August 13, 2005

Low Cost Airlines- USA

Southwest Airlines

Jetblue  (A terrific airline!)

Song  (from Delta Airlines)  (Try also Delta)

Low Cost Airlines- Europe


EasyJet (point to point within Europe for $99 each leg; must be purchased in the US)

Low Cost Airlines from US to Europe: (JFK to Italy) (from UK(Gatwick) to Orlando, FL)


Low Cost Airlines that I have never used- USA:

Independence Air


Low Cost Airlines that I have never used- Europe:

Air Berlin (from Germany to other countries) (from UK within the UK & to rest of Europe) (from UK to within UK & to parts of Europe, Croatia, Egypt, Barbados, Greece, Turkey & US)


Resource & Others: (see information below)

virgin express

virgin express ( operates within continental Europe, and flights can be booked as one way or return trips with fares priced as single segment one way trips. Their website allows you to change flight details, including departure and destination, time and date of travel, seat allocation and extra leg room, passenger name (Euro 50 charge), after you have purchased. Virgin Express does not offer a connecting service. Each booking atrtracts a 10 Euro booking fee, so booking legs separately will cost that much more than booking both legs of a return trip. Their website has links to extra services such as to car hire partners holidayautos. Prices tend to be lower than main airlines but higher than Ryan air when booked 2 to 3 weeks in advance but can be as high or higher than main airlines only a week before travel (SN Brussels can be cheaper at these times). Food, drink and gifts can be purchased on board.

Virgin Express has one hub at the main Brussels Zaventum airport, with a mini-hub at Rome where they fly to both Amsterdam and Brussels. Their main destinations are in Spain, with the rest to France, Italy, Holland, Greece and Switzerland.

Like easyJet, Virgin Express operates out of principal airports.


Other low cost airlines

There are 62 low cost airlines in Europe, and this number is rapidly changing. Here are a few of the biggest.

  • Aero Flight ( operates out of Germany to many European destinations.
  • Air Berlin ( operate a very large network from numerous German and Austrian airports, and London. They book through tickets.
  • Air Baltic ( have a wide variety of cheap fares from Riga, which can be used as a transit point. E.g. it is cheaper to travel Odessa-Riga-Kiev with airbaltic than Odessa-Kiev directly with regular-fare airlines.
  • Blue 1 ( operate routes between northern Europe (Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and seven different cities in Finland.
  • Blue Air ( operate an expanding network to/from Bucharest, Romania (to Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey, etc).
  • BMI Baby (, a subsidiary of bmi, have bases in Teeside, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham East Midlands. They operate domestic flights to Scotland and Northern Ireland, and also have a small number of flights out of Gatwick.
  • Centralwings ( operates out of Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice) to several European destinations. It's child airline of LOT Polish Ailines national operator, using their fleet, and thus is probably safer (eg. bankruptcy less likely), but more expensive than others. Booking by Internet and phone, as well as by some travel agencies (additional fee apply).
  • Condor ( operates out of major airports in Germany (doesn't use obscure airfields) and sells tickets starting at 29,00 Euros one-way within Europe, putting it into the discount airline bracket as well.
  • FlyBe ( operates out of the UK to many European Destinations
  • Monarch ( operates out of several UK cities
  • German Wings ( operate a large network out of Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.
  • Hapag-Lloyd Express ( operate a large network out of Stuttgart, Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Hamburg and Berlin.
  • Iceland Express ( operates out of London Stansted, Copenhagen & Frankfurt to Reykjavik.
  • Lauda Air ( operates out of Austria to many European destinations.
  • jet2 ( operate out of Leeds/Bradford to continental Europe, and from Belfast to Prague.
  • Niki ( operates out of Austria to many European destinations.
  • Onur Air ( operates a Turkish domestic network.
  • Maersk Air ( operates out of Copenhagen to european destinations. Prices depends on the amount of legroom you want.
  • Meridiana ( operates out of Italy to many European & Italian destinations.
  • Sky Europe ( operate out of Bratislava, Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw. Sales online, in some travel agencies and in airports.

Probably they don't do this often, but it happens that SkyEurope change its schedule a week before departure, so the flight is 8-10 hours earlier/later than in original reservation. Options they give are: rebooking (for free in this case) or refund (sidenote: buying another ticket week before the flight can be 10 times more expensive then the refund). Anyway, flying low-cost airline, you agree to take that risk.

  • Smartwings ( operates out of Prague.
  • Snowflake ( operates out of Copenhagen and Stockholm. Snowflake is the discount version of SAS.
  • Sterling ( operate from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Oslo, and Copenhagen. On the Scandinavian routes Sterling often compete with SAS by offering the same service at much lower prices, but not give air miles.
  • Transavia ( (former BasiqAir), Operates out of Amsterdam to many European destinations.
  • Virgin Express ( operate out of Brussels.
  • Vueling ( operates out of Barcelona (Spain) to many European destinations.
  • Wizzair ( operates from Poland and Hungary
  • Wind-Jet ( operates out of Italy to many European & Italian destinations.


Low cost airline resources

There are some very useful websites to use when booking connecting low cost airline flights:

  •[1] ( provides the comprehensive overview of over 2000 European low-cost airlines’ flights. enables to search both direct and multiple-stops connections among more than 240 cities.
  •[2] ( creates multi-segment low cost trips based on current routing information from low cost carriers worldwide. Answers the question "who flies where?". Information site (you cannot book there).
  • WhichBudget[3] ( tells you which budget airline flies from a particular airport or to a particular airport, linking hundreds of airlines and thousands of routes.
  • [4] ( shows all European cheap flights on one screen and redirects to the low-cost airline operating the flight selected (Information site).
  • Skyscanner[5] ( will find the cheapest way of getting between cities and has additional tools, such as fare graphs for a given route over a month and cheap weekend flights from any given city.
  • Openjet[6] ( will find the cheapest way of getting between the 91 cities served by Easyjet, MytravelLite, BMIbaby, Volareweb, Basiq Air, HLX and Germanwings.
  • Low Fare Flights[7] (, this UK site compares budget airfares on over 300 european routes, originating from the UK only.
  • Applefares[8] ( covers a very limited set of European-based routes as it only covers these airlines, as of 2005 July 20: BasiqAir, bmibaby, easyJet, GermanWings, MyTravelLite, Sky Europe, Thomsonfly. You can give it a range of airports or even countries, and find the cheapest flight to any destination on a range of dates.
  • Zingarate[9] ( (in italian) searches among 7072 routes with connections across Europe you can use or EasyLow ( if you want an english version.
  • dohop[10] ( cleverly composes multileg journeys based on low-cost airlines. Be careful when you plan journeys with connections! Lowcost airlines don't guarantee any time and not even the flight so put at least 3-4 hours between arrival and last check-in time (As the site suggests).
  •[11] ( German Website where you can search for flights all over Europe with many LowCost Carriers by destination or origin airport.

Unfortunately Ryanair actively keeps its fares off many of these fare comparison websites, forcing users to go directly to

Also of use are some information sites:

  •[12] ( lists all 61 European low cost airlines (plus many other low cost airlines all over the world)
  •[13] ( has country-by-country maps and information detailing all the low cost airline routes to and from each European destination.
  •[14] ( is another good resource, and has up-to-date low-cost airline route news.
  •[15] ( can be used to search and compare air fares of the major travel agents.










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