Inside the United States there are a few low cost carriers, but when you travel outside of the US you seem to find low cost carriers everywhere! Many of these carriers are no frills airlines that offer great one way rates. You have to read the small print though because while the cost of the seat is very low – sometimes they list it as a free seat and all you have to pay are the taxes – but those taxes can be pretty hefty! There are other ways that these carriers make money of course, and that includes high baggage fees and on some airlines – okay really only ONE that we know of – a charge to use the bathroom! On one segment we took, our bag cost us almost $75 and our seat was only $28. We should have booked a seat for our bag! Nothing is funnier than watching two travelers hanging out near the airline scales taking clothes out of the checked bag and putting them on so that the weight of the bag is in the acceptable “free” range.
In the US here are some of the low cost carriers that seem to offer the best one way ticket prices:
- AirTran Airways
- Horizon Air
- Alaska Air
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Virgin America
- Hawaiian Airlines
In Europe we found these carriers to be pretty inexpensive yet provide good service:
- TUIfly – Main hub is Germany
- Ryanair – Main hub is Ireland (remember the bathroom fees? Hmmm..)
- easyJet – Out of the UK
- Flybe – Out of the UK
In Asia you can check out:
- Lion Air – Focus is Indonesia
- AirAsia – Focus is Malaysia and Thailand
- Cebu Pacific – Focus is the Philippines
If you want to compare flights between these carriers and the higher cost carriers you can try sites like Expedia or Priceline, but many times the real low cost carriers do not allow these search engines to access their flights so you have to go to their websites individually. Like we have said before, it might take some time to find the best deal, but a little research can save a lot of money!
When we were traveling in Europe we found FlyCheapo useful find the lowest fares across many of the European carriers. You can also check out CheapOair for great deals as well as their searches will include some of the low cost US carriers.
Keep checking back! As we find more great deals and low cost carriers we will update this article.