(page updated 17/05/2003) back to Low Cost Flights
Low cost flights. What they are and how work
The reasons they are cheap.
What are low cost flights?
Low cost flights are operated by new airlines that manage to charge highly competitive prices compared to the prices of traditional companies.
An idea of the prices: (Return prices calculated on flights taken on the first 15 days of June)
Colonia – Olbia: 115€ with HLX, Milan – Cagliari: 110€ with VolareWeb, London – Alghero: 131€ with Ryanair.
And what about those 1€ tariffs released between London and Alghero?
They are limited availability tariffs. It is possible if you are quick and lucky, you can find tickets at these prices. But, it can be difficult because there are a limited number of tickets at these prices and they sell out immediately.
In any case, excluding the special tariffs, the prices are normally very affordable compared to standard prices.
How are these prices are so cheap?
Low cost airlines are also called “no frills” airlines. The companies manage to have these prices because they save money
– on catering
– on the onboard service which is virtually absent
– on the sale of tickets which is over the Internet or through a call centre.
– on the use of actual paper tickets which are replaced with an email and a booking code.
Moreover, low cost airlines obtain discounts from the airport management companies.
How do you book over the Internet or through the call centre:
In general, when you purchase a ticket for a low cost flight, there are no real tickets issued. You follow a booking procedure over the web, or give the details to a member of the call centre. All payments are made by credit/debit card and you will receive a booking code. For further information read the following point “How do I book?”
But if there are no tickets, how do I check-in?
It’s simple, just show your confirmation email, booking code and identity card. For further information, read the following point “How do I book?”
The flights are cheap, but there is not the comfort of a normal flight…
On low cost flights, no service is included in the price: no drink, meals, snacks or newspapers. All these services must paid for. Furthermore, you cannot change the date or the hour of the flight. The seats on the aeroplane are not pre-assigned. When you travel low cost, you must consider this and you must expect this. But the big savings you will be making are worth a bit of flexibility!
How do I book?
- Connect to the site of the airline (e.g. www.volareweb.com)
- On the home page, you will find a link “Book Flights”
- Click on the link to find the online booking form where you must indicate departure and arrival airport, date and number of people.
- At this point the site will give you the availability and the cost of the flights.
- If the prices are acceptable, continue with the payment of the tickets using a credit/debit card.
Having booked your ticket, you will receive confirmation of the booking through an email that details the flights booked and the booking code.
Seats are not assigned: you can sit where there are seats.
Drinks and food are available on board, but they are not included in the price of the ticket.
It is not possible to change the date or the time of the flight.
– The cost: from Sardinia to London for 130€ – impossible a few months ago.
– No risk of overbooking – the booking is linked to the total payment of the ticket.
– No paper tickets – go straight to the check-in desk with the confirmation email and the booking code.
– No free services on board
– Cannot change flight.
The low cost airlines and the routes to and from Sardinia:
From Italy to Sardinia:
VolareWeb – www.VolareWeb.com : Milan – Cagliari / Venice – Cagliari / Venice – Alghero / Venice – Olbia
And this is an list of the low cost companies that operate in Europe
- AirBerlin: www.airberlin.com
- BasiqAir: www.basiqair.com
- BmiBaby: www.bmibaby.com
- EasyJet: www.easyjet.com
- EvolaVia: www.evolavia.com
- GermanWings: www.germanwings.com
- HapaglLoydExpress: www.hlx.com
- RyanAir: www.ryanair.com
- SkyEurope: www.skyeurope.com
- Sterling: www.sterlingticket.com
- VirginExpress: www.virginexpress.com