Budget airlines look very attractive when you are booking. A route that generally costs around $150 might run for a price of $50 or less with budget airlines.
These are all just gimmicks to try and make you book these airlines. On the outside, they might seem like an awesome deal, but in reality, you will end up spending more than if you booked with a legacy carrier, such as American, Delta, or United.
You might be asking yourselves "Should I book with a low-cost airlines? Read below before deciding.
Budget Airlines Charge for Every Little Thing
If you are booking a flight, you would go onto Google Flights and find the flight that has the cheapest price.
However the price they give is not going to be the price you pay, and that is because of additional fees.
If you take a look at the picture above, there is a noticeable difference between the price of American and the price of Spirit. However if you look carefully, there is a baggage icon with a slash through it.
This means that you cannot bring any carry-on bags on the aircraft. This means you are forced to check in all your bags.
Let's take a closer look at this fare on the Spirit website.
This is Spirit's baggage price calculator. We will look at the price of a carry-on bag at the time of booking the flight. It costs $28.
But it's not just $28 round trip. It's $28 one-way. This makes it $56 just to bring one bag on the flight.
American, on the other hand, provides you with one free carry-on. And when American's fare is $71, it is cheaper than the $109 you will pay for your Spirit fare, when combining baggage fees. There are also various other fees
In conclusion, you will be better off choosing another option, unless you plan on traveling with just a backpack.
Budget Airlines Always have Poor Customer Service
You can never have reliability with budget airlines. They will never assure you that you will get your flight on time, or whether you even will get your flight in the first place.
And if your flight is cancelled, it will be a very painful headache to try and get your refund voucher. It is very risky, and since you risk missing your connecting flights, it causes more panic.
And on top of that you have only 24 hours to get a full refund!
Choose budget airlines only if you are okay with being delayed for the advantage of having a lower price.
They Have No Alliances with Other Airlines
That doesn't seem like a big deal right? Why should we care whether an airlines an alliance or not?
Actually it is a pretty big deal if you plan on connecting. For example, let's take Frontier Airlines.
Frontier Airlines does not fly directly from St. Louis to London (Or any international flight). Neither do they have connecting flights in Denver, their hub.
Here is where alliances come into play. American doesn't have a direct flight, but they are part of the OneWorld Alliance, which includes British Airways.
So basically you can fly from St. Louis to a hub, such as DFW in Dallas, and you can connect through British Airways with the exact same ticket! And all your bags will be transferred directly to the other flight!
If you book with two different tickets, you will have to leave the airport, collect your bags, check back in, go through security, and then board your flight. It's just wasted time.
Should I Fly a Budget Airline?
So here is my verdict.
Fly a budget airline if you aren't taking any bags with you, if you are okay with delays or cancellations, and if you aren't taking a connecting flight with another airline.
If one of the above does not apply to you, you are better off flying with a legacy airline.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps with booking your next flight!