The rise of cheap flight Airlines has revolutionised the aviation industry. Indeed, having opened up a whole new world of travel for people who couldn’t previously afford to fly, the availability of cheap flights has continued to attract increasing numbers. As a result, figures estimate that global air travel is growing at an annual rate of around five per cent.
The first low cost airline was launched in America in 1971. It took another 21 years, though, and the passing of the European Open-Skies Treaty, to pave the way for airlines to fly wherever they wanted to within the EU, without having to seek prior government approval.
The relaxing of the regulations marked a turning point in aviation history and saw an increase in the number of budget airlines taking to the skies. The overall effect has been impressive and today there are more than 60 cheap airlines Operating in Europe alone.
Apart from the cost of flights, one of the biggest changes these companies have brought about is the way that people book their tickets. Instead of having to go into a travel agency, most of the discount airlines like easyJet and Ryanair operate online, meaning you can easily find and buy your flights at the click of a mouse. All you usually need in order to check-in is your passport and confirmation number, thus removing the need to wait for your tickets to be sent out.
Just because the flights are cheap doesn’t mean that the service has been scrimped on. In fact, as with the traditional carriers, efficiency and safety are the top priorities with low cost airlines, as is attracting new customers.
Therefore, you can still expect to be seated in comfort, receive safety demonstrations and see your flights take off as scheduled.
There is also a whole host of other benefits to be had, such as being able to book cheap flights at short notice and being able to sit wherever you want to. Not only that, but companies such as easyJet offer a range of added-extras like being able to take an earlier flight, if you arrive at the airport ahead of schedule and there are free seats. Or if you miss or are late for your flight for whatever reason, you can book onto the next available one for a nominal charge. This is the opposite of what traditional airlines are doing: if you miss a flight and must buy it at the airport, it can cost hundreds of pounds.
The low cost airline industry has worked hard to transform the world of air travel. Consequently, millions of people around the globe are taking advantage of the numerous inexpensive flight deals available.
Although some services, like receiving free food in-flight, have been removed, choosing to fly cheaply doesn’t mean that you are foregoing a good level of service. Indeed, with companies like easyJet offering up a range of value-added services, you can expect to be well looked after.