Airlines have become synonymous with travel in this day and age, much like trains, cars and horse drawn carriages through the ages. High flying safety standard and shorter travel times coupled with lower fares have resulted in flights being preferred to land transport given a choice. However, even with the falling cost of airfare, it still remains a fairly premium mode of transport. A multiple destination itinerary especially with stopovers at short distances might make for a fairly expensive trip. To provide a solution to this problem, leading from the front are local private airlines. Many of these run on the concept of no frills, budget airlines offering customers high levels of services without some of the complementary services which might otherwise be expected from a full service airline. Given shorter flying times and a lack of major differences (except in the business and 1st class offerings) for a normal flyer, we’ve found them to be a perfectly acceptable choice. We look at some such airlines which offer fantastic on time service and connectivity without any frills, perfect for a traveller on a budget.
Best Budget Airlines – Indigo, India
This airline is a low cost airline with 39.8% market share making it the largest in terms of passengers carried. Starting off as a domestic airline, it now flies to 46 destinations in India and abroad making it the 2nd largest low cost carrier in Asia. Being a low cost carrier, it does not offer frills like complementary meals and in-flight entertainment. However it does offer an inflight magazine, buy on board meal service and premium paid services to select seats, priority check-in and an inflight shop.
Best Budget Airlines – Air Asia, Malaysia
This airline needs no introduction for travellers in South East Asia. Asia’s largest low cost airline, Malaysia’s largest airline, it flies to 165 destinations across 25 countries. Air Asia X is the sister airline which operates on long haul routes. Its credibility stems from the simple fact that amidst such tough competition from regional local airlines and national airlines, it has consistently been awarded the best low cost airline in the world for 8 years in a row.
Best Budget Airlines – EasyJet, UK
Started in 1995 and with more than 200 aircrafts flying their customers, EasyJet is the 2nd largest airline in Europe behind Ryanair, another budget airline. Setup on the model of Southwest Airlines such as not selling connecting flights and in board complementary meals, it started off with the concept of a first cum first serve seating allotment which it has since scrapped allocating seat numbers and charging extra for premium seats with extra legroom. Another advantage it maintains over its competitors is that it flies to primary airports of cities it services rather than secondary airports, often far from the city offering higher convenience to the customer.
Best Budget Airlines – Virgin America, USA
Launched by the flamboyant British brand, Virgin as part of its American operations, the airline offers its flyers the high quality of service and style expected from its parent company. It is to be noted here that though it positions itself as a low cost carrier with respect to the pricing, there is no compromise on its service levels. Arguably the best airline on the continent, it was sold to Alaska Airlines last year.
Best Budget Airlines – Jetstar Airways, Australia
It is the low cost subsidiary of Australia’s national carrier, Qantas. The airline has several awards to its name with it being consistently names as the best Airlines in Australia & Pacific. It is specifically praised for its competitive pricing and cabin service.
Other notable mentions not covered in the list are Wow Air from Iceland, Norwegian Air, Azul Brazilian airlines and Jet Blue who have maintained high quality and consistent levels of service for their customers. Thus it is no surprise that most , if not all, from this small list have found themselves awarded in various categories in the Low cost airlines awards in 2016. Overall in our opinion such airlines do not in any way hinder your flight experience although if you’ve been used to the frills of the full service airlines, especially on long haul flights, this might feel a bit of a compromise. Spirit Airlines is another such example which has made ultra cheap flight tickets its USP.
A great way to check and compare prices of Airlines for the destination of your choice is Skyscanner. If you’re like us and just wish to travel, the best option is to select the everywhere option which shows you the cheapest flights from your airport, try it today on the app if you haven’t already. Have you flown with any of the airlines mentioned above, if yes, what has been your experience with them?