Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) August 5, 2009
Discount carriers have long been regarded as cheap and unreliable, with awful staff and even worse service. However, Phillip Clark, a commercial pilot with more than fifteen years' experience, and freelance writer for http://www.iCheapAirfares.com, believes that many of the low-cost outfits have learned from the early days, when it was simply a matter of keeping revenue just above costs.
CEO's became more ruthless in order to survive and, as Clark says, "Sometimes you get someone who is both ruthless and good. With the economy following world peace down the toilet, they know people have less money to play with. It's imperative that those still flying choose to fly with them."
This is great news for consumers. Here are five recession-busting financial benefits of flying 'low-cost'.
1) Well, they are 'Discount' Carriers.
Obvious, really, but there are massive savings available for booking well ahead of the travel date. Advance bookings mean airlines can plan efficient aircraft usage, and they pass this saving on to early birds.
Flexibility is also a giant plus - careful browsing of the websites will reveal unpopular flights (midweek, inhumanely early, etc.) which can be up to 90% cheaper than peak time departures. Don't delay, though! If you find a great bargain, snap it up - it won't be there for long.
2) Market share madness.
Several discount carriers have deals with the regional airports they serve whereby landing fees are reduced if they promise a certain number of passengers will pass through their shops and restaurants. This, coupled with cutthroat competition for market share has given rise to the phenomenon that is the promotional fare.
At the time of writing, Spirit Air (US) was offering certain routes for $2, Ryanair had $8 tickets, and Singapore's Tiger was selling international routes for $15. Naturally, taxes and charges apply (they apply to expensive fares too!), seat numbers are limited, and there are conditions. However, it can be possible to grab a ticket for less than the price of an on-board drink.
3) It's not so bad being tied up.
Before typing http://www.Ryanair.com into the address bar, be prepared for an assault on the senses. The archetypal money-grabbing discount carrier, Ryanair has tied in with companies aplenty in order to make a fast buck through commission. The homepage has more buttons than the Empire State's lift, linking to everything from car hire to cruises.
But is that so bad?
Over 40 million passengers fly with Ryanair every year - a lot of negotiating power when it comes to securing the best rates. Plus you can book a flight, hotel, hire car and travel insurance all from the same site - and pay for it with Ryanair's credit card.
4) To bolt or not to bolt, that is the question.
With a lot of discount carriers, normally inclusive aspects such as checked luggage and refreshments have been removed. Someone who is going to arrive at the airport an hour before the flight, with a carry-on bag and no intention of eating or drinking on board, can pay just the basic fare and get great value.
But what if you have bags, or an appetite?
Europe's Easyjet has a very competitive system where people pick and choose what they want to use - airport lounge, checked bags, priority boarding or refreshments - without paying for stuff they don't.
5) Keeping the whole industry honest.
Surprisingly, one of the main benefits of the discount carriers has affected all air travellers. Since the genre was started by Southwest over 30 years ago, it has filled the aviation market like Jello fills a mould. At first they were an annoyance to the legacy carriers, who were fleecing passengers with near-monopolies on many routes.
Then came deregulation and the internet.
The cost of air travel plummeted and legacy airlines were forced to offer competitive fares and excellent service or face extinction. Many of them failed.
Please visit http://www.iCheapAirfares.com/Discount-Carriers.php to learn more about the top low-cost carriers serving the skies.