Budget airlines like WestJet, Frontier, JetBlue, and Allegiant often have flights that are 20-30% cheaper than traditional airlines like Delta and United Airlines.
This makes them one of the best options for getting cheap flights – as long as you’re willing to be a little less comfortable during your trip, you can save quite a bit of money!
But, given how competitive the airline industry is, this may have you wondering – how can low-budget airlines offer such cheap flights, and still make money? In this article, we’ll discuss this topic, and give you the inside scoop on how cheap airlines manage to stay profitable.
No Free Luxuries
One of the primary ways that cheap airlines make money is by cutting out the niceties that are common on larger commercial airliners. You’ll have to pay extra for a checked or carry-on bag, and you won’t get free snacks or meals – or even water, in most cases. You have to pay for everything – which allows budget airlines to make money off of those willing to pay, yet still offer cheaper flights for more thrifty individuals.
Usually, you will be assigned a seat when you choose your budget flight, and won’t have to pay extra for it. But if you want to sit next to a friend or loved one, or want to choose an aisle/window seat, you’ll usually pay $5-$20 for the privilege of doing so. This is one of the main ways that budget airlines manage to make some extra cash – without raising operating costs.
Shorter, Direct Flights
It’s much cheaper for airlines to run numerous, shorter flights than it is for them to run long-haul flights that involve multiple transfers and layovers. This is why, if you do have a layover on a budget airline, you’ll usually fly on a different plane altogether – it’s very rare to be on the same plane all the way to your destination.
Some budget airlines don’t allow their tickets to be sold by third-party travel agencies. They can only be booked through their website or their service counter. This cuts down on service fees, allowing for higher profitability on cheap tickets.
Smaller, More Densely-Packed Airoplanes
Typically, budget airlines use smaller planes, and manage to squeeze more room for passengers out of this space. This is done by reducing the size of seats, and pushing them more closely together. The reason for this is simple – a larger capacity of passengers means more people can fly on the same flight, increasing profit margins.
You can almost think of budget airlines like “air busses”. You won’t get a comfy seat, and you may be uncomfortable – but they’re still usually the cheapest way to get where you’re going.
Budget Airlines Make Money With These 5 Tactics – And Many More!
Budget airlines do operate on razor-thin margins. But with these 5 clever money-making tactics, they ensure that they can still turn a profit while offering cheap flights to passengers around the world. We hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look at the business practices of budget airlines!