When you are looking for airline tickets for your holiday, you can easily be attracted by flights from low-cost airlines. Often this choice is judicious because you travel at on a budget, allowing you to enjoy yourself a bit more once you get there. However, not everything is rosy with low-cost airlines and in some cases, taking a flight with a “classic” airline can be more convenient and end-up cheaper.
Let’s take as an example a one-way flight from Paris to Lisbon scheduled for August 24, 2019 and compare Ryanair and Air France in similar flight conditions. We would like to take one piece of cabin luggage and one piece of checked luggage with us.
The basic price at Ryanair is 22.98 EUR at the standard rate. Airlines offer different fares depending on refund policies and ticket change authorizations. For this Paris-Lisbon flight with Ryanair, the most flexible option costs 91.04 EUR and allows you, among other things, to bring two pieces of cabin luggage and choose your seat at no extra cost. The addition of a 20kg baggage item in the hold costs 15 EUR. The shuttle between Paris and Beauvais (airport of departure of Ryanair flights in Paris) costs 15.90 EUR not to mention the shuttle takes 70 minutes. Here, the total would be 121.94 EUR and this does not include food on the plane nor entertainment. In general, a meal costs 12.00 EUR and you can count 3.00 EUR for a coffee. A total of 136.94 EUR with a meal and a coffee.
For a same-day flight with Air France, the cheapest standard fare is 46EUR while the most flexible fare is 125.35 EUR. The passenger is entitled to one piece of cabin baggage and one piece of checked baggage. A meal and a coffee are also included in the price of the ticket. To this, we add the transfer price between Paris and CDG, of 9.75EUR by RER B. Other options are possible to travel between Paris and CDG but the cheapest remains the RER B. With Air France, the ticket price would therefore be 135.10 EUR.
We took the low-cost airline Ryanair as an example, but this could be reproduced with other low-cost airlines, as well as for Air France. Thus, for equivalent flight conditions, low-cost airlines are not necessarily advantageous. Obviously, when passengers choose to travel low cost, expectations are not the same and the advantage of low-cost airlines is to have flexible tickets where you can choose what you want to pay. However, it should be noted that the quality of after-sales service are not at all of the same standard. Low-cost airlines tend to make the refund and compensation process drag on while regular companies display, usually, less bad faith.
So, if you have time, are not hungry, do not have long legs and do not need to travel with a lot of luggage, low-cost is for you!