Budget lines often feel too good to be true. Low prices, for a non-stop flight to a destination of your choice, it may appear like the deal of the lifetime, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. While cheap flights might be the best option for someone looking to travel on a budget for they have their drawbacks.
Lucky for you, we’ve got some of the biggest problems people have with flying with a budget airline. If none of these points bother you, flying with a budget airline may be the right choice for you.
Hidden Baggage Fees
Often times budget airlines promise cheap flights, but try to sneak in baggage fees that make the overall price of the ticket the same as the price of a ticket with a normal airline. This isn’t much of a problem for travelers who already pack light, but for those who want to take long excursions overseas, the extra baggage fees might deter you from flying with a budget airline. Fortunately, there are options, and if you know where you’re headed you may be able to ship what you need to where you are going ahead of time to avoid these crazy baggage fees.
Random Seat Arrangements
While budget airlines may offer cheap flights they might also strip away your ability to choose your seat. Depending how full your flight is, your seat might get rearranged in order to better distribute the planes weight (which can seem pretty sketchy in itself). This means you may not be able to pick your favorite window seat, or choice seating near the airplane’s bathroom. However, for many this is a minor issue, and as long as they get where they need to be, there’s no problem at all.
You May Not Depart From/Arrive in Your Chosen Airport
Budget flights may not depart or arrive at your chosen airport, as often times these flights have to depart or land at airports that handle heavy air traffic. This can usually work in a traveler’s favor, as some of the busiest airports are located in some of the hottest destinations. However, this can also mean longer wait times to get in an out of the plane, and regular schedule changes. This can also cause long lay overs which for the unprepared traveler can be particularly frustrating.
Tight Restrictions in Terms of Weight
Like we said before, sometimes budget flights go under booked, and passengers need to sit in certain parts of the plane in order to distribute weight. While this can seem a little dangerous, this is a common practice amongst airlines. However, this can play into how much baggage you can bring with you, and whether or not you can bring an extra bag at all.
You May Not Earn Points and Miles
If you’re a regular flyer, you will more than likely be unable to collect travel points when you book a flight with a budget airline. Budget airlines also don’t often have rewards programs like larger airlines, probably because you’re already getting a good deal for the price. However, if you don’t already have frequent flyer miles to begin with this shouldn’t be a problem for you at all.
There May Not Be Onboard Entertainment
Sadly, if you book a flight with a budget airline, you will more than likely be unable to get onboard entertainment. This may not be a huge deal on short flights across the United States. But for long flights overseas, onboard entertainment may be kind of rough to go without. Fortunately, if you’re clever, you can pack your own inflight entertainment if there isn’t one on your budget flight overseas.
You May Not Receive Complimentary Snacks or Beverages
Surprisingly, this is the case for most flights in the United States, however, this is definitely true for budget flights. This might mean you’ll be forced to buy snacks and beverages before hand at the airport, which, if you’re not careful can end up being more than the overall flight. What makes matters worse is that because of travel restrictions you can’t really pack your own. So if you’re taking a long flight overseas on a budget airline, we highly recommend you pick up some snacks at the airport before boarding.
There’s a Chance You Will Have to Print Your Own Ticket
Lastly, one thing many budget flyers complain about is having to print their own ticket. For most people this isn’t much of a problem. Printers are relatively easy to come by, and Fedex printing is pretty cheap too. However, if you end up at your flight and forgot to print your ticket the budget airline may charge you for using their printer to print out your ticket. Often times this charge is very little compared to the overall price of the flight, but in some cases, travelers are charged way more than is reasonable. So in short, budget airlines are perfect for the prepared a experienced, however you might want to go to a bigger airline if you’re more of a casual traveler.