Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Budget Airlines... A Fun & Cheeeeap Way to Travel

The budget airline industry (a.k.a. low cost carriers, no-frills airlines and discount airlines) here in the Philippines is still in its infancy stage with Cebu Pacific (CEB) ( setting the pace for all other airlines. The business model of most budget airlines including CEB is patterned after its U.S. counterparts like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airlines.

If your only concern is to get to point B from point A in a prompt manner in just a fraction of a cost compared with their full-service counterparts then budget airlines are for you.

Most budget airlines offer seat sales regularly. For CEB, bargain hunters should always log-on at its web site every Monday as it is the day seat sales usually starts. I once took advantage of the FREE seat sale of Air Asia ( with flights leaving from Clark Field to Kuala Lumpur for only 3,300 pesos for a roundtrip ticket last year. Air Asia advertised it as a FREE seat sale so the 3,000 bucks I paid all went to the Malaysian and Philippine governments as taxes. One drawback of booking during a seat sale is that your travel date would have to be at least in a month's time.

They are called budget airlines because their operating cost structure is lower than their full-service competitors. In layman's term they are airlines with low ticket prices and limited services regardless of their operating costs. CEB and its counterparts enjoy a lower operating costs because of many factors which include a single passenger class, a single type of aircraft which may reduce its servicing costs, use of electronic ticket and the elimination of in-flight services like complimentary food and drinks. Most budget airlines offers a food and beverage option which passengers will have to pay.

One disadvantage of flying CEB on international flights like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok is that all of those flights are considered red-eye flights as you would leave late in the evening and arrive in your destination before sunrise. Budget airlines take advantage of red-eye flights as during these times landing fees and aircraft parking fees are lower. But the timings of CEB's flights to and from Hong Kong are great. One can leave Manila early morning to take advantage of the day activities and leave HK late at night.

For me, I don't mind traveling with budget airlines when I'm on a vacation because I value more the $avings that I get from them rather than having those bland and sometimes unpalatable airline food in a full-service airline. I can save more than 50% of the ticket price by taking a budget airline which can buy lots of souvenirs with the money I save... But when I'm on an official trip or someone would buy me a ticket, I don't mind traveling with a full-service airline. hehehe :)

happy travels to all!


Ary said...

Me too! I do not mind! As long as the aircraft is still in good shape and has decent seats then I would go for the more economical type.

kegler747 said...

thanks for the comment! Buti naman at nagaagree ka. ikaw ang suki ko sa comment section na ito :)