Europe has a lot of cheap airline companies, that offer pretty affordable prices with basic services, like WizzAir, Ryanair, EasyJet, Norwegian Air.
Companies offer good prices because they want you to buy extra services like priority boarding, extra long legs seats, coffee and so on. The fair itself is usually even lower than it’s real price.
A lot of people buy these additional add-ons, but here are some tips to avoid doing that.
Recently WizzAir decided to allow checking in to the flight 48h before the departure. This is a trick for you to rush to check in to get better seats. If you want to pay or/and traveling with someone – maybe they are good. But otherwise – it’s actually better to wait until 3.5h before the departure. In this case, they have only the most expensive seats left. The ones that passengers are greedy to buy. And you will get them for free.
Here is the example: in the morning I’ve checked that I will either pay 14.5€ or 26€ for good seats or I will get a random seat. When I’ve checked in, I got a front-row seat for free. In Barcelona, it’s better to have front seats, as the cabin crew lets you out only through the front door.
Michael O’Leary (CEO of Ryanair) ones said that he wants to charge everyone for using the toilet on the aircraft. It didn’t happen… yet.
However, Wizzair and Ryanair would rather force you paying for any bags that are bigger than a backpack. In case you have to carry more things with you onboard – you will have to get a “priority” boarding. Nowadays “priority” lines are longer than the regular ones. The only company that still allows you to carry one big cabin trolley and a laptop bag is – Norwegian Air.
Which airline to choose ✈️
According to airlines comparison systems, like Skytrax, pretty much all European companies have a similar rating, so you’ll get a similar level of the services. Theoretically, you could choose one company and fly only with them. But there are a few things to consider:
- Destinations. This is probably the most important point. You probably want a direct flight.
- Flight time. Most of the low-cost airlines will have inconvenient hours of departure and landing. If there are alternatives — you’d probably choose the more suitable for you.
- Price. For the same route, airlines can have different prices. Ryanair tends to be the leader in the lowest fares. It’s worth mentioning (for you — environmentalists) that Ryanair has the largest fleet in Europe, but also has the lowest CO2 emissions per flight.
- Comfort. From all the airlines my most favorite is Norwegian Air. Their fleet has the most comfortable seats. They are reclining!! That’s pretty rare. Also, aircraft sometimes have WiFi (just to brag to your friends that you have the internet on the flight — nothing more).
- Luggage. Again, Norwegian Air is the winner in this category. They allow you to have a big overhead compartment cabin luggage and a small bag for free. While Ryanair & WizzAir require you to pay extra for the bigger cabin luggage.
- Use Ryanair (cheap) & Norwegian Air (comfortable, more luggage).
- Do the check-in with WizzAir as close to departure time as possible.