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Are Budget Flights Worth it? Pros and Cons of Low-Cost Air Travel

When we have a vacation to go to or a business trip to embark on, most of us find ourselves looking through plane ticket prices from various airlines. We often ask ourselves, “are budget flights worth it?” This is especially the case for those who need to travel on a budget, and let’s face it, flying can sometimes be really costly depending on where you’re going, the package you’re flying, and the airline you’re dealing with, just to mention a few factors. Nonetheless, thanks to the increase in competition in the airline industry, low-cost air travel is now available more than ever. With just a couple hundred dollars, you can easily fly across the country or region and hey, ain’t that a good thing?

Well, amid the many benefits that flying cheap comes with, it also comes with its fair share of disadvantages too. In most cases, the most common demerits are seen in aspects such as comfort, convenience, and surprisingly, the costs (in some airlines). Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of low-cost air travel, starting with the good side of flying cheap.


The Pros of Cheap Air Travel – Are budget flights worth it?


Traveling on a budget? Here are some of the most compelling benefits of low-cost air travel you may want to look at.


Low Air Travel Prices


It goes without saying, that the major advantage of low-cost air travel is in the price. As earlier hinted out, competition in the airline industry has been on the rise over the past few years. This, in some places, has left many airline companies reconsidering the prices of their air tickets, some of them lowering them to provide more competitive flight packages to their customers.

Take, for instance, it’s that time of the year when you have a whole month for yourself and you decide to explore the African Safaris in the Southern part of the continent. If you are on a budget, getting around and about South Africa can be a bit draining to your pocket. For this reason, your best bet would be to look for a reputable South African airline company that offers cheap flight tickets for domestic travel, including one-way and return tickets. With these travel on a budget, you could end up saving as much as 80% on airfare, especially if you consider booking in advance. Traveling has never been this easy.


Additionally, low-cost air travel provides an opportunity for those who are on a budget to get to their destination quicker. It promotes business, both in the origin and destination. It increases the accessibility of air travel to those who would have otherwise not flown at all with an excuse that air flights are expensive. This is one of the reasons in most places, a good number of airlines are revising their flight packages.




Every once in a while, most low-cost airlines offer promotions to encourage people to fly and actually use their services. This includes airlines that provide the cheapest air tickets. If you search the internet, you will come across dozens of sites (especially travel sites) that provide airline travel coupons, which serve to slice the air travel costs even further. Additionally, many airlines nowadays partner up with banks and other financial institutions to provide airfare discounts to users of certain credit cards and debit cards from the respective banks. This is another good thing about low-cost air travel that both travelers and the respective airlines largely benefit from.




Safety is always a big deal as far as air travel is concerned. Well, in most cases, low-cost air flights are often shorter. Most of them cover shorter distances. While one might be tempted to think that budget airlines cut corners in order to get the prices low, this is actually not the case. They are not any less safe than any other airline as long as they’re cleared to fly according to, Les Dorr, spokesperson of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some experts actually suggest that they might even be a little bitter safer compared to full-price flights due to the nature of their locations.


New Fleet  


When it comes to travel in the 21st century, one thing is for sure; the air transportation industry is continuously growing. Every now and then, airlines add new planes into their fleet in a bid to expand and cover more routes. When this happens to low-cost airlines, they often drop their ticket prices to encourage their customers to take flight on their new planes.


Affordable Parking


Often times, low-cost air travel companies usually operate in smaller airports. Most of these smaller airports tend to charge lower parking fees compared to larger ones. In addition to the above, it is not uncommon to find smaller airports (where cheaper airlines operate) located a bit outside of major cities. This means that to get to and from their airport, you will want to rent a cab or take the bus to reach to your actual destination. Despite the fact that you’ll spend a bit more, provides you with a great opportunity for sightseeing, which can be an added advantage especially if you are new to your destination.


It goes without saying, that everything that comes with merits has its own fair share of demerits. Here are some cons of flying low-cost.


The Cons of Cheap Air Travel


Changing Flight Dates Will Cost You


You’ve booked a flight in advance, but something comes up and you’re forced to change the dates. Most low-cost airlines will charge you a penalty for this change. As a matter of fact, it could even affect your discount in case your previous ticket was discounted.


Hidden Costs


It is not a new thing to encounter hidden costs when flying cheap. For instance, some low-cost flight packages do not include meals and drink in your airfare. In addition to missed amenities, your luggage may end up costing you more.


Seat Challenges


With budget flights, many airlines will only allocate a seat to you once you get to the airport. This warrants you to get there early in case you need a particular seat in the plane. This means that it’s easy to get separated for the whole journey when traveling with a companion, which can be really frustrating.


Restricted Baggage


Carry-ons can be another challenge when flying low-cost. For most such airlines, you’re only allowed to have only one carry-on and one personal item, which tends to be frustrating for many people.


In summary, low-cost air flights have made it more possible for people to travel on a budget. However, it is important that before you book one, you know exactly what you’re paying for. With the above pros and cons of budget air travel in mind, it becomes easy for you to assess whether or not to fly low-cost, as well as which airline to use. So, what do you think? Are budget flights worth it? For more travel tips, be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post!


Nia McKenna

Nia is an Associate Editor at The Fairytale Traveler and self diagnosed travel junkie. Having traveled to 5 of the 7 continents, her love of good food and culture is a force to be reckoned with. When she isn't off adventuring with her husband, which she writes about on her blog CircaWanderlust, she can be found with a good cup of tea cuddling her pups and taking pictures of her food. She loves black and white movies and could listen to Elvis on repeat.

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