Budget Airlines - Travel Deals

Finding Travel Deals on Budget Airlines

southwestairIf you’re a budget-hunting traveler, the words “low-cost airline” should be music to your ears. You may be familiar with some of the names of the bigger discount airlines without even realizing that’s what they are – but it’s less likely that you know about budget airlines that fly to different parts of the world. Often times, what get classified as “budget airlines” are really just regional or smaller carriers – so they aren’t brands that are known outside of the area they cover.

We’ve written about discount airlines that fly from the United States to different parts of the world, and since those are a bunch of different links that aren’t always easy to find we wanted to make sure you could get to all of them if you needed them. Here are the articles we’ve written about budget airlines, and where they fly.

Budget Airlines that Fly to Europe

ryanairIn previous articles on this site, we’ve covered the primary budget airlines that fly in a few major countries – but perhaps the best crop of budget airlines is in Europe. Many of the low-cost carriers in the US tend to be regional, only serving a portion of the country – but in Europe, the budget airlines not only cover the country they’re based in but also typically many other countries in Europe besides.

Using the budget airlines that fly in Europe has become such a cheap way to get around that even the traditional Euro backpackers are often opting for a cheap one-way flight from one city to another instead of the time-honored Eurail pass and overnight train. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them don’t fly all the way across the ocean to get you from the US directly – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed about them anyway.

There are a couple ways in which Europe’s budget airlines can be useful to you, which I’ll outline below – and then you’ll find a list of some of the more prominent budget airlines in Europe.

Budget Airlines that Fly to Mexico

mexicoplaneWhen Mexico was dealing with one bad news story after another, it seemed like the entire country was on sale for travelers. In some cases, it might have even felt like they were paying you to come visit. You may still be able to find great deals on flights to Mexico at certain times of year due to less-than-ideal weather or some other bit of bad press, but one way to increase your chances of finding cheap fares to Mexico is by making sure you’re including the budget airlines that fly to Mexico in your search.

Like most other countries, Mexico has a host of smaller “no frills” airlines serving airports throughout the country in addition to the big airlines with more familiar names. Some of them are technically “regional” airlines, in that they serve only a few cities in one particular part of Mexico, and not all of them cross the border into the United States. But some of the discount airlines in Mexico do serve some cities in the United States, so if you’re planning a Mexican vacation they’re definitely the airlines you should be looking at.

Budget Airlines that Fly to Canada

westjetRecently we looked at some of the budget airlines in the United States to help you save money on your next trip – but if you looked at the list of those airlines, you’ll have noticed that our neighbor to the north is sadly missing from the destination lists of most of them. That’s right, Canada gets no love from the big U.S.-based discount airlines.

That’s not to say all flights to Canada are going to cost an arm and a leg, however, or that the only budget airlines serving Canadian airports are products of Canada, either. In fact, many of the cheap flights to Canada you’ll find are on airlines with names you’ll probably recognize – you just might be on a much smaller plane than you’re used to.

Canada used to be blessed with more of its own home-grown budget airlines, but carriers like Jetsgo (who doesn’t love that name? I so love that name!) and Zoom Airlines have folded in recent years because of the nearly impossible task of putting the words “airline” and “profitable” in the same sentence these days. One budget airline from years gone by didn’t completely disappear, and for years has been operating charter flights only – but they’re poised to make a comeback into the discount flight arena in 2010. That airline, along with other discount carriers that fly into Canada, are listed below.

Discount Airlines in the United States

virginamericaWho doesn’t love a bargain? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel a certain amount of satisfaction when they can avoid paying full price for something, whatever it is. When it comes to travel, the victory can feel even sweeter. The thing is, when you hear the word “discount” you might think you’re getting sub-par service – which you might be willing to tolerate, if it means you still get to go somewhere fun. But when you pair the word “discount” with the word “airline” that might conjure up images of unsafe planes or something.

The reality is quite different from that image, however, with some of the discount airlines operating in the United States offering luxuries the bigger carriers have long since eliminated from their services. And with so many of the so-called “legacy carriers” cutting back on their amenities anyway, the gap between what you get on a flight with a discount airline and what you get on a big airline has decreased dramatically.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from discount airlines in the U.S., and give you a list of some of the bigger domestic discount carriers you should definitely keep in mind for your next trip.

AirTran Flights from $39

All AirTran Airways destinations are on sale for travel through November 15, 2006. The lowest sale fares are available for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and additional sale fares are available for travel on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Book your tickets by Tuesday, July 11, 2006. These fares require a 14-day advance purchase and are not valid for travel on Fridays or Sundays.

Buy your tickets by July 11, 2006, 11:59 pm ET and fly through November 15, 2006. A 14-day advance purchase required.

Fares are not valid for travel September 4, 2006.

If you are unable to locate a particular fare, try searching on different travel dates or times, as fares are subject to availability and sell out quickly.

Travel may originate in either city, all fares are one-way, no roundtrip required.

AirTran

Canada Low Cost Airlines – WestJet


Cheap Flights at westjet.com

If you’re looking for a no-frills airline in Canda, make sure to search out WestJet.

Named Canada’s most respected corporation for customer service in 2005, WestJet pioneered low-cost high-value flying in Canada.

WestJet is Canada’s leading low-fare airline offering scheduled service throughout its 34-city North American network. If you’re traveling around Canada, don’t forget about them!


Cheap Flights at westjet.com

U.S. Airfare Comparison Sites: LowCostAirlinesUSA.org

What They Do:
List the websites of various no-frills airlines in the United States.

What They Don’t Do:
There are no direct booking options on the website. There are no links to North America flying low-cost carriers, just those in the US of A.

Best For:
Links to pitifully few low-cost airlines in the States.

LowCostAirlinesUSA.org