As the cost of doing just about everything continues to climb and people look for innovative ways to save money in every aspect of their lives, the idea of using small airlines to get from point to point is becoming much more popular. The major carriers like US Air and Delta charge very high fees, and there are a lot of advantages to using smaller outfits, which tend to fly into and out of regional airports rather than the larger international hubs. The services these small carriers provide may be a bit cut rate, but they also offer tremendous savings and value, and in many cases they offer more convenience as well.
Small Airlines US
In the United States, small airlines have been around for years, and they offer one of the savvy traveler’s favorite methods for how to get cheap flights. Although these airlines often only fly from regional airports, and don’t offer as many routes or scheduling options, it is often easier to get a ticket and to get in and out of the airport and onto your flight then it is to do so on the larger carriers, with all of their rules and regulations. The small airlines often offer better, more personal customer service. Unfortunately, they also fly older planes and offer fewer amenities. Most do not have a business class and most charge for things like snacks and drinks if they offer them at all, but as the larger airlines have begun charging for these things also, it makes less and less of a difference. The same is true for checking bags; where people used to object to having to pay a fee for a checked bag, or even for carry-
Small Airlines in Europe
The smaller airline model has been popular in Europe for a very long time, and many people have used outfits like Ryan Air to travel from place to place while getting insanely cheap flights.
Listening to people tell about their experiences on Ryan are often amusing, as it sometimes feels like the planes barely offer seats, but for the price that you pay for your ticket, nobody cares. Students who are studying abroad have been able to get onto planes to visit international cities for fares as low as $19, and these same students truly don’t care if their seating is uncomfortable or small, or if the flights are on older planes.
Unfortunately, one of the ways that Ryan Air has been able to afford to provide low cost flights for consumers has been the way that they leverage contributions from regional airports, and some of those local facilities are starting to push back, so it is hard to tell whether they will be able to continue to offer such low rates for much longer.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get cheap flights, it is probably a good idea to check online to see which small airlines fly into airports that are just outside of major cities. These regional airports often welcome smaller airlines that offer business travelers and bargain hunters much cheaper flights.
Some examples of these smaller carriers include Allegiant Air, Spirit Airlines, and Vision Airlines. Many of these carriers do not offer their fares or schedules through the ticket aggregators like Expedia in order to avoid paying marketing fees, so the best way to determine whether they have flights available is to go directly to the individual airlines’ website.