10 things you need to know before booking a Low Cost flight

Get this: Low cost flights are only meant to take you from A to B, that´s it! Expect nothing but getting to your destination, just like another bus ride! Seats are tight, no (free) snacks, leg room? Ha! I bet that if they could sell tickets so people travel standing… they will.

Relax or at least try to, remember that that flight may have cost you less than a Big Mac! Through the next bullet points I will try to make your journey a little bit more pleasant!

Emirates Airlines experience

As I have just told you above, don´t expect an Emirates Airlines experience: I repeat. Getting from A to B, boom!

Flight times

Before booking your tickets always doublé (triple) check the flight times! Low cost airlines tend to flight late at night! Getting to your destination around midnight or even later.

Low CostGetting to your destination at midnight is obviously far from being the best; public transport running night shift… can mean no train, metro and waaaaaaiting for the bus up to half an hour! After that you will wander in deserted streets looking for your hotel? Hmmm… Nope

Remember that you have to pay for accommodation to start your adventure the following day? That´s what I call “a night lost”… Flying late. Pay for a hostel. Start in the morning. What if… That low cost ticket wasn´t that low cost after all?

Imagine you paid 40 EUR for a ticket plus 30 EUR for the night… that´s 70 EUR!! Maybe for that money there are more suitable timings, right? Why not check it out, just in case…

Airport location

EXTRA! Everything is extra!

Everything is extra, yes… Everything! That´s why you shouldn´t forget to print your Boarding Pass! If you get to the Check In counter without yours, guess what? … You know. Those tickets aren´t printing themselves! Low cost airlines will charge you everything besides seating in your chosen seat and fly… wait. They do charge your seat too.

So… Consider the following extra fees you may have to afford:

  • Printing your boarding pass. (If you are lucky enough the agent will do it for free)
  • Choosing a seat. Free seat is randomly designated!
  • Check In luggage exceeding size or weight? Boom! 50 EUR baby!
  • Additional personal items besides your Carry On luggage or Bag? *taps red button*
  • Drinks and snacks on board, even a glass of water.
  • (Obviously) Checking in luggage! Depending on its weight, the more expensive it gets.
  • And… Well, I´m sure there´s something missing.

Time / Ryanair desk / Passport Stamp

Go to the airport with time! The Check In counter will be in the furthest wing on the airport! Walking terminals after terminals, miles and miles along dark and creepy aisles… well, of course not that much, I´m kidding! But they tend to be the last desks of every airport.

Same goes with the boarding gates, in Copenhagen for example get ready to move those legs! The infamous F Gates are the furthest one! Or in Budapest, where you need to walk across the take off field to get to the Low Cost hangar…

Note: Those without EU passports need to get a stamp at the Check In counter, where they will check your documents and visa. Once you have your passport stamp you may proceed to the Security Check area.

Luggage / 50 euros fee

I know. I have said it before but believe me, I MUST remind you! If your hand baggage fails to comply with the airlines rules, before getting on the plane you will have to afford a big “fine”. Every Low Cost airline has its own Baggage Allowance section, please PLEASE remember to have a look at it to avoid potential headaches.

Liquids on board/ Forbidden ítems

Forbidden ítems? I´m sure you Heard about them so I will skip this… but Liquids! Yes you can.

You are allowed to take a liter, divided in (up to) 100ml containers: all of them MUST fit in the transparent zip bag that you will find in the Security Check.

Some examples:

  1. Two 50ml bottles, one 75 ml hand cream and 100ml perfume. GOOD to go!
  2. One 50ml bottle, one 75 ml hand cream and a 150ml sunscreen. NOPE! Wrong! You have less than a liter but your sunscreen exceeds 100ml… so you will have to discard it.

  3. Ten 100ml items, but won´t fit in the zip bag. NOPE! You will have to start discarding until the bag can be closed. (Unless the security guard is in a good day and tells you to do the opposite).

Creams, lotions, shampoo, food like Nutella or Jam, your favourite Heinz organic ketchup, sauces, etc etc are also considered as liquids! So the containers MUST not exceed 100ml or they will take them away from you… tears may drop.

Bring your snack! Sanwiches (wrapped), chips, fruit, cookies, candy

Buying food in the airport is expensive and remember there are no free snacks during your flight! So… My recommendation is to bring your own! You can take sandwiches or wraps if they are properly wrapped in film foil or in a zip bag; no problem at all with cookies, fruit, candy, all aboard!

If you buy a cheeseburger and fries right before going through Security Check, taking it in the paper bag won´t help you at all. Bad news… You will have to leave them! Remember than the snack must be properly wrapped and inside a zip bag.

Use the back door: In and out

Both front and back doors are usually available! Carefully check your seat, if its line 15 or more you should head to the back door in order to accomodate yourself fast and easy enough, with a chance to leave your belongings in the cabinet just above your head!

Don´t be the last one to board! The stewardess will have to find room for your personal items if there´s none left in your cabinet, these can make you lose a lot of time when you land! Keep it in mind!

Delays and refunds

Know your rights! In case of delays or cancelled flights you deserve a refund! Every airline has a section available for you to check out how to proceed and what are your rights in case you suffer from any of these inconveniences!

Usually these flights are non refundable, missing it means bye bye $$$ or even changing it may be as expensive as buying a new one. Keep it in mind!

2 Comments

  1. Mia

    This was such a useful article! I’ve flown with Norwegian in a regular lowfare seat, but haven’t been brave enough to try Ryanair. Thanks for giving more insight on what to expect for budget airlines!

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