Barcelona Hotels Articles

June 29, 2010

Budget Airlines – Cheap For A Reason?

For every person that has bought a flight on the internet and wondered why it is so cheap – this article will explore and hopefully dispel the myths that surround budget airlines. Like everything in life and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. But is it worth saving that extra cash for your trip or splashing out on this small part of your holiday.?

So, you buy the ticket at a great rate, albeit with some hidden taxes, charges and fee and prepare for a great holiday. As the day of departure approaches, you eagerly anticipate the holiday or trip itself, but you are probably a little apprehensive about the flight. For those who haven’t used budget airlines before, it is hard to know what to expect from the flight.

Travelling by aeroplane can be awkward, irritating and tiresome so you expect a budget airline could be worse. All the worst things about flying will be emphasised by the ‘budget’ part of the flight company. Will you regret this decision that seemed such a good one when you made the booking?

Leading up to the flight, you may get e-mails regarding information that you need to provide to assist a smooth check-in. You can opt for an online check-in, allowing you priority boarding on to the plane. This is a great idea as some flights will not have seat numbers, forcing groups to be separated as the plane fills up.

Providing the information via e-mail enables a quick check-in at the airport with queues reduced to a few people at a time. The whole process is reasonably easy and makes your experience even better as you seem to be able to take more advantage of the duty-free and airport shopping.

Boarding the plane is as difficult as normal airlines, if not more difficult due to the lack of numbered tickets. As you make your way up the stairs, the delays are noticeable as people hunt for enough seats together to keep their families and friends close by. This is mildly irritating, especially in the cold and wind, but also can be a common problem on the more expensive airlines.

Finding a seat is a race and for people travelling in groups is a dog-eat-dog situation. Regular budget fliers are clearly aware of how to take advantage and will punish hesitation in the newer budget travellers. Go in focussed and make sure you grab that seat before someone else does. You will regret it if you delay for only a few seconds as a budget airline is a dangerous place for consideration and politeness.

Once seated, those travellers over a metre tall will notice the considerably small amount of leg-room allocated. As a flier that struggles with my knees on any aeroplane, I was quick to realise that leg-room is at a premium on budget flights. Again, early boarding can rectify this problem before it starts, be quick to grab the emergency exit seats as there is ample room for six footers and up.

As the flight commences, don’t expect a meal. Free food is one of the sacrifices that budget airlines will force upon you. Not the biggest loss, especially as it usually adds a substantial amount to the overall cost of the flight. If you get hungry while flying, take some cash and take advantage of the various snacks available. They may cost a small fortune but what do you expect when you are flying a thousand miles for five pounds.

Don’t expect a peaceful journey. You may feel bombarded with sales pitches and various products will be presented for your perusal. Again, they are looking to boost profits and who can blame them when they get me so far for so little money? If you manage to resist the hot croissant, glass of wine or scratch-cards (for charity, of course) then the flight will still be cheap.

When you land in your chosen destination you may face the next problem with budget flights. It would appear that a lot of the cost of flying could be in the location that you land. The flight may tell you that you are landing in Barcelona or Rome, but you could be a hundred miles from the city. Again, this can be sorted out pretty easily with a train or bus ride – not pushing the cost of travel to anywhere near that of a non-budget airline.

Overall, the cost of flying with a budget airline is certainly the key benefit. Regular fliers with premium airlines will find the flights a little uncomfortable and not as pleasurable but the price certainly makes up for any inconvenience.

As long as you know what to expect, budget airlines tick all the right boxes and sacrifice the luxuries that you won’t miss at all. The flights are cheap and still get you there so what’s so bad about no in-flight meal and restricted leg-room? Budget airlines may be cheap but that’s not a bad thing when they offer such a competitive service to those of us that can’t afford to fly in a winged five-star hotel.

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