When flying around the world comfort might be of importance to some people. Do you get a good meal, is the flight schedule good aka not too early in the morning, how much luggage are you allowed etc.
To me price is everything. Sometimes I hate myself when I have to get up at 3:30 am or when I need to carry everything in a hand luggage but when it is all over I’m a fan of the low price and the low fare airlines.
Norwegian, Eurowings, easyJet etc. is some of those companies everybody loves to hate and tell about how terrible they are. Funny enough people are having more trouble being loyal to their own beliefs when they are going to pay for their airplane ticket and realises that easyJet or Ryanair is the cheapest.
Some people shut up and just walk on the plane. Others continues to complain even though they know what to expect and even though they didn’t want to pay more. I’m not a fan of the last ones.
It so easy to hate that you can’t sit together, that you need to pay extra to check-in luggage etc. etc. – but hey that is just the game. That is the game you have to play if you want to go low price. When you realise that you just have to play the game and play by the rules that the low fare companies have set then you realise that it is actually a great way to travel and it can bring you around especially Europe at a very fair price.
So what is the game and how should you play it. Here is my tactic as I want to have those cheap tickets when going on a European city trip.
How to get chose cheap tickets
I believe that time is everything. The sooner you buy your airplane ticket the better and that often goes for all companies.
Leave the search engine for some days and then see if the prices haven’t gone back. If not and you don’t like it then shake it of and find a new ticket on a new day. At least now you know where your own price limit is.
When to leave
This is probably the most important one. You need not to have too many restrictions. Destination maybe, month maybe but not more than that. One of them is enough and then an open mind about when you go or where you go. Is that not possible due to your everyday life back home then of course you will miss out on some great offers.
I always go for hand luggage. That is the cheapest way to travel. If you need to check-in more luggage I’m sure that the other airlines will be up for some competition against the low price airlines. You might get a cheap ticket but if you buy the add-ons you are fooling yourself. You should probably just have paid for the whole package at one of the other airlines.
I’ve through the years learnt to travel light. Not only to get my luggage inside the cabin but just as much because it is the best way to travel. When I travel with my backpack I’ve got a simple 10 kilo rule. That is actually the same when I travel with a suitcase. You don’t need more as long as you got the right equipment. All good things come in small packages no mater if it is a towel, sun lotion or a sleeping bag.
Take a risk
My next advice is probably too much to some people. I myself get over worried but that is part of the game. To travel cheap is not without a cost.
The trick is to buy flights that are not connected. Maybe even not the same company. This means that if your first flight is cancelled or delayed there is nothing to do about your next flight. You need to come up with a solution yourself.
This trick demands time, that you are not in a tight schedule, haven’t booked too many activities and so on. Because you might end up in London for two days on your flight out.
An example. I wanted to go to Marrakech from Copenhagen. I booked a flight to Berlin at 15 Euros and my next flight to Marrakech at 27 Euros. That is cheap from Denmark and half price of the cheapest direct flight with Norwegian. The disadvantage was that if one flight got cancelled I needed to make my own solutions.
If my first flight got cancelled it would probably be okay as Copenhagen towards Berlin is a popular route. So I would be able to find a new flight to Berlin at a cheap price.
If my second flight got cancelled I would probably be offered a new one three days later. In this case I would be able to spend three days in Berlin.
This strategy demands that you are aware of the risk and will take a cancellation with a positive mindset. Also I think it is best to do it with stop overs in the big airports like London, Paris, Berlin etc. as your chances of a new cheap ticket is bigger.
My Berlin flight actually got cancelled but luckily I were offered a new one at the same time just from and other Berlin airport. So I had three hours to get from Tegel to Schonefeld. Extra cost: 3,60 Euros 🙂
One last advice
Regarding check-in you should do it as late as possible – no later than two hours before though or what ever rule the airline company have.
With Ryanair it is important that you check-in two hours before departure and not in the airport. People complain about this as it is extra 55€ in the airport but really I always check-in before I go to the airport anyway so for me that is not an issue. I hate the queues and don’t want to put my self into more queues than necessary.
So when you check-in wait. Wait wait wait is the code. The later you check-in the better seat you’ll get. It is very simple. The companies tries to sell the best seats on the planes but never get them all sold out. When you check-in early you will get appointed a bad seat in the middle of the plane probably in the middle row as they hope that you will pay to get a better seat. When you check-in late – four maybe six hours before departure – you get the seats that is left and that is only the good ones in the front, in the aisle or at the window. Try it 🙂
To me price is everything because money spend in the air means less money to spend at my destination.