Air transportation - Europe
European carriers which can be considered low cost (or budget) include mainly charter or 'no frills' airlines (this generally means, no food or beverage included, you may be limited to only hand luggage within the price, no tax etc, so ensure you check exactly what the price includes).
Low cost airlines can afford to be competitive price-wise to the customer, because they are paying for less expensive arrival destinations.
Tax, including surcharges and fuel, have in the past couple of years have sometimes outweighed the price of the original ticket.
TIPS: verify the time and price of a transfer from the airport of arrival to your chosen city do not outweight the advantages of cheaper tickets.
handling of luggage is not usually included; which means that for any connections you have to collect your luggage and go through check in, possibly in another terminal, which can increase the stop-over time needed dramatically.
The list below shows mostly european low cost carriers and some international ones.
The list is not exhaustive and we would be pleased to hear from you regarding others that you may have used. There is certainly no hard and fast rule here that makes any carrier stand out in terms of service or price - you still have to do selective searches and comparisons wherever you are traveling.
The one advantage is that you have endless possibilities to get from your departure point to arrival point. There are many "search low cost" internet options for the companies included and you may save a few pounds or Euros, but it is often as economical going directly to the source. For a very light hearted look at some of the budget travel industry network, take a look at
attitude travel (a comprehensive, but also clogged with ads, list of budget airlines around the world)
or to compare prices try out
Interesting sites for finding good deals
The new web site is owned by Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, and Lufthansa.
A website to compare--in real time--fares from 180 traditional and low cost airlines as well as charter airlines and online travel agencies to 230 destinations in 40 countries.
The site offers a comparison of prices between different airlines serving the european market
If you are in the United States
Thomson Thomson flights cover some 50 airports worldwide with services as far a field from Europe as Barbados and Florida, as well as Greece and an extensive European network.
These flights are operated by Britannia and traded under TUI and advertise as 'low cost' rather than no frills, allowing you the benefits of meals, extra leg room (at a price) etc. Their website is pretty thorough so you should be able to understand the extent of service.
Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo are the bases for a network reaching 22 destinations run on a charter basis. Scandinavian.
Fly Snowflake is a part of the SAS network, flying to some 21 destinations from Stockholm, offering a no-frills service, more often arriving at central city airports. One way flights are available.
Uncluttered and easy to use website.
Ryanair with one of Europes largest fleets is exceedingly competitive with 127 routes covering 16 countries, an easy to use website and when they are feeling generous, flights can be as low as 1.69 pounds (airport taxes not included)!
Hapag-Lloyd Express another TUI operation, the world's largest travel and tourism business. TUI has a long history of quality services around Europe and provides great flights at bargain prices from Manchester, Luton, Hanover to European destinations.
Part of the Mytravel group, this free-seating airline has 13 destinations to date, mainly in Spain, operating out of the United Kingdom. This is yet another rapidly expanding network.
Departures and arrivals covering 37 destinations, this is a European hopper with good value options available and easy to use site.
Very competitive airline, especially the earlier you book. Based in the United Kingdom, EasyJet flys 114 routes between 38 major European airports. You will find both leisure and business destinations available.
Italian private airline operating scheduled flights and charter flights to Spain, Greece, Holland, Egypt, Portugal and other Mediterranean destinations from and to Italy.
More than 300 destinations in Europe and worldwide owing to its link with the Lufthansa network via Munich and Frankfurt. European destinations are Munich, Frankfurt, Wien, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Berlin. In Italy flies from Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Genova, Milano Orio al Serio, Milano Linate, Napoli, Pisa, Trieste, Venezia, Verona. During the summer time there are also flights to Sardinia.
Palma, Barcelona, Alicante, Tenerife and Malaga are just the beginning for this expanding airline which is based obviously in Scotland, however appears to be operated by Greece airways. Watch their site for new destinations from Glasgow, Edinburgh Aberdeen and further a field, from Newcastle.
After suspending flights the 19 november 2004, Volare web is back, but covers mainly national destinations in Italy (site in english and italian).
Tel: 199 414 500 ( if you are caliing from an italian phone number; Euro 0,06 per minute; calling from a mobile phone costs are different based on the phone company fees).
Tel: +39 070 4603397 for international calls
Flies out from many cities in Germany (also Vienna and Salzburg) flies out of Europe, but often during holiday seasons.
Tel: 49 6171 625 200
Flies from Madrid to Caracas, Cuba, New York, all around Spain, and to London, Milan, Paris and Rome.
Tel: + 34 902 401 501
Flies from The Netherlands to Barcelona, Bordeaux, Madrid, Malaga, Marseilles, Nice.
Tel: + 31 20 406 0 406
Generally a very economical option is 'bmibaby airline'. They service twenty two destinations. Although the bookings are very quick and you can book actual seat places on the web, the site is not hugely comprehensive in advising you about on board supplements!
Within Germany it has very good prices and also flies to certain places like for example Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon and more.
Tel: + 49 89 975 92350
Flies within Spain and the Canary Islands, with flights to other major European cities.
Tel: + 888 545 5757
Flies from Brussels to cities in Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia, also to Faro, London, Nice, Geneva, and Zurich.
Tel: + 32 2 752 0505
Specialize in charter flights from several Canadian and European cities to vacation destinations, mainly in the south during the winter months and in Europe during the summer. Site in english and french.