Low cost airlines market themselves as the cheapest and most convenient way to travel around Europe. Granted, there are a lot of these types of airlines in operation now and more competition makes for better deals for travellers, but budget carriers aren’t necessarily as cheap as you think.
In a recent survey, WhichAirline.com compared airlines across Europe to find which offered the cheapest flight on average with one bag checked in and transfer fees included. Any guesses as to which was the cheapest? A lot of people might assume Ryanair, but Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines took top spot with the average one-way fare totalling £53.41. Ryanair fell into fourth place with the average one-way flight costing £70.53.
If you double these prices for a return flight, passengers will be paying over £100 on average. Not quite as cheap as you might have thought.
Of course, budget airlines maintain their low fare prices due to the fact that you’re really only paying for the seat. Check-in baggage, food and drinks, seat reservations and priority boarding all cost extra. But, sacrificing these ‘extravagances’ are often worth the difference in cost between flying on a luxury or budget carrier – especially if the flight is only a few hours long.
However, while flying is an extremely popular way to travel these days, there are alternatives to choose from. One option is to take a boat. Ferries, which are often forgotten about when choosing a mode of transport for a holiday, are cheap, convenient and reliable.
According to the Foreign Office, 17 million British nationals visit France every year. The vast majority of these people would catch a plane or train across the channel. However, ferries also operate on this route and are much cheaper to board.
Yes, ferries take longer, but their benefits far outweigh the negatives. Using Brittany Ferries as an example, a one-way ticket for a person travelling on foot will cost around £25, while taking a car across the channel will cost £100.
To get you to remember the ferry next time you’re booking a trip to France, Brittany Ferries have produced an infographic (see below) highlighting the differences between flying to France and taking a boat.