August 9

How to Find Cheap Flights: Step 2 Low Cost Carriers

Part 2 of our How to Find Cheap Flights series ( Part 1 explains how to use travel search engines) looks into low cost carriers and their benefits despite the bad reputation they unfortunately have. No matter what you think they are an alternative you should never skip because high prices have always been an obstacle to long distance travel- until these low cost airlines (aka low cost carrierss) appeared. With the introduction of these low cost carriers it is no longer a matter of “can” I travel but “when”: booking with enough time in advance can result in very cheap (sometimes even free!) flights: many times I have ended up paying much less for a low cost flight than I would have for a bus or train ticket. Finding a low cost flight is not always easy though: low cost carriers appear and disappear quickly, flights are full early, some might exude safety concerns, and perhaps ironically but most important many of them remain unknown to the potential traveller.

how to find cheap flights

Where do I start?

My first stop is always


UK Skyscanner banner 468x60

the best and only true low cost search engine in my opinion (click logo above to visit their site). I particularly love their ” I am in X city and want to fly aywhere” option for short escapes. I have embeded their flight search widget for your convenience- it works like any other flight search engine. Still, is one of theirs your best option? If I find what I think is a good deal I look no further. I have saved lot of time and have my cheap flight. If I don’t, or I’m not sure, I then check the individual airline sites which less infrequently also have a minimum price policiy

low cost carriers

Worldwide Low Cost Airlines

Looking for a cheap flight by visiting each airline site is a bit more labor intenssive, but not that bad. In any case I have already saved you lot of time because below these lines you will find tables that provide a low cost airlines list of low cost carriers worldwide organized by continent, country and with a short description of where they fly to. The image below is an example of one of such tables, and underneath it you will find the links to the downloadable files. Save them in your computer, print them out or email them to a friend ( they are completely FREE) , and learn more on how to find cheap flights by reading  How to Find Cheap Flights Step 3: Round the World and Single Continent Passes

low cost airlines list

These are your free downloadable low cost airlines lists of worlwide  low cost carriers (In PDF format- if you don’t have the Adobe reader get it for free here). Happy travels!

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What low cost carriers have you flown with? How would you rate your experience? Remember to share with us any more travel tips you have on how to find cheap flights- we will appreciate any ideas!


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  1. If you apply for hotel and parking package,
    you can avail parking within the price of the room you have booked at a hotel near the airport.
    Many who are not computer savvy prefer shopping the traditional
    way. Last minute bookings could often add to your
    cost unnecessarily, so, unless your trip is of an urgent nature, it is
    recommended that you plan your trip in advance and get a suitable airport parking booked.

    1. See, I don’t agree. In my experience the most expensive flights are never up to what they should deliver, that’s why my favorite airline is Air Asia.

    1. Most low cost airlines don’t assign sits. The “free sitting” policy has the big advantage of a faster boarding. It’s not the fastest boarding procedure, but it is much faster then the traditional method. Having a fast boarding is very important for them, because they try to use (fly) the planes as much as possible, so the time the plane is on ground is a time when they don’t earn money out of it!

      Even if they don’t assign seats, they know for sure how many persons should be on the plane, how many tickets they sold… so I guess it wouldn’t be so expensive to also assign the seats, if they would feel the need of doing it.

      1. But then when traveling with family or friends it is almsot impossible to guarantee you’ll travel with your party…

        1. Yes, this is true: no guarantee of travelling together.
          If you are travelling with a group, there are, 2 ways to travel together. I always used the first one and never had to fly separate from my wife.

          1. Try to be amongst the first to enter the plane and choose seats together. Generally, the order of entrance on the plane is the same as the order from the Gate. So, try to arrive at the gate a few minutes before it opens and be amongst the first on that queue. There’s no need to buy “boarding priority”, just try NOT to be amongst the last persons passing through the gate 😉 Then, if you can enter the airplane both from the front and the rear doors, choose the rear door! It is generally less crowded, so you have more chances to choose the seats.

          2. If the first method fails, just ask the person sitting next to you if he/she doesn’t mind swapping seats with your partner! If he/she is travelling alone, chances are to accept. Your partner can do this also, so there are big chances to find a solution.

  2. I’ve a deep love for Air Asia after a recent visit to Malaysia. I wasn’t expecting much from such a cheap flight having flown regularly with Ryan Air in Europe, but Air Asia was brilliant.

    1. Air Baltic is officially a low cost airline, yet I still have to find a price that reflects that. Occasionally they do have a very cheap special going on, but not much more. Have you been lucky with them? Thanks for suggesting, I might include it in the next update nevertheless 🙂

      Federico

  3. AirAsia X covering a long haul journey. AirAsia X is now flying to London, Australia, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan & Iran. I heard Japan will be launched soon 🙂

    1. Hi Arepeace, thanks for the update! I used AirAsia to fly from London to Kuala Lumpur- it was great. I will include these new destinations in the next revision of the low cost airline list 🙂 Air Asia is a fantastic airline!

      Federico

  4. Cebu Pacific Air is a popular budget airline in the Philippines. It’s insanely cheap – sometimes they have one-peso flights (about 2 cents, can you imagine?!). Alas, it’s also notorious for delays and sub-par customer service. But I’ve used it to fly to Bangkok and Osaka – so far no problem. So I supposes all in all, it’s a good budget airline. Highly recommended for backpackers.

    I’m going to Indonesia next month and I’ll be using Air Asia for domestic flights. It’s super cheap too. $12 for round trip Jakarta to Yogyakarta. So not bad at all! Let’s see if it’s any good.

    1. Hi AJ

      Cebu Pacific is indeed popular. I used it to get from Sabah to Manila and a couple of other times within the islands. Unfortunately while I was there there were no flights to Japan yet but were going to start soon. And Air Asia is my favourite low cost airline…you should be well with them!

      Federico

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