Recently, low cost airlines, which offer tickets for mere pennies, have become popular all over the world.
It allows you to travel cheaper and more often, but how do budget airlines make the prices so low?
How can 500 kilometers by plane cost less than by car, and in some countries even less than by train?
I will answer this one and many other questions in this article about the Secrets of Low Cost Airlines!
Short History of Low Cost Airlines
The first place where the trend of cheap airlines appeared was Europe. One of the first airlines to sell cheap air tickets was the Irish company Ryanair, established in 1984, the British company EasyJet, established in 1995, the Hungarian Wizzair, established in 2003, and later a number of low-cost airlines appeared in almost every country in Europe and other continents.
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At the time, when the passenger flights became possible, airlines had different priorities than minimizing their expenses and lowering the ticket prices. Many people were afraid of flying, so the airlines tried to come up with various ways to lure people into planes. They hired pretty flight attendants who, apart from their usual services, offered something more ;), provided a high level of service and comfort, provided food and drinks — in short, everything to make people happy.
But later, when the passenger flights became a routine, and almost no one was afraid to fly, budget airlines appeared. They did not offer all those services that the first air carriers had. They have reduced the legroom, removed the premium and business class, and, also used many other hacks and secrets to be able to offer the lowest prices in the industry. Here are the money saving hacks that the low-cost airlines use:
Secret 1. Minimalism
The first secret of budget airlines, which I will talk about, is minimalism. Everything is simple: remove all unnecessary, remove huge business-class seats, reduce legroom in economy class (the only class in cheap airlines), don’t provide food (only for additional price).
They also give the opportunity to check in for the flight online, and for check in at the airport they take money. Moreover, the luggage is usually not included into the ticket price, only a small backpack as a hand luggage and much more. All this allows to save considerably on the cost of air transportation.
Secret 2. Small Planes
Budget airlines also save on planes. Usually, they buy a certain number of identical small planes. Having the same planes makes it easy to find spare parts if one of the planes breaks needs a repair, which saves money even further. They are small, because it is also cheaper, the fuel consumption is smaller, the luggage department and the fuel tank are also smaller.
Therefore, budget airlines can fly a shorter distance, because the more they do not have enough fuel (in Norway, our flight was almost cancelled, because the plane couldn’t land due to bad weather conditions, and it didn’t have enough fuel to fly 30 more minutes).
The seats in these planes also have a very small distance between each other to optimize the available space. Moreover, putting a hundred or two hundred seats in a small plane is not enough!
Airbus had a new idea to save money on flights, and Ryanair and Spring Airlines actively advertised it. The idea was to create planes with standing places , like in a tram. For security, people will be tied to, so-called, vertical seats. Although this may sound like an absurd way to save money on air carriage, the idea might work well on short distance flights.
Secret 3. Distant Airports
Another secret how low-cost airlines save money make tickets so cheap are distant airports used for flights. Many of them are small, sometimes military airports tens of kilometers away from the nearest city. Many of them began using or developed a lot only thanks to low-cost airlines, which began to carry out dozens of flights that many people started to book due to low prices.
Secret 4. Saving Money on Staff
Not only airlines, but also other well-known companies use their popularity to hire workers for lower salaries than elsewhere. The employee will be happy to work in a large and well-known company, although later it will turn out that wages there are quite low. Many budget airlines try to keep the salaries of their employees in secret, since there is nothing to boast about. They are much lower than the average in the industry.
In addition, these airlines save on the number of employees, optimizing their schedule, because of which the stewardesses and pilots cannot leave the plane for 3 flights, which are held one by one, they clean up in the cabin themselves, and often load luggage in the luggage room.
Secret 5. Everything Online
Budget airlines enjoy the benefits of modern technologies, conducting many operations online (thanks to this, they can also save on employees). Online check in, online tickets sale and much more. If customers have questions, they can call the air carrier’s call center, which is located in a country with cheap labor.
Secret 6. You Want More – Pay
Another secret of low-cost airlines is that they can provide all the additional services, but if you pay for them extra. Have more luggage included — pay, you want to check in for the flight a little earlier — pay, want to have a snack on board — pay, you don’t want to wait in a line while boarding for the flight – pay. You can also rent a car, buy a travel insurance and order much more using the intermediate services of the low-cost air carriers.
In addition, you can pay for the annual membership in this airline, so you can save money if you often fly using this company. At the same time, you become a regular customer for the airline.
These were 6 secrets of low cost airlines that they use to make the flight tickets so cheap. It could seem that I don’t like the ways they do it, but I’m really grateful to budget airlines, because without them, I wouldn’t visit so many countries, and, perhaps, wouldn’t create this travel blog!
I also wanted to give you one last tip in the end: buy tickets 6 weeks before the flight — then they are cheaper. Learn about 50 tips for budget travel from 15 experienced travel bloggers. Have a pleasant flight!
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