One of the great things about travel these days is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. None of us are made of money, well I’m certainly not, and if we want to travel further and more often, low cost flights are the way to go.
We are in the age of budget airlines, and whilst the no-frills approach to getting from A to B is basic, it does exactly what it says on the tin, and that’s pretty much all you need. I don’t want fancy mid-air meals, seat-back TVs, full of films I have no interest in when I’m only flying for a few hours, and I can manage in an economy seat without needing extra leg room.
There are countless budget airlines in Europe, far too many to list, and some are well-known, some are less so, but below you will find a list of some of the best low-cost airlines to take to the skies of Europe.
EasyJet – This is probably the biggest name of the lot, one which has even had a TV show made in its honour! EasyJet has hubs in London, Liverpool and other major European cities, and travels to pretty much all the major capitals of Europe, as well as a few other Mediterranean resorts. During summer, you can grab cheap flights to beach resort airports.
Ryanair – Despite some of the charges that Ryanair place on the end of your booking, meaning the price you see at first is never what you end up paying, they are still a great low-cost airline for flights to major European cities and resorts. Again, during summer you’ll find cheap flights, as well as out of season to the winter sun of the Canary Islands.
Monarch – The thing I love about Monarch is that for such a low cost in terms of fare, you get great service whilst you’re in-flight. Certain flight paths also give you extra hand luggage, to 10kg, which is great for long weekends away when you don’t want to book a suitcase onto your journey.
Wizz Air – This airline has hubs in Budapest and several other Eastern European cities, making it popular for those stag weekends we hear so much about. It’s also a great airline to use if you are heading off for a cultural break too, with a hub in Luton Airport. Costs are surprisingly low, low, low too.
Pegasus – I’ve flown with Pegasus a few times, usually when I’ve travelled to Dalaman indirect via Istanbul. What I like about this airline is that the luggage allowance is included in the price of your flight, so you don’t need to factor extra costs in, and they also fly into the smaller Istanbul airport of Sabiha Gokcen, which means no need to fight the crowds at Ataturk Airport.
Aer Lingus – Ireland’s premier low cost airline offers great value flights to major European cities, as well as UK cities with hubs in Dublin, Shannon, Cork, and Belfast, making it a great short haul choice with low cost options.
Jet2 – This is another airline I’ve used several times, and again it comes up trumps because of luggage allowance. Jet2 offer more than most other airlines, which means much more for your money, and many destination on offer. A tip is to check in online, as you will have to pay for the airport check in service.
Icelandair – Reykjavik is home to this Icelandic airline, offering flights to, you guessed it, the wonderland that is Iceland, and several other European destinations. The nation’s budget airline is generally always the cheapest for flights to this part of the world, when other major airlines can charge much more.
Flybe – Finally we have another UK based airline, with major hubs in Manchester Newquay Exeter, Southampton, London, amongst a few others. Flybe offer budget flights to short haul cities and summer destinations, with a growing roster of routes on offer.
Put simply, budget airlines mean more miles for your money!