Caveats at Altitude: 10 Vital Reasons to Avoid Budget Airlines for Smoother Air Travel

Hello! Low-cost budget airlines are so popular after Covid-19 and yet I doubt people get the full benefit of the budget airline. Instead of getting benefits, I guess people often get ripped off by these budget carriers. So, I decided to do an article by including the top 10 reasons to avoid budget airlines for smoother air travel.

Budget carriers or low-cost airlines are not a bad thing. It is a great choice sometimes and when you smartly use them. However, you might find yourself not receiving value for your hard-earned money. So, I am giving you these top 10 reasons to consider a full-service carrier before sticking with a low-cost carrier next time. And in the next article, I will guide you to avoid rip-offs with Budget airlines.

Hidden Fees

Hidden fees are normal in budget carriers. They will advertise the base fare and you will be demanded to pay a Tax or any other charge at the check-in gate. And you will be cheated with baggage fees for sure. It’s a normal cheating policy. Most low-cost airlines do not offer checked-in baggage for free and will charge an enormous fee for checked-in baggage. In some cases, there will be limitations on hand carry as well. So, you will be charged a surprise fee for an extra hand-carry laptop or camera or whatever. The worst case scenario is these hidden fees pop up at “No Return’ moments in your journey. So, often you might end up paying more than the full-service carrier’s standard ticket price for the same route. Calculate, check and recheck before choosing a budget carrier over a full-service airline.

Limited Amenities

With budget carriers, you will be experiencing outdated old aircraft. So, do not expect to see the standard amenities of the aircraft. Perhaps budget airlines order aircraft with limited amenities intentionally. So, you are not going to see standard aircraft at all. From Seats, Inflight Entertainment, and Lavatoraries to Cabin Crew, you should hope to expect the worst. When you fly long haul, most standard full-service carriers offer bags of stuff even in economy class to make your journey smooth. Blankets, eye shades, toiletries, lotions and many more. Budget carriers are the worst choice for a flight of more than an hour.

Unconvenient airports

In most cases, you will be landing at a different airport than the major airport of your destination. If you are landing at the major airport of the destination, probably you are at the worst terminal of the entire airport. Usually, budget carriers choose less popular airports in hot destinations to save money on their operations. It might add you an expensive taxi ride to the city. Perhaps those less popular airports won’t offer connectivity as popular airports do. For example, London Heathrow Airport is the major popular airport in the city of London. It is 18 km away from London Bridge. On the other hand, London Gatwick Airport is nearly 50 km away from London Bridge. Most low-cost carriers land and take off at London Gatwick Airport. If you go over to some airports in some regions, airports shut down and close at night and you need to find a place to stay until they reopen in the morning. So, these things might cost more money when you fly budget airlines. Full-service carriers often fly via big popular airports that aren’t inconvenient alike.

Tight Seating and less comfort

Legroom and Seat comfort aren’t that good on budget airlines. Especially in some regions, they adjust the legroom to fit regional demand. This might be bad news for a person who comes from a different region. We know that the standard body sizes are different in some regions. Some budget airlines order aircraft with specific requirements to maximize the use of the space to increase profit. So, you should be very careful when you fly through unfamiliar routes. For Transatlantic or long-haul flights, tight seatings and short legrooms are not ideal. In some cases, you will have to spend another day to take a rest at a hotel and cost more money or time.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

Budget airlines often do not offer bookings. If you need a reservation, you need to buy it right away. No chance to book and wait. And they have strict refund policies and cancellation policies. In case of emergency, you should be ready to say goodbye to your refund expectation. You might expect overbook situations and often can be kicked out from the aircraft and you will be put on the next flight. So, read their whole terms before booking your low-cost carrier ticket next time. Also, plan well.

The worst nightmare of an emergency or flight delay or cancellation

You should experience a flight cancellation or a delay to change your mind about budget airlines. Most of the time, you will be given nothing and you are on your own in this case. Instead of full-service carriers, you will be given a hotel, meals and transport until the situation gets sorted out. In some star-class airlines, you will be given a star-class treatment in delays or cancellations. If you are not in a hurry, you will be spending a vacation until your flight is ready to take off in your free mind. So, the premium price you pay may come with cover in an emergency.

Awkward On-Board Food Sales

I don’t know about the other people. I feel so awkward to order or not order meals for sales on board. I don’t know what to do in that particular case. It is awkward to eat and not to eat while others in the same coach not doing the same thing. That is one of the key reasons i don’t fly and I don’t like to fly budget airlines. The only flight that I had on a budget airline was a connecting flight that I booked via Jet Airways Full Service Carrier. However, one leg was operated by Jetkonnect, their budget carrier. They offered free hot sandwiches and soda or hot beverages for everyone fortunately and yet they distributed a menu for extra meals or drinks.

Safety and Maintenance Issues

Some budget carriers are well-known for their accident rates. Not all budget carriers are unsafe or popular for low safety standards. Some low-cost airlines are great in their safety ratings. However, still, we can still see some airlines popular for their poor maintenance and safety standards. Full-service carriers are usually really worried about their ratings over profit. So, it’s always better to be with full-service carriers.

Unreliable On-Time Performance

This is also a common complaint about budget carriers. They often miss the timing of their flights. Usually, the budget carriers are racing against the time to maximize the profit. As I heard, budget carriers are expecting to land, disembark and be ready to board new passengers in the 25-minute time frame. However, these tight schedules often go wrong with punctuality. So, if you fly with a budget carrier and expect to have a connection flight, you should have more than 4 hours or more time slot to be sure to catch the next flight.

Poor Customer Service

Air travel isn’t a cheap choice in most case scenarios. Also, it’s a reputed industry. So, low-cost carrier flight attendants, ground staff, customer care agents and sales agents often treat customers in very rude and unprofessional ways. These things often happen due to lack of training or poor training, lower wages, high stress long working shifts and so on. However, the air travel industry isn’t a good place to accept this kind of behaviour as the norm. So, if you book with budget airlines, you have no guarantee that your money get treated well.

I am not suggesting avoiding budget airlines at all. But, you should be vigilant about two things. First, you are not paying more than 75% or more compared to the same route full-service carrier. If you save 25% or more in total, you are getting a good deal. And that cost comparison included your baggage requirements, taxi rides if needed from unpopular airports and other things. Another thing is compared to the full flight length, whether you get a good value for your money and fulfil your desire completely.

In the next article, I will try to explain the best way to use Budget Airlines or Low-cost carriers without getting caught in their profit traps. If I had the power to govern Worldwide airlines, I would reshape budget airlines without such a cheap quality service.

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