The no-frills airline revolution
Using low-cost carriers you can now fly across a continent often for as little as $20 each way. Viva la revolucion!
EasyJet and other no-frills carriers are quickly becoming the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to connect Point A and Point B all around the world.
The rapid growth of no-frills airlines is pealing a death knell for the bloated, corporate airlines that have, for decades, overcharged us.
The harbingers of this revolution are the Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs), a.k.a. No-Frills Airlines.
They have names like JetBlue and Southwest, Ryanair and easyJet, Tiger and Bangkok Air.
And they charge as little as twenty bucks per flight, taxes included.
OK, so $20 is at the low end of things. But the average fare is something like $80, and tickets almost never top $199—they rarely even get close.
Some of these low-cost carriers are as "no-frills" as their nickname implies: little more than flying buses, with no assigned seating, in-flight entertainment, or even free grub—if you've ever flown Southwest, you know what I mean. Though, of course, these days even some traditional airlines are making you pay for the awful food, and to "rent" a pair of $5 headphones so you can watch the lousy movie.
On the other hand, a few LCCs offer you a rather posher experience than you'd get, at least in coach, on most traditional "legacy airlines"—think of the wide leather seats, ample legroom, and individual seat back screens featuring DirectTV aboard a JetBlue plane.
On the following pages, you'll find the best no-frills strategies for making use of these new inexpensive airlines, as well as links to resources listing the current crop of LCCs around the globe, from 30-plus-year veterans like Southwest in the USA, to the successful young turks like Europe's easyJet and Ryanair, and the new frontier of upstarts in Asia, Australia, and elsewhere.
It's a brave new world of far cheaper airline tickets out there. Happy flying!
Resources for finding and booking no-frills airlines >>