually buy a return flight from the UK to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, France or other countries in Europe for less money than it would cost to pay for a taxi home, after a night out in your home town or city! Finding a cheap flight and then finding yourself cheap accommodation for the duration of your stay means you can enjoy several short breaks for the same price as you may have paid for just one holiday before the low cost airlines were introduced.
Many travellers now use the low cost airlines for both business and pleasure and the having cheap flights available throughout the year, is a very attractive option for travellers.
However, some of the low cost airlines have had bad press over the years because of the high fees they charge for some of the extras that they add on to the price of your flight.
Regardless of these high fees, it is amazing at how cheap you can actually fly from one country to another in Europe, especially if you are travelling with just hand luggage. If your trip is only for a few nights and you can travel light, there are certainly some great deals to be found. Each one of these low cost airlines have their own policies regarding hand luggage restrictions and if you abide by their rules and play the game, you will enjoy some great deals. If you fail to abide by their rules, you will be hit will hefty fines!
When you book your flight with the low cost airlines, the majority of them will allow you to take (free of charged) hand luggage. The hand luggage allowance can vary but it is generally around 10kg in weight.
Travelling with just hand luggage and keeping within your hand luggage allowance, will allow you to keep the cost of your flight down to a minimum. If you choose to take additional luggage on your trip, you will be required to pay an additional charge for each extra piece of luggage you check-in.
This is just one way that the low cost airlines make money and there are many other ways they will charge you for their services. Make sure you are familiar with the airlines terms and conditions and ensure you do not incur any unwanted charges.
How Do The Low Cost Airlines Work
Basically, the low cost airlines work on the basis of cut their own operating costs and this generally means also cutting back on passenger luxuries and offering the basic facilities. They also work on advertising low cost flights for passengers who book their seats early and then increase the cost of a seat as the flight becomes more booked up. This then means that they can make more money on the higher ticket priced seats. It also allows the airline to make additional money by charging for extras such as, priority boarding, extra baggage, food and drink on board the aircraft and extra leg room. This model seems to work well for the airlines but if you asks most passengers, the majority will tell you that it is annoying being charged for every little extra!
Low Cost Airlines Europe Additional Fees
Most low cost airlines offer cheap flights with no thrills. This means that any extras you may wish to have on the flight, you will need to pay for. So, what extras can you expect to be charged for by the low cost airlines Europe.
Admin Charges: Many of the low cost airlines used to charge heavily for using certain credit cards. Now they incorporate an admin charge for each booking.
Luggage: You will have a hand luggage allowance that is usually 10kg but if you wish to check-in extra hold luggage, you will be charge for every extra piece of luggage.
Excess Hand Luggage: If your hand luggage is deemed to be too big and does not comply with the airlines ‘hand luggage measurement’ policy, you will be charged and excess fee.
Priority Boarding: Passenger have an option for purchasing priority boarding. This will allow passengers to board the aircraft before the other passengers.
Reserved Seats: You will be charge a fee if you want to reserve your seat.
Boarding Pass: If you check-in online, you will be required to print off your boarding pass and then present it at the airport. If you fail to do so, you will have to pay the airline to print you another and this is not cheap and can cost between £50-£100.
Meals: You will not receive a meal on these flights but you do have the option to buy food and drink onboard. However, you can take your own food and drink if you wish.
Sports Equipment: Items such as skis, snowboards, bikes, surfboards and golf clubs will all incur a fee.
Musical Equipment: There will be a charge for checking-in musical equipment
Changing Flights or Passenger Names: If you wish to change your flight or change the name of a passenger, you will incur an admin fee and sometimes it can work out cheaper just to rebook the flight!
Excess Baggage Weight: If you exceed your allowance, you will be charged
Although many of the low cost airlines do service some of the major airports in major cities throughout Europe, they also service some of the smaller less well known airports. Sometimes these small airports are often advertised as being in the major cities but are actually quite a distance away. However, don’t let this put you off because due to these airlines servicing these airports, there are usually very good ground support networks in place to connect passengers from the airport to the major cities.
Which Are The Low Cost Airlines Europe
As you will see from the list below, there are a large number of low cost airlines that now operate throughout Europe with largest carrier being Ryanair.
Albania: Belle Air
Austria: – InterSky – Niki
Czech Republic: SmartWings
France: XL Airways France
Germany: Germanwings – OLT Express Germany
Hungary: Wizz Air – Iceland – WOW air
Italy: Air One – Blu-express
Norway: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Romania: Blue Air
Spain: Iberia Express – Volotea – Vueling
Ukraine: Wizz Air Ukraine
United Kingdom: EasyJet – Flybe – Jet2.com – Monarch Airlines – Ryanair
Using the low cost airlines Europe is a great way to see Europe but if you wish to reserve the cheap flights, it is always a good idea to book your seat well in advance before travel.