On the surface, low-fare airlines seem to be a very good deal especially for people who travel frequently or have limited budgets. It is important to weigh the pros and cons first to determine if you’re truly getting a good deal.
Some people may pay for low rates then realize that there are more drawbacks, removing the value from the entire trip. Browse through different airline companies and talk to frequent passengers to know the specifics on low-cost flying. Here are some of the common plusses and pitfalls you should know.
The Advantages of Low-fare Airlines
1. Low price. Passengers can certainly enjoy low rates which will effectively boost savings for frequent flyers. Going for low-fare airlines can help people save as much as 50% to 80%, especially when booking early. These airline companies usually serve a few routes only and can provide clients with more competitive prices.
2. Frequent promotions. Every now and then, people will find big discounts on airfare for certain routes. These promos will be available for a few days only so individuals have to stay alert. Checking the official website of the airline will present the available tickets for particular destinations. You can set the departure times to and from the specific location and manage your bookings yourself.
3. New planes. Some airlines offer low-cost tickets because they have new planes. Some are under re-fleeting programs and introduce the latest airplanes for passengers to experience. Passengers get to enjoy state-of-the-art features and amenities, as well as a smooth and seamless flight experience.
4. One-way tickets. Some passengers only travel one way so even when availing low-cost tickets, they don’t have to spend extra for a return flight. Some airlines will give you a one-way ticket option without charging extra.
5. Off peak benefits. The prices will even be lower if you’re getting red-eye flights or when traveling during non-peak hours or days. If you have a definite schedule prepared, you can book your flights in advance and enjoy a stress-free trip.
For every low-fare deal a passenger will supposedly enjoy, there is always a compromise on this.
1. Hidden fees. There are many occasions when travelers realize that they’re only paying for a portion of the total package. There may be hidden fees, taxes, insurance costs and other added expenses that will increase the amount significantly. It’s important to verify the total cost first.
2. Two-way tickets. Some low-fare airlines will require you to buy a return ticket. The cost will generally be the same or even more expensive than getting a regular one-way ticket.
3. Bad schedule. Many low-cost flights will limit your options to non-peak hours or days. Airlines usually offer cheap tickets for very early morning or midnight flights. Some people also realize that they have been tagged as chance passengers and can have their flight delayed or canceled altogether.
4. No refunds. Generally, discounted airline tickets will not allow refunds. The no refund policy will require you to schedule your flight properly. Rescheduling might lead to big costs that equal regular tickets.
5. Baggage restrictions. Many passengers are also restricted to carry-on luggage only when using low-fare tickets. You will be charged extra for checking in or have to pay huge fees for excess baggage.
6. Long walk to departure gates. Not all departure gates are created equal. When flying on a large airports there are accessible gates close to immigration counter / customs often reserved for premium routes of global airlines and there are far-flung gates dedicated for low-budget airlines who pay less to the airport.
It is certainly worth exploring between paying for a full-service flight that offers a set of “complementary” services or a no-frills journey with bare-bone features. You may save money but you’ll certainly need to sacrifice certain things. Your decision may boil down to whether you are tight on budget and wish to spend more on your destination instead, or prefer to pamper yourself in your entire journey and prepared to pay extra.
Check the background and reputation of the airline company when it comes to offering low-fare flights. Also, be updated by reading feedback from frequent travelers on forums or airline review sites then keep an eye out for great deals on official websites.