It’s a popular held belief that in life, you get what you pay for, and that’s usually true when it comes to budget airlines; with lengthy delays, hidden charges and uncomfortable seating, picking a good low-cost airline can sometimes be akin to playing a game of roulette.
But there are some budget friendly airlines who are bucking this trend, and have dedicated themselves to providing an exemplary service – despite the fact that you’re not paying for it.
So if you’re looking for the best of both worlds, the following are the world’s best budget airlines; all living examples that low-cost flying doesn’t always have to be limited to a no-fills experience. Bon voyage!
The World’s Best Budget Airlines
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Probably the finest budget experience of any kind, Norwegian exemplifies quality and politeness. And it’s difficult to remember that you’re traveling budget when the food is fantastic and there’s a lot of seat room.
Norwegian were the first airline to introduce in flight Wi-Fi, and we love their catchy marketing campaigns and fantastic in-flight magazine. In 2017, Skytrax awarded them best low-cost airline in Europe as well as for long-haul travel.
The Malaysian low-cost airline, headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, AirAia is built around the charismatic CEO Tony Fernandes who managed to turn a once failing airline around into a world beater in just 15 years.
People praise their customer service, friendly cabin crew and efficient operation. In 2007, The New York Times described the airline as a “pioneer” of low-cost travel in Asia. It has also been voted the best low -cost airline overall for the ninth year running by Skytrax.
Though the British low-cost carrier was roasted when it first appeared, easyJet has since cleaned up its act and now services over 820 routes in 30 countries.
That orange infused color scheme does make you wonder, but if you can get past that, the overall experience is fun, safe and always comes with a smile.
If you live in Europe, you may have noticed the ongoing low-cost war waged between Ryanair and easyJet, but the latter steals the crown here.
Photo by Mark Harkin
This Australian-based airline has been serving its nation since 2004. Owned by parent company Qantas, Jetstar has been voted consistently in the top 10 best low-cost carriers by Skytrax.
If you want to get to Southeast Asia for cheap from Australia, Jetstar is the way to go; they have made heavy inroads into China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji, Indonesia, the U.S. and even the Cook Islands.
Their prices are reasonable, and the value for your money remains top of its class. Jetstar Asia has an 85 percent on-time record, which ranks up there with many world-class airlines.
Photo credit: Jetstar Airways
Eurowings (was Germanwings)
Even by Germans standards, this airline has outdone themselves. Now that Air Berlin is out of the picture, this low-cost efficient master class owned by parent company Lufthansa has become one of the finest travel experiences in Europe.
With travelers able to choose from three flying experiences — Basic, Smart and Best — upgrades are handled with ease, such as speedy boarding, checked baggage free of charge and even extra legroom on the plane.
If you check the reviews, most people agree they are friendly, cheap and on time.
Virgin America: Now Alaska Airlines
Now merged with Alaska Airlines, it’s the entertainment system that everyone raves about. The variety of TV, movies and games on board Alaska Airlines flights never fails to wow customers. Just for that alone, it’s worth our attention.
Started in 2004 by Alaska Airlines as a low cost flier, Virgin America managed to come in the top 10 best budget airlines many years running courtesy of Skytrax. A recent merge means the two airlines are now one company under the name Alaska.
But it’s the additional mood-lighting, snacks, power outlets, Wi-Fi, leather seats and video touchscreens in every seatback that set the pace for its competitors. They fly to 21 destinations across America at affordable rates.
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