Before booking any tickets, be sure to compare flights on flight comparison websites like Skyscanner. Don’t assume that low-cost airlines will always have the cheapest tickets. With low-cost airlines, you need to pay for checked baggage, and any extra comfort like a possibility to choose your seat, airport check-in, food, drinks etc. So if you actually want to enjoy all these things, sometimes you might be able to find tickets from a regular airline for almost the same price as low-cost but with all the extras included.
While Air New Zealand has claimed the top spot for the past five years, change is afoot for 2019. Singapore Airlines, last year’s third-place carrier, unseated the reigning champion as well as other list stalwarts like Qantas. Doha-based Qatar Airways, which did not make last year’s top 10, earned the number four spot thanks to its catering and the introduction of its industry-leading business-class QSuites.
For followers of the Skytrax World Airline Awards, this first-place accolade for budget carrier Virgin America won't come as a surprise at all; not with that coveted award for airline staff also glaring down from the trophy cases of the San Francisco-based flier! Still, there's plenty more on offer from this one than just an efficient cabin crew, from three separate classes, to acclaimed 'Red' entertainment systems, on-board Wifi connectivity and more luxurious airport lounges than you can shake an Elevate loyalty card at!
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Not only does it help to be flexible with dates and destinations but being flexible with the route you take is another way to get a cheap flight. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to London and take a budget airline to Amsterdam than to fly direct to Amsterdam. There are so many budget carriers around the world that taking advantage of a good deal to another city and then hopping on a budget flight to your destination is sometimes the best way to go. I had to go to Paris once; the flight was $900 USD, but I could fly to Dublin for $600 and get a $60 flight to Paris. It meant more flying time, but the $240 I saved was worth it.
Stick to economy. Possibly the most obvious way to save money on a ticket is to simply sacrifice the desire for creature comforts. You can save hundreds of dollars by flying in 4th or 5th class, rather than opting for 1st or 2nd with any airline. Although leg room and the dinner menu might be lacking, your wallet will thank you for the hefty amount of money you will have saved.
Many of these budget airlines have their own airline rewards credit cards, and most of them offer a major signup points bonus. For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card from Chase offers 40,000 points after spending just $1,000 in your first three months. However, a general travel rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best option for most people, as you have the flexibility to redeem your points towards a wide variety of airlines and hotels. You'll receive 60,000 bonus points worth $750 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of your account opening, and the card features no foreign transaction fees. Compare this card to other travel cards here.