This week on the #ThisVSThat series will be a debate about Low-Cost Airlines VS Full Service Airlines. As usual, I will be listing out the pros and cons of each carrier service. Don't forget to vote for your preferred option at the end of the post and the results will be shown in the next episode. Based on the first episode of the #ThisVSThat poll which was Travelling Alone VS Travelling In A Group, the results show that there are more of you who prefer travelling alone! It was quite a surprise actually as I thought many would prefer the company of someone else. You can read up about it here.
First and foremost, can I just give a shout out to Toad Diaries for this personalised diary! It has made my life so much more organised as I used to print sheets of the different months out and half way through the year, they would just go missing. However, now I have it all in tact and in one place. It's a really great site as not only can I choose the design of the cover and what's written on it, I can also choose the layout of the pages and which month to start from! It was a little confusing to use at first but after you've played around with the features, you'll get the hang of it.
BUDGET/ LOW-COST AIRLINES
There is no doubt that this is the main reason why people opt for budget airlines. Prices are low and they often have deals and offers that are suitable for anyone and everyone. The evolution of low-cost airlines have made it possible for people to travel from as low as £5.99 per way. So if you wanna save up your money to spend on other things such as accommodation and expenses, you should definitely opt for a budget airline!
It is often cheaper and more convenient to buy one-way trips for budget airlines due to its price and frequency. This allows you to fly into a country via one city and fly out through another, cutting off the constraint to return to your arrival airport, allowing you to use this time to visit other cities instead.
Although it is generally cheaper, there are a lot of hidden charges that come with it. For example, you would have to pay extra for a check-in luggage or to even request for water on flight. Other fees to look out for are baggage handling (weight limit, luggage size, amount of luggage and hand-carry bags), priority seating, boarding passes and food.
Budget airlines are known to have a higher rate in flight delays and cancellations. This can happen at any time up to an hour before the flight. When this happens, it affects a lot of other things such as having to amend airport transfers, hotel reservations and tour itinerary. Be prepared for any of these to happen if you're on a budget flight.
Since most people opt to travel with just a hand-carry luggage when travelling with budget airlines, they would check-in online so as to save time at the airport. This also means that you would need to print your boarding pass beforehand and if you fail to do so, a large fee will be incurred on you at the airport. Furthermore, these airlines are located in secondary airports which are often harder to get to.
Above is a comparison of low-cost airline, RyanAir and full service airline, British Airways on the same date. This shows the difference in price and frequency of timings.
FULL SERVICE AIRLINES
Full service airlines have bigger leg and seating space which allows for a more comfortable journey. They are less likely to have the person sitting next to you hogging up all your space. The material of the seats are generally softer and more relaxing as most are catered for long flights. These airplanes are also larger in size, reducing the possibility of turbulence, allowing for a smoother journey. Opt for this if you get air sickness easily.
It is much easier to get hold of customer service when you encounter a problem or have an enquiry as there are local landline numbers and online services. Most of them would also have an office in your country which you can pop into if it's more convenient. The fees that you have to pay if you missed your flight is also at a better rate, which you can read more about here. Furthermore, everything on board is already included such as check-in luggages, food on board...
As the airplanes are large and require a bigger budget to maintain, there is no surprise that the frequency in which it flies in a day is much less than that of a lo-cost airlines. This limits a lot of flexibility in timing as the frequency in flights are very low. You would have to plan your trip around the dates and times of the flights and rarely have the option to do otherwise unless you're willing to spend a large amount of money on it.
I would say that budget airlines are better to travel on for shorter distance as you get to save a lot with it. Yes you rule out comfort and food but it's only for a while and I'm sure you can survive bringing your own sandwich or bottle of water on the flight. However, anything that takes longer than 6 hours of flight to get to, I would definitely recommend an all-inclusive flight instead. 6 hours is a long time and this usually means it would come across a meal time. What do you think? Take your vote below!