Guide to European Low Cost Airlines

Traveling and exploring the world on a budget is great. You can save money for nice accommodation or local food tasting. But what if you find a great deal on flights but then realize that you have to pay extra. Some airlines charge you more for baggage, early booking or choosing your seat. Here is a little guide to European low-cost airlines. It will help you to better understand what is included in your plane ticket and what will cost you an extra money.

Here are some facts and tips you should know before buying a flight ticket with a low-cost airline.

#1 You will pay for checked-in luggage extra fee

Have in mind before traveling that checked-in luggage will cost you an extra money. Most airlines will offer you one cabin bag for free but the restrictions (dimensions and weight) may differ. Here is a little table that will help you see what is the baggage allowance for some of the European low-cost airlines.

Personal items include handbag, briefcase, laptop, camera bag, etc
created on February 1, 2016

If you travel for a trip shorter than a week you should be fine with just a carry-on.

#2 You will have to check-in online and print your ticket in advance

Most of these airlines will actually charge you extra money if you don’t print your boarding pass before flying and even for checking you in at the airport.

If you are checking-in in your travel destination and don’t have a printer, always ask the receptionist at your hotel or try finding a printer in a library or go to a printing store.

#3 Don’t expect to get free in-flight drinks and food 

You can buy these on a board of course but it will cost you some money. If you are flying longer distance or think you might get hungry or thirsty, bring your snacks and refreshments with you. Remember, you can not bring drinks that are more than 100ml through the security, so always buy a bottle of water after in the duty-free area. And remember – don’t drink the water that runs on the plane’s toilet, it contains a lot of bacterias and mold. Ew.

#4 Extra fees

Some airlines charge extra fees for using different types of cards (debit/credit). They can also add taxes and other fees so always check the final prices when comparing ticket prices. Also look for pre-checked travel insurance box, that some airlines automatically add. You don’t have to buy that and choose your own instead.

#5 No in-flight entertainment

There usually won’t be any in-flight entertainment as movies or magazines so don’t forget to bring your own.

#6 More basic interior

As the planes are the same as for other airlines (the majority uses Airbus or Boeing) and definitely safe, they are more basic inside. The seats won’t recline and you will have less legroom which is fine for flying shorter distances. You can also pay extra fees for seats that have more legroom or for a ‘business class’ seats that are in the front of the plane.

#7 Beware ‘baby fees’

If you travel with a baby you should consider checking before all the extra fees you might pay for taking a stroller with you. Airlines might even charge you for having your baby sitting on your lap the whole flight.

#8 Check the distance from the airport to your final destination

Most budget airlines will fly to airports that are not the city’s main airports. Usually, if there is more than one airport in your destination or close by, the low-cost airlines will fly there. In some big cities like London or Stockholm, the airports are more than 80 km outside the city! You will then pay a large amount of money to get to your destination. So always check where the airport is and consider getting accommodation in the same direction or where the trains/buses coming from the airport have their stops.

Overall, budget airlines are usually way cheaper than full-service airlines, but always check the search engines to find the lowest fare. You can read on tips for traveling on a budget here. Sometimes it may feel like you are paying more through the individual fees but you will save significantly by avoiding these extra payments. If you can live without the ‘luxury’, it is definitely worth it.


guide to european low cost airlines


Image source: Pixaby

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