Discount airlines in Europe

Most popular discount airlines in Europe sell their tickets over their website or over the phone, and they are not available to buy at travel agents. Most ticket are ticket-less. You need to just turn up at the check-in desk or at the departure gate with your passport and confirmation number on a print-out of your e-ticket or on your phone app.  For many low-cost carriers, this is not possible to book multiple connection flights, as they only offer single “point to point” flights. When looking for cheap flights, first check airlines that use either your starting point or your ending point as a hub. For a trip from Berlin to Oslo, I’d look at Airberlin and at Norwegian airlines. To find out all your options, use an online search engine that covers everything. PRO TIP: My first stop when seeking budget flights is Skyscanner. Several other websites, including the all-purpose Kayak, are worth a look. I look there for all the connections, but I rarely book straight from there. I go to the airline site directly.

Most popular  discount airlines in Europe are:  easyJet, Ryanair, Wow Air, Wizzairgermanwings, Norwegian and Air Berlin.

Pricing

Discount airlines fares fluctuating strongly on an hourly basis according to demand. Your ticket price will be less expensive if you will plan to fly mid-week, early in the morning or late at night, as well it is important to check if its low season for that particular part of Europe. If you are lucky and book your ticket on Sale your price can be super low and yo will only have to pay taxes on top of it. Remember not to during public holidays. Don’t book your ticket less than two weeks in advance, as last min priced never go down, and make sure to opt for return tickets if possible.

Rules

Discount airlines are often much more strict. Those airlines are not making much money on your ticket, they look for other ways to cut costs. The initial fare you see on the website can be low, so make sure what is the actual cost of your ticket before clicking “buy” quickly. Some of them restrict you to only one carry-on bag on the plane. Some force you to pay an extra fee for your baggage. Some charge you extra for choosing your seat number. If you are checking a bag, pay the fee online when you purchase your ticket, because the price per bag isn’t fixed and gets higher the closer you get to your departure. Don’t assume your bag fits as carry-on in Europe, because many airlines use smaller dimensions than other carriers. Food is usually not served during the flight, unless you want to by something from a cart. It’s best to bring your own food and water. In general in Europe liquids are allowed through security only in bottles of 100 mL or less. If you wish you can bring an empty bottle and fill it up at a drinking fountain. There is no In-flight entertainment. Discount airlines do not wait for late passengers. Budget tickets are usually non-refundable and non-changeable.

Airline Hub(s)
Aer Lingus Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Belfast
AirBaltic Riga (Latvia)
Airberlin Multiple German cities
Air One Milan, Venice, Pisa
Blue Air Bucharest, Bacău (Romania)
Brussels Airlines Brussels
CityJet London City Airport
Condor Multiple German cities
Darwin Airline Geneva, Lugano
EasyJet London, Milan, Berlin, Paris, Liverpool, Geneva, Basel, Nice, Toulouse, Edinburgh, Madrid, and more
Estonian Air Tallinn
Flybe Manchester, Newquay, Exeter, Southampton, London (southern England); Jersey, Guernsey (Channel Islands)
Germanwings Multiple German cities
Helvetic Airways Zürich, Bern
Icelandair Reykjavik
Jet2 Multiple British cities
Jetairfly Brussels, Liège, Ostend (Belgium)
Meridiana Olbia, Cagliari (Sardinia); Rome and other Italian cities
Monarch Airlines Multiple British cities
Niki Vienna, Salzburg
Norwegian Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Alicante, and London
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul, Antalya (Turkey)
Ryanair London, Dublin, and several other cities
SmartWings Prague, Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Thomsonfly Connects various British cities to Mediterranean resorts
Transavia Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven
TUIfly Multiple German cities
Vueling Multiple Spanish cities, Amsterdam, Florence, Rome
Widerøe Oslo
Wizz Air Budapest and many other Eastern European cities
XL Airways Paris

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Guide to Discount airlines in Europe

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