Looking at the oil prices lately you may decide to skip this year’s vacation because the flight tickets will cost you a fortune. But what about flying for free from London to Barcelona or for just 130$ from US to Germany? This will be perfect deal if you know how to find it.
It took almost a decade after the European Open-Sky Treaty of 1992 enabled airlines to fly anywhere they wished in the EU without government approval to see the business booming. But this phenomenon is observed not only in Europe low-cost airlines are available all over the world and you can find a comprehensive list and traveler’s tools on www.travelweaver.net.
The low-cost airlines are also known as budget, low-price, discount or no-frills airlines. In order to keep the prices low they provide ticket-less travel, online ticket sales and have no offices internationally; most of them don’t provide free food or beverages as well as in-flight magazines; also they don’t participate in frequent flyer programs and don’t have club lounges. One of the main characteristics of the low-cost airlines is that they have limited coverage and use secondary airports, which are less convenient for commuting.
Although the price looks really attractive there are also some catches and you need to be careful with the low-cost airlines. For example there is no possibility to reschedule the ticket and you will lose all the money if you try to cancel it; the baggage limit can also be lower than on the traditional carriers. In all the cases you need to calculate the price for transportation to the secondary airport and plan for the additional time you will need to get there.
One of the oversea carriers that offer cheap flights is Condor. They offer discount flights from Frankfurt to many destinations around the world. You can fly with them to Las Vegas, Orlando or LA for around 130$ (99 ). There is one more ThomasCook company that offers cheap flights oversee while most of the low-cost airlines like Rynair and Air Berlin offer only intra-continental flights.
The key for cheap travel is to plan you trip early and monitor the prices for some time before you buy. If you go to Rynair’s web site for example you can even find tickets for free depending on when you want to fly. If you have planned your vacation early you may find really good deals with traditional carriers too. Look for flights at least couple of months before your schedule your vacation. Also subscribe for the airlines or travel sites newsletters because then you will receive timely information for deals and offers.
Also keep in mind that the travel search engines do not comprehensively search the Web and retrieve the lowest prices. Some airlines do not permit third parties to book their seats and others are launching a lobbying effort intent on overturning the regulations to advertise the actual price they would charge the customer.
Buying the trip from two different carriers may make sense sometimes if the overall price is lower that the combined price for both of them. Very often for example you can fly very cheap in one direction and need to pay expensive ticket on the way back. Look for prices from other carrier in this case and just combine the whole trip. I personally combined trips from Condor and Continental to fly from Frankfurt/Main to Seattle and the overall fair was less than 300 $ while the traditional carriers like BA, Air France or KLM would have charged me 4 times more.
Also one good source for checking air prices is www.farecast.com which compares the airline tickets and makes projections of the prices. They base their algorithm on a comprehensive analysis of prices from the past. They are pretty new start-up and their coverage is not very comprehensive at the moment but you may consider using them in the future.
Don’t take the conservative approach and rely only on one source of information, Internet allows you to do the research you need to find the best offer and take the most of your vacation.