Low Cost Flights



Low Cost Flights: Understanding the Real Cost

Low cost flights are very common these days, and have been on a dramatic rise since its first introduction in the United States during the early 1990s. They offer an opportunity for people to travel at a cost that is cheap and very affordable, in fact, so affordable that one would begin to wonder how the airline companies are able to cope with the operating expenses. Let's take a closer look?

Low cost flights are also known as "no frills" or "discounted" flights, and are offered by small airline carriers. The idea was to provide air travel services excluding some of the "traditional" services that are normally being offered by bigger airline carriers. Companies offering low cost flights have different schemes to enable it to lower its operating expenses. Most carriers would use the secondary airports because of its lower landing fees, and fly during early mornings or late afternoons to avoid possible delays and air traffic congestions. Some have flight crews who can serve different purposes to lower its manpower needs. For example, a flight stewardess can also perform cleaning maintenance after each flight. Smaller carrier offering low cost flights also meant smaller seating capacity, so that planes gets filled faster and could take off sooner. Another feature of low cost flights is that they only fly one class, unlike other bigger companies which can offer different classes to cater the preference of its passengers.

The real cost in these low cost flights are the "unseen" costs. Some may offer additional payments for meals that are otherwise being offered as free by regular carriers. Low cost flights also focus on point-to-point routes, meaning they don't do flights that would require airport hubs for passenger and baggage transferring. Additional payment is charged for baggage handling. Another added cost is normally imposed on ticket reservations, wherein passengers are required to pay to get a seat they like, or a seating arrangement for a family to sit near each other. Careful calculations would lead you to conclude that the added service charges by low cost flights would actually exceed the fare price as much as twice or thrice! Furthermore, resorting to the idea of not availing of these added services (to lower the cost) could lead to some degree of inconvenience, such as no ticket reservation and the possibility of not being seated together.

So that next time you want to consider taking low cost flights to your destination, it's best to study thoroughly the entire package. It is easy to be deceived when reading ads posted on low cost flights because of the emphasis on the very low fare cost. Take a closer look at the services that come with the ticket price. What about the other services? How much would it cost? If you're the type of person who is very particular with convenience and quality service, might as well do away from low cost flights and instead go for the regular airlines. But if you're after the cheap rates and can settle on basic services, then low cost flights would probably fit your bill.