Low-cost airlines 33% cheaper despite extras, survey finds

Low-cost airlines save UK customers an average of 33% despite charging up to 44% of the base fare for extras, according to a new study by travel comparison website Kelkoo has found that.

The study, which compared 5,000 fares from 20 different airlines, found that on average added extras make up 37% of the cost of a budget airline ticket. That is compared to the 4% for extras charged by standard carriers.

Chris Nixon, managing director of Kelkoo Travel said: “Nowadays, these ancillary charges can often form a substantial proportion of the total cost of flying and there is a misconception among consumers that the prices advertised by low cost carriers can be misleading and work out more expensive than those offered by conventional airlines once all these costs are factored in.”

“The fact is that low cost carriers remain a third cheaper than traditional airlines, despite the significant charges they levy on their passengers.”

The study also found that the further customers flew, the greater the savings with discount airlines. Low cost carriers offer up to 41% more savings on international flights verses only 20% savings on domestic flights.

The study also reported that UK travellers see the greatest price variation based on time of booking. Savings ranged from 19% seven weeks before travel to a maximum of 50% ten weeks before departure.

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