Low cost airlines have made the world a much more accessible place. 30 years ago, a holiday in Europe was something that those who weren’t rich or famous could only dream about; but thanks to the introduction of low cost airlines, this has all changed. Various carriers connect many cities in Europe at budget rates, making it entirely feasible to travel from the UK to many major cities on the continent at very cheap prices, making it possible for people from all backgrounds to enjoy a low cost holiday.
Origin of low cost tickets
Low cost plane tickets were first introduced in the United States, and quickly spread to Europe and across many parts of the rest of the world. They are famed for offering ‘no frills’ at budget prices; hold luggage and in-flight meals will generally cost more, giving travellers the option to tailor their fares to their specific requirements. This makes it a fantastic option to help budget travellers see more of the world.
Tips for booking low cost flights
Consider alternative airports
The most convenient airport isn’t always the cheapest; so you can often get flexible fares if you fly into/ out of an alternative airport. London has five airports, so it’s a great idea to check the prices of each to get a cheaper deal. You could also look at flying into a different airport in your destination country or even into a neighbouring European country to get the best value.
Luggage and tickets
If you are travelling with hold luggage and want to opt for a low cost carrier, make sure you book this when choosing your flight tickets – this avoids being charged hefty amounts at the airport. Some low cost airlines have other specifications – for example, that all tickets be printed – so be sure to read up on these and make sure you have everything covered before taking the flight.
Be flexible with your dates
If you are flexible with dates you can often get a flight for a lot cheaper than those restricted to a specific day. Weekday flights typically cost a lot less than the weekend, and if you can, it’s best to avoid school holidays.
The main places that low cost airlines fly to
If you're looking for cheap flights around Europe, check out this list of low cost airlines (budget carriers) and some of the destinations that they fly to around Europe.
One of the most well-known budget airlines, Ryanair flies from Dublin, Stansted, Aberdeen, Liverpool etc. to Berlin, Porto, Lisbon, Madrid, Marseille, Paris, Rome etc.
easyjet is popular with travelers for its low fares and flight availability. Planes leave from Gatwick, Bristol, Glasgow, Inverness etc to Paris, Barcelona, Basel, Belgrade, Budapest, Prague, Tel Aviv etc.
WizzAir is a great option for low cost flights; and serves routes from Luton, Liverpool, Lancaster/ Sheffield and Glasgow to Warsaw, Prague, Riga, Split, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Brno, Larnaca, Athens, etc.
Flybe makes low cost holidays a reality with flights leaving from Manchester, Birmingham, London and Dublin to destinations such as Amsterdam, Budapest, Bordeaux, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, Zagreb and more.