“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” should be a cautionary motto for passengers. Promising low fares to top destinations, low-cost carriers lure in budget travelers with the chance to see the world, or at least visit grandma without breaking the bank.
But in an era when even large commercial airlines are charging for checked baggage and meals, low budget competitors are staying afloat by charging for even more amenities, limiting baggage allowances and weights, and even sneaking in hidden fees.
So how do you know which ticket is a good deal and which could lead to a nightmare flight? Experts say you don’t have to avoid all budget airlines. Research them ahead of time to find out which ones are the most established and best reviewed to avoid any cancellations, delays and other issues.
Also, book with a credit card in case there are any problems. Finally, avoid any unnecessary fees — this is easier when travelers are using low-cost airlines for shorter flights and have little luggage.
To compile a list of budget airlines that cost as much as traditional ones, 24/7 Tempo reviewed several low-cost carriers and all fees they charge for luggage, booking, checking, seat, meals, WiFi, and entertainment. And if you still choose to travel with them, you may want to know the budget airlines with the best on-time record.