Travel Comment

Ponderings on all aspects of travel - both at home and abroad.

Jim Eagles: Ups and downs of budget airlines

10 comments
Comments were largely positive about low-cost airline around the world. Photo / Bloomberg
Comments were largely positive about low-cost airline around the world. Photo / Bloomberg

There seems to be a general consensus out there that budget airlines are a good way to get around Europe easily and on the cheap.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote of my own pleasant experience travelling from London Gatwick to Athens on EasyJet and most of the feedback suggests that's not particularly unusual.

A couple of readers suggested that, as Bathmark from England put it, "I have flown on Sleasyjet a number of times and think that you were lucky."

And a couple more warned that, in the words of Schnauzer from Germany, "The low-cost option is fine until you hit problems... It only takes one such bad experience to put you off for good."

But the overwhelming view was summed up by Denise Menara of New Zealand, who wrote, "We've had great EasyJet experiences in Europe as well. We tried the food and it's good and reasonable and the service was never less than excellent."

Other readers were quick to praise more budget airlines. Quintin from New Zealand gushed, "Recently we flew EasyJet, Ryan, Wizz, Span Air, Tiger, Air Asia, Vueling, South West, Virgin and Jetstar [and] received outstanding service from them all."

Keith commented, "Flybe is a good option from Southampton airport, a small airport which is easy to use and has a good train link to London."

And even grumpy Schnauzer suggested, "Our tip: Air Berlin. Low-cost but efficient, friendly, comfortable and you even get a sammie and a cup of tea to boot. Low-cost luxury".

But if you do decide to fly budget airlines, one word of warning: there were more grizzles about Ryanair than any of the others.

Catherine Foster from New Zealand commented, "I have used [EasyJet] many times all over Europe and have never had a bad experience. But Ryanair is another matter. Don't go there. It's the only airline where I have seen people crying in the queues with the stress of trying to get on their flight. Rude staff, inadequate information, rip-offs and extra charges at every turn."

On the other hand, quite a few readers did say that complaints about budget airlines often come from folk who don't read the rules or turn up late.

And Cashinhand from New Zealand added colourfully, "The saps that whinge about low-cost airlines being late and losing bags, etc are just plain wrong. Look at the stats (which are regularly published in Britain) which show just how far ahead low-cost carriers are in these measures.

"I don't choose to pay for silver service in the air. I want to get from one place to another on time and with my bags. People who make the decision to pay 30-50 per cent more for the sake of not missing out on a grim coffee and a plastic-wrapped biscuit are welcome. And, in my view, stupid."

- NZ Herald

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 25 Dec 2014 17:28:54 Processing Time: 1145ms