European Discount Airlines:
A lot of non-Europeans are unfamiliar with the discount European airlines. Our family found them to be an easy and inexpensive alternative to the train and the big name carriers. Buyer beware however, a number of the bigger budget airlines start with low teaser rates but then tack on fees and surcharges which add up quickly. Some of these fees include change fees, checked baggage, overweight baggage, seat assignment etc. So make sure you are certain of all your travel information and dates before you book. Then, read all the fine print about luggage allowance. Locate that more obscure airport they are most likely flying in and out of. And finally, pack or buy a lunch because it is unlikely any will be provided. That said, we did not have any difficulty flying with these carriers. Our flights were timely and the staff members were friendly and professional. We were able to make all of our reservations on-line. Most of the websites provide a route/destination map in order to determine what locations they serve.
Air Berlin is probably the closest thing to a regular carrier with snacks and drinks provided. They cover most of Europe and parts of Northern Africa. Their website is easy for users to navigate with a great map showing all the different routes and connections they offer. They now offer very competitive flights from Europe into North America including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, various locations in Mid to Southern California, Arizona, up and down the East Coast and the Caribbean.
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This airline operates out of Great Britain with flights mostly to southern Europe, Spain in particular and Amsterdam.
Brussels Airline flies mainly between Brussels and various European airports. However, they do have flights through their partners it appears into North America as well.
This airline operates out of Poland. If Poland is part of your travel itinerary, this carrier will take you from cities in Poland to various European destinations. The website did not have a route map.
Condor Airline flies to numerous destinations in Europe and now a few destinations in North America including Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia and Las Vegas, Nevada. Most flights originate in Germany. The website was a little cumbersome to use.
This small air carrier operates out of Turkey. It flies specifically from Turkish locations to the Netherlands, Belgium and Morocco.
Easyjet is one of the larger carriers with a large number of routes throughout Europe. They also have many add-on fees so read the fine print carefully. Their website is easy to use with a great route map depicting all the flight options.
This is a discount carrier offering flights from various locations in Italy to New York from April to November.
FlyBE is another British origin airline with flights from Great Britain heading to Central Europe as far east as Dubrovnik and as far north as Hamburg. The website includes a route map.
This small airline flies from Germany to a few locations like Tel Aviv, Serbia, French and Greek Isles.
Helvetic.com is based out of Switzerland with flights from Zurich to many Mediterranean coastal cities and a few in Eastern Europe.
[Iceland Express is now known as WOWAir.] As you might guess this airline has flights between Iceland and other major cities in Europe, but not between mainland European cities. More recently they have flights now between Europe and North America via Iceland.
This British airline has flights as far east as Krakow, and flights between the British Isles and mediterranean coastal cities.
Yet another British discount airline with flights primarily between the coastal cities of Spain and Portugal and a flight to Cyprus as well.
Myair.com originates out of Italy. The flights generally target other Italan cities and Southern Europe, but there are flights to Paris, Brussel, Amsterdam, Bucharest and Morocco as well.
This airline has a number of inter-scandinavian flights as well as flights around western Europe, Warsaw and Morocco. Children under 15 receive a discounted fare. Norwegian Air has recently been expanding their reach into a few U.S. cities primarily on the coasts.
This is one of the larger European discount airlines. They have an extensive list of flight options around Europe. Their website is reminiscent of a slot machine but otherwise easy enough to navigate. Ryanair caters to families by offering a free seat for children between 2 and 12 for every reservation made for an adult (up to four children total). They have very low initial rates but the many extra fees like baggage and so on add up.
SkyEurope is one of the larger discount airlines with Vienna as one of its major hubs. The website can be translated easily into English but the route map remained in the slavic language. Still it is fairly simple to puzzle out the various city names. SkyEurope has very low fares but watch for fees. We had inadvertently reserved a ticket for a relative with the wrong last name. The change fee at that time was 60 Euros. If an individual has luggage over 22 kilos there is a surcharge regardless if other members of the family have no luggage at all. Bring your own snack. Nonetheless, the staff members were all very pleasant and well trained. The flight was timely and uneventful.
Most flights with Transavia originate out of the Netherlands with the exception of Paris. They serve largely central to southern European destinations and North Africa. There are no flights to Great Britain or Scandinavia outside of Copenhagen.
Based out of Spain, this airline offers flights between major European cities and holiday destinations in Spain.
This airline offers a number of flights running in the East to West direction from Eastern Europe to Western Europe including some Scandinavian cities.