This isn’t a new form of airline travel, but it’s been a concept that has stuck around Asia, and Europe for the past 20 or so years. It’s low cost, long haul flights. While the first of these was pioneered in the United States, the concept didn’t take hold until the 1990s, as more and more people sought to travel farther and farther away, but wanted to do so for less.
So What Is It?
Low-Cost, Long Haul routes tend to be (but not always any of the following):
- Ethnic based (Real Example: France to the French Caribbean)
- Leisure focused (Real Example: Scandinavia to Thailand)
- Secondary Cities (Example: Norwegian’s proposed Cork, Ireland to Boston)
- Tend to be seasonal.
- Tend to have fewer frequencies per week (most less than daily)
- Usually between 3 1/2 to 9 hours long.
A flight from Philadelphia to Honolulu, priced at $350, instead of $624 in low season. Additional fees may include:
- $25 per bag
- $7 for meal
- $5 for entertainment
- $100 to buy seats next to you if they aren’t occupied
- $10 for extra legroom
- $20 for exit row
- $50 if you want to upgrade a class
- $25 for travel insurance
- $5 for child-free/quiet zone (some airlines offer this)
- Extremely cheap compared to many regular airlines.
- The ability to choose what you want when you’re traveling.
- Extremely cheap one-way tickets
- Frequent promotions
- Many LCCs also have connecting bus service, and in some cases, can even give you through tickets with trains, buses, and ferries at your destination.
- Very crowded, expect to have an extra seat per row added, or less legroom.
- The potential for being stranded, especially if you don’t buy travel insurance (Also, many Low Cost Carriers use their assets to full capacity).
- A lot of little extras and fees everywhere.
- Lack of amenities.
- Flight times may be extremely early, or extremely late, to save money
- Restrictions on baggage