Understanding Low Cost Airlines

Walk through the check-in counters at pretty much any North American airport or visit the social media timelines of any major carrier, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about the relationship between some consumers and the airlines.  Flyers seem disgruntled about value they receive given what they pay for air travel.  It’s a popular topic of conversation, and often mainline airlines are the punching bags of favour for travellers who feel robbed.

It’s against this backdrop that low cost carriers (also known as LCCs) have marketed themselves as a budget-friendly alternative for people wanting cheaper air travel.  With fares as little as $0, many LCCs have garnered attention and buzz.  But what exactly is a low cost carrier?  And what does that ticket actually buy you?

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This way to my happy place.

The Gone John Guide to Cheap(er) Airfare

Aside from accommodations, the other big-ticket thing you’ll have to pay for when going on a trip – long-term or otherwise – is your transportation.  It’s not cheap.  And, even after having booked dozens of plane tickets online in my life, clicking “confirm” on the purchase screen still leaves a lump in my throat and my fingers trembling.  Booking a flight makes a trip more real.

I don’t profess to be the most cost-savvy flyer in the sky (there are some people for whom it’s a game), but over the last few years I’ve developed some habits and have acquired some tips and tricks for chipping away the the expense of flying.  Here is what I’ve learned.

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