Low cost airlines are often much cheaper air travel alternative to internationally known airlines. To save costs, the communication between the customer and such low-cost airline is primarily made through the Internet. Compared to the standards of other airlines it is necessary to mention some negatives. When flying with them you may find less comfort and you even shouldn’t expect any refreshments for free, but this is not such a disaster on the short lines, as we are flying within Europe only.
You also shouldn’t rely on a time schedule, which can be a problem in connection with other flights and should always plan with some extra time in advance. It is also important to know the detailed information about the airport you will be landing on. Low-cost airlines use cheaper regional airports, which can be quite far from your destination. In this case, it is necessary to calculate the time and cost of a transport. Calculation of ticket price is very unpredictable and depends on the current demand for a particular flight. You can get the best price when purchasing tickets several months in advance, but this may not always be the truth, as it depends on the season, weekend events (major concert, football match, etc.), state holidays or a coincidence (special offers). If you just found a flight at a good price you should buy a ticket immediately, because the price can change very quickly. Paid ticket is usually not refundable and fares are usually quoted excluding airport and possibly other ancillary fees (luggage, Credit Card fees on payment).
But they are really cheap!!!
I used to fly with Ryanair or Sky Europe (this company does not exist any more) and sometimes I caught really great offers. For example a year and half ago I flew with Ryanair for a weekend from Prague, Czech republic to Pisa, Italy and back for only €8, including all taxes and fees (I took just a hand-bag with me). Well, actually it wasn’t only €8… It wasn’t direct flight. I had to fly through Frankfurt-Hahn, Germany by the evening flight from Prague (I’ve been in Germany at 23:00). Here I had to stay overnight in a pension for further €20 and early morning (09:30 am) left to Pisa by another flight. To save more money I could stay on the airport overnight for free but I did this only once in Rome and I promised myself it was for the last time. But if you have never done so, I can only recommend you to try it. Well, the big advantage of Pisa airport is that you can get to the city centre on foot, you don’t have to pay even for a taxi or bus. It takes just about 30 minutes walking).
As you can see, this can be really very cheap, however not very easy at all.
Ok, but how to find which low-cost airlines is best for you?
Until recently I didn’t know that there are so many low-cost airlines in Europe. I found out that they are around 40 of them available for the travellers. There is even a website where you can find out which low-cost airline fly on the route you wish to travel. Just choose the airports and you will see the list of low-cost airlines flying on that way, so you can then check their offers and choose the best one. You can find this great tool on the website: www.low-cost-airline-guide.com
General instructions on how to proceed (for individual companies may be differences)
Below you can find some more basic information about buying the tickets, online check-in and other good tips.
Always buy a direct flight from destination A to destination B. If you then continue to destination C you have to buy another ticket, even if you continue with the same company. In my example above I bought the return ticket from Prague to Frankfurt-Hahn for €4 at first and then another return ticket from Frankfurt-Hahn to Pisa for the same price.
When you already chose a particular flight you can pay over the Internet using an international credit card or a different method of payment (depends on the company). Different methods have different fees. Majority of low-cost airlines offers free hand luggage transport if you take it with you to the airplane. But be aware that such luggage has to meet the airline’s requirements. Do not exceed the dimensions or weight as they can be measured and you may pay extra money if exceeded. You also need to meet the requirements of the airport security and you cannot pack any sharp objects (knifes, scissors, …), nor liquids, guns etc. You will be asked to leave it at the gate.
After successful payment you will receive an email with a code. Print this email and do not forget to bring it with you to the airport. You will need to show it first to security guards and then to airline stewards instead of former paper tickets.
But prior you move to the airport you should make an online check-in which confirms that you are attending the flight (usually from 15 days up to 4 hours before each scheduled flight departure time). This can be done through the website of your airlines.
The last thing you have to do is to come to an airport usually at least 40 minutes prior departure. If you have a big luggage you have to go to your airline customer centre on the airport and leave the luggage there, so they could load it to the craft. Otherwise you can go directly to the gate with the printed email and a personal ID card (when travelling within EU countries) or passport.
Category: Travel Tips