Flying on Budget, Air Tickets on a Budget

By: Metodi Mladenov

Looking at the oil prices lately you may decide to skip this year's vacation because the plane tickets will cost you a fortune. But what about flying for free from London to Barcelona or for just $130 from US to Germany ? This is possible if you know where to look.

It took almost a decade after the European Open-Sky Treaty of 1992 enabled airlines to fly anywhere they wished in the EU without government approval to see the business booming. But this phenomenon is observed not only in Europe – low-cost airlines are available all over the world and you can find a comprehensive list and traveler's tools on TravelWeaver.net .

The low-cost airlines are also known as budget 'Budget Travel', low-price, discount, 'Budget Flying' or no-frills airlines. In order to keep the prices low they provide ticket-less travel, online ticket sales and have no offices internationally; most of them do not provide in-flight meals or beverages as well as in-flight entertainment; there are no frequent flyer programs and no club lounges. One of the main characteristics of the low-cost airlines is that they have limited coverage and use secondary airports, which are less convenient for consumers.

Although the prices are attractive, there are also some drawbacks that you need to be aware of before using low-cost airlines. For example, there is no possibility of rescheduling a flight once booked, and there is no refund in the event of cancellation.

The baggage limit can also be lower that of full-cost carriers. In all the cases you also need to calculate the price for transportation to the secondary airport, and plan for the additional time you will need to get there.

One of the overseas carriers that offer cheap flights is Condor. They offer discount flights from Frankfurt to many destinations around the world. You can fly with them to Las Vegas , Orlando or LA for around 130$ (99 €). Another company, Thomas Cook, also offers cheap flights overseas while most of the low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Air Berlin offer only intra-continental flights.

The key for cheap travel is to plan your trip early and monitor the prices for some time before you purchase. If you go to Ryanair's web site for example, you might even find tickets going for free, depending on when you want to fly. If you have planned your vacation early you may find really good deals with traditional carriers too. Look for flights at least couple of months before your schedule your vacation. Also subscribe for the airlines or travel sites newsletters because then you will receive timely information for deals and offers.

Also keep in mind that the travel search engines do not comprehensively search the Web and retrieve the lowest prices. Some airlines do not permit third parties to book their seats and others are launching a lobbying effort intent on overturning the regulations to advertise the actual price they would charge the customer.

Buying from two different carriers may make sense in some situations. Very often for example you can fly very cheap in one direction and need to pay expensive ticket on the way back. Look for prices from other carrier in this case. I personally combined trips from Condor and Continental to fly from Frankfurt/Main to Seattle and the overall fair was less than 300 $ while the traditional carriers like BA, Air France or KLM would have charged me 4 times more.

Also one good source for checking air prices is Farecast which compares the airline tickets and makes projections of the prices. They base their analysis on a comprehensive analysis of prices from the past. While their coverage is not very comprehensive at the moment, you may consider using them in the future.

Don't take the conservative approach and rely only on one source of information, the Internet allows you to do the research you need to find the best offer and make the most of your vacation.

Top Searches on
Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles