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Budget Travel With Budget Airlines

Aug 25, 2008
The past few decades have seen an incredible revolution in the world of the airline industry. Low cost and discount airlines took the industry by storm with their focus on getting their passengers to their chosen destinations with no frills and the least expense possible.

Discount airlines like Air Asia, Jet Blue and Flybe have proven that airlines can be successful without offering the frills and first class seats that many of the old line airlines found so indispensable.

As a matter of fact, for the past several years the low cost air carriers have been the only ones able to turn a profit.While many traditional airlines are struggling to make a profit,have been profitable almost from their inception.

In addition, low cost airlines have helped to lower prices across the board in the airline industry.When a low cost air carrier starts flying out of a specific destination, the traditional airlines often have little choice but to lower their prices in response to the new competition.

This has helped make air travel affordable for a large segment of the population that had never before been able to take advantage of the option of flying.

When low cost airlines first began operations, they kept costs lower primarily by cutting out the extras; anything that did not focus directly on getting passengers where they were going on time was cut back or eliminated.

For instance, where traditional air carriers served entire meals, low cost carriers offered bags of peanuts or boxes of snacks. Most low cost carriers also cut out movies and entertainment on their flight, although low cost Jet Blue was the first to offer live television on their planes for a low fee.

The irony in this situation is that traditional airlines have begun to cut back on these very items, with many traditional carriers now offering no meal service at all, or charging fees for the meals they do serve.

What all this means to the budget minded traveler is that airfare costs can be much lower than in the past. While airfares still do fluctuate widely, it is generally possible to find a reasonable price for destinations around the country and around the world.

The key, of course, is to shop early and shop well. The internet provides a great way to search for the lowest airfares. Every low cost and traditional airline has its own web site, and it is important to check these web sites often for prices to your particular destination.

There are also a number of comparison web sites where you can simply type in the originating and destination airports and the web site provides the lowest fares on various airlines.In many cases the lowest price will be a low cost carrier, but the increased level of competition means that the lowest price will sometimes be with a traditional carrier as well.

The lowest airfares, both on low cost airlines and traditional ones, are often those that are booked at least a month ahead. Fares for last minute flights are often extraordinarily high, even on the low cost carriers. So the key to getting the best deal is to shop early.
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