I have to say I am using low-cost airline service for my trips very often and I really enjoy it as this way I can save money for more trips. But this was not the case from the first time I travelled low-cost. I had to learn the hard way that I need to be very careful in order to have a win-win situation with such companies.
There are so many terms and conditions when booking a flight, some ‘hidden’ and some not, that really need to be taken into consideration if you do not want to spend more money or even ruin your whole trip.
Most of the people travelling with low-cost airlines only take hand luggage with them. This is because the price of the ticket will be significantly higher if you wish to take checked in luggage as you will need to pay extra for each flight. So you will need to sacrifice some items, among them many cosmetics 😦 and of course, stick to the regulations, dimensions and weight if you do not want to end up paying a fee for exceeded luggage. Another cons is you can carry up to 1 litre of liquids and creams in bottles of a maximum of 100ml. Most of the low-cost airline companies only allow 1 piece of hand luggage and this may be a very tricky part if you are taking your laptop or a small bag while some airlines will allow a second tiny bag as cabin luggage.
Check in before arriving at the airport is essential or else there will be a fine for you at the airport, some airlines may charge up to 40 EUR if you have not checked in online.
No free meal or drink are included in your ticket so in case you are taking a long flight preparing a snack beforehand seems like a good idea as the prices for food and drinks on board are a bit high and no matter how long the flight takes the flight attendants make sure they will show you those temptations multiple times. Jewellery, fragrances and lottery will follow making it so hard to sleep if you are sitting next to the aisle as this flea market goes on and on up until landing time.
Travel insurance is not included, you get charged if you want to choose your seat and priority boarding costs extra and is absolutely unnecessary. I have seen that all passengers taking the priority queue always end up waiting for boarding with all the other passengers and this makes me think priority boarding is just a trick to make more money of people who do not like queueing.
The space for your legs is very limited and the seats not so comfortable, needless to say, you better think twice before booking if you are a really tall person taking a long flight…
Sometimes flying with a connection flight may be cheaper than the direct flight but the websites will not show you this option during the booking process. I would strongly advise you to check it making some possible combinations but always make sure the are at least 3 hours between the 2 flight, as in a case of a delay of your first flight you are not entitled to receive any compensation for missing the connection one.
A debit card is the best option to book online as this kind of airlines will charge you extra for using a credit card to pay for your tickets.
Last but not least, keep in mind that most of the times these airlines are using secondary airports. Before booking any flight check the distance from the airport to your final destination as well as means of transport and approximate cost. I will never forget what happened to me last year. I was so excited for buying a round trip to Stockholm for just 2 EUR but that excitement did not last long. Right after, I started searching transportation from Skavsta airport to find out that the cost of the bus to the city was so high and it was not operating during night time so I eventually had to cancel my trip.
Have you ever experienced an issue you were not expecting while travelling with a low-cost airline? Feel free to share your story in the comments!