The rising price of flights is something that makes all of us that travel gulp and grimace. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions we should be paying the financial price and we should also be opting to offset this where possible (airlines such as Virgin Atlantic give you this option), but it doesn’t make forking out a months pay any easier! The answer to these woes is, of course, flying with a budget airline. Many times I have found myself desperately scrolling through Skyscanner, comparing the budget airlines and the cheap flights. However, something that I have vowed to myself is to only use it for that: to compare prices, discover what the minimum cost would be, and then use that as a basis for booking my flight with a more expensive airline. I don’t fly with budget airlines.
“But why not fly with budget airlines?!” I hear you cry…
Hear me out on this one, because I am sure that once you hear my argument you’ll change the way you book flights. It’s quite simple really:
The flight is as much a part of the holiday as the trip itself.
At what point in the last 102 years did commercial flying stop being an exciting and amazing experience? I remember that when I was young and going on family holidays, flying was one of the best parts of the trip! I got to get up really early (often couldn’t sleep the night before, something that still happens to this day), we had an airport breakfast, there were films on the flight, I had all my best puzzle books with me – this was going to be great. Hello people, we are FLYING. In the sky! 30,000 feet in the air! How many times have you had a dream in which you were flying like a bird? Well, we are. At no point should you take this for granted. Technology is amazing; we are able to travel from point A to B in a matter of days. It used to take months, on a boat! Now, we get to see our world from an aerial point of view, and it’s beautiful.
I understand where a lot of you will be coming from: the money that you save for a holiday you would like to use in the end location itself. For short flights under four hours or so, I would still book a cheaper flight, but not for long haul flights. Why give yourself hours of discomfort to get there? On top of that, there’s nothing worse than finishing a holiday, being blue, and then having to go back through that discomfort again to get home. Talk about salting the wound.
Take the route from London to Sydney for example. 24 hours of flying, and nobody wants to spend that time pressed up against the person next to you with bent legs due to tiny seats, eating horrible food, with little or no inflight entertainment. I would much rather pay the extra and use my super secret algorithm to get a row to myself, eating tasty food, drinking wine, and choosing from a wide selection of movies.
I tend to fly with Etihad, the airline of Abu Dhabi, and although the service isn’t as great as Emirates or Virgin, they’re definitely more than comfortable. Sometimes, depending on the time of year, when you book your flights, and the route you take, they actually show as one of the cheapest airlines to fly with (Bangkok to London for example). A little handy tip for you when booking with them: if they show on Skyscanner, also check their own website for fares, as I have found several times that their website fare is cheaper or the same price, and I think booking directly through the airline gives you a little more security.
If you’re still not convinced by my argument, let me draw your attention to STA Travel. For several, very common routes, they offer a youth fare for those aged 18-26. Basically, this saves you a whole whack of money: my flight to Sydney cost me about £450 instead of the £600 it would have originally cost. STA Travel are also great when it comes to customer service – I have had to change flights and had problems before, and they are always there to lend a hand in sorting it out.
So remember guys: life is an adventure. You never know what could happen tomorrow, so seize the day and enjoy comfort and luxury when you can.