Wednesday, June 12, 2013

World's Best Budget Airlines

Travel can be an expensive hobby—you have to figure out where to stay, what do see and do, what to eat, and more important, how to get there, all without breaking the bank. Flying can often be the priciest part of the journey, especially with all the extra baggage fees and other taxes that are involved nowadays. 
JetBlue Airways
Perk: Comfy leather seats and televisions for all
Where they fly: Between major cities in the northeast, southeast, and western United States; the Caribbean; select cities in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Southwest Airlines
Perk: Fun-loving employees and open seating options
Where they fly: Major cities throughout the United States; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Mexico City, Cancun, and Los Cabos, Mexico.

Personal Experience: I use to fly Southwest all the time from my college town of Lubbock, TX to home. But once I started traveling internationally and moved to Houston (one of United's hubs) I became a loyal United flier (...well actually I was a loyal Continental flier and then United and Continental merged). 

Perk: Connecting Canada with the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean
Where they fly: Major cities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Perk: Your gateway to South America! They offer extensive in-flight entertainment options. Each seat has its own television, and you can choose from more than 100 movies, 42 TV shows, 25 games, and even customize your own music playlist.
Where they fly: Miami is the major U.S. hub. Within South America, destinations include Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Guayaquil, Bogotá, LaPaz, and Caracas among others. Domestic flights are also available within Colombia, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.

Perk: Affordable flights around Europe and the Middle East.
(A search from London, for instance, yielded one-way tickets ranging from nearby Edinburgh and Belfast to cities as far away as Berlin, Munich, and Milan for less than $50.)
Where they fly: Throughout the U.K. and between a number of major European cities; Moscow and various cities in Eastern Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, and Egypt.

Perk: Cheap flights—but watch for extra fees
Where they fly: Various cities around Europe, Morocco, Cyprus, and the Canary Islands.

Personal Experience: They typically fly out of non-major cities and in my case it took more time to get to that city. With the extra bus and train fare I'm not sure I saved any money. 

Perk: Africa's first budget airline - one way $20 Domestic flights
Where they fly: From three international airports within Tanzania—Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar—and Mwanza Regional Airport, with more routes expected to open soon in Entebbe, Uganda, and in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya.

Hawaiian Airlines
Perk: Friendly staff, free island maps and POG juice
Where they fly: Honolulu, Hawaii, is the main hub—you can island hop to the other Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island, or fly to the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Tahiti, Singapore, Australia, and American Samoa.
Personal Experience: Flew them from Honolulu to Kauai and I was supper excited because I have always heard such good things. I loved getting a map (that I will use for my scrap book) and the POG juice was a good in-flight treat!

Perk: You have the flexibility to choose how many included amenities you want while booking thanks to their cheap base fares and the ability to add extras as you go—the standard ticket price includes one piece of carry-on luggage (a great value for those who tend to pack light), while other variations include seat selection, food, beverages, and in-flight entertainment.
Where they fly: Various cities in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Have you ever flown with any of these airlines?

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