The aviation industry has always been evolving in one way or another. I often think that it has evolved so fast that many passengers haven’t found the time to keep up with all of the advancements. It is important to have access to relevant information to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. One important decision that you may have to make in the near future involves whether to fly with a budget or a non-budget airline. Below is a summary of the noticeable differences between low cost carriers and their more expensive competitors.
12. Sleep Packages
National carriers and elite non-budget airlines are known for providing high quality in-flight service. In most cases, for long haul flights they will either have “sleep packages” laid out on your seat before you board or they will pass them out shortly after take-off. Ear plugs, an eye cover, socks, a blanket and a toothbrush are normally included in these packages. Budget airlines may still offer these packages, but they are not embedded in the cost of the ticket. Therefore, you will have the choice to purchase one in-flight if you are flying with a low cost carrier.
11. In-Flight Entertainment
For long distance flights with non-budget airlines expect to have your own personal screen with a wide range of music, games and movies available throughout your flight. If you are on an older plane then at least expect to see a larger television screen somewhere to look at. Most budget airlines do not have personal display screens on their planes, but they sometimes offer tablets that can be rented for the duration of the flight. Again, you pay either way for the luxury of having in-flight entertainment. Whether you need it remains to be seen?
10. More Legroom Please??
Depending on your height you may or may not have noticed that budget airlines often don’t seem to have the same amount of legroom in comparison to their non-budget competitors. Keep in mind, however, that budget airlines usually offer shorter flights. Budget airlines often do have a small number of seats with more legroom but you will have to pay slightly more in order to pre-book one of these seats. Ultimately, it comes down to what you value more – comfort or savings?
9. Round Trip vs. One way Advertisement
If you book a lot of flights then you have probably already noticed that budget airlines primarily advertise one way fares whereas non-budget airlines usually promote round trip journeys. This could have something to do with the length of the flights non-budget carriers offer and visa issues. Budget airlines want to entice passengers with super low fares and showcasing one-way prices does just that!
The way in which budget and non-budget airlines manage their luggage policies is a very important difference passengers should be aware of. Non-budget carriers, in most cases, grant passengers 7 kg of carry-on luggage and at least 23 kg of checked luggage for international flights. Only if you exceed these restrictions will you have to shell out money at the airport. Budget airlines also allow 7 kg of carry-on luggage, but in most cases you will have to pay for checked luggage. You will have the choice to pre-purchase luggage online or pay during check-in. Therefore, try to travel light if you are flying with a low cost airline!
7. On-board Meals
Non-budget carriers typically provide meals with free-flow of drinks built into the flight price for international routes. When you get on the plane the only reason to use your credit card will be for duty-free purchases. They also tend to serve a light snack and a small beverage for shorter domestic sectors. Budget airlines differ in this regard because they usually allow passengers to pre-purchase meals before their flight departs. If passengers are hungry or thirsty in the air, then they must purchase additional food and beverages if they didn’t pre-order. This is fine for short flight routes, but it can add up if you are in the air for nine hours with a budget carrier.