Budget airlines are great for creating competition and bringing costs down for a lot of us when we travel. In Europe, you’ve probably heard of RyanAir or EasyJet, Asia it’s Asia Air or Jet Star, and in the US, it would be Southwest or Spirit. But are they worth it?
Sticking in Europe, carriers like RyanAir can often sell tickets that are cheaper than train tickets. However, the destination isn’t always accurate. RyanAir flies into smaller airports which are often quite a bit outside the city center. Also, you get charged for everything. Print a boarding pass? Pay. Drinks? Pay. To top it all off, you’ll have to find some sort of transportation to get into the city which can often be expensive if you’re in a taxi.
I think budget carriers are great in that they can really open up cities you might not otherwise go to since the ticket is so cheap. So, if you aren’t tied to a strict schedule and willing to just hop on a plane like you would a train or bus, this is a really cool way of exploring an area you might otherwise have never known about. However, I think that’s the extent of my desire to fly them.
I love to save money as much as anyone else but if I have to save time OR money, I will always choose to save time. Enjoying my vacation involves getting there as efficiently as possible and on a budget carrier, the journey is oftentimes nothing to enjoy.
So, if you are travelling and debating on taking a budget carrier, I’d recommend really looking into which airport you’re actually flying into. Are you flying into London Heathrow or London Gatwick? Paris de Gaulle or Paris Beauvais? Just because it has the city in the name doesn’t mean it’s actually the destination you’re wanting.