Posted by: Pradeep | July 5, 2008

Low cost airlines & Airfares

The idea behind no frills air cariers like Air Arabia, Jazeera etc. have been making air travel more affordable for leisure travellers in particular who can decide their travel plans well in advance and save on regular air fares. These low cost airlines charge for each and everything beyond the air fare charges, you pay for food & beverages, even cotton buds, wheel chair services, etc. etc. That is all well understood, anyway you pay only if you need it and not like in regular fare.

Have you ever bothered to check the fares itself with regular air lines? Lately I have observed that under the pretext that budget airlines cost less, travellers blindly believe and make the bookings (all these airlines have no refund policy, even when money is held with them upto 1 year it has to be used by same traveller on whose name the first time booking was made and then cancelled).

While I have habit of checking fares on all possible airlines for the given route, I observed that low cost airlines are at times costlier than regular well established airlines. On my recent trip to Syria I found Emirates at half the price of Jazeera and 33% less than air arabia. I have noticed this at many other times. Now if you include charges for other services also then “low cost” airlines become “too” expensive.

How it is managed by low cost airlines?

  • Low cost tag helps them;
  • One books early and never checks the last minute fares which can be much lower on regular airlines;
  • Technology must be at work; I have noticed one ticket costing less but ask for two at that moment and fares charged are more on “both” tickets 😦

I would advise all the travellers to check flexi date fares on regular airlines before jumping on to low cost airlines; after all they may not be low cost at all.

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