No airport lounge, no free bubbly, no video-on-demand and sometimes, gulp, no meals! That´s no way to fly. Is it?With JetBlue introducing a $39 shuttle between Washington and New York in August, the war between low cost carriers (LCCs) is intensifying. In the US, Delta and US Airways whose fares start from $300 one-way, have dominated the American LCC arena.
It is an increasing phenomena that, as fuel prices go up, LCC prices go down. Europe has known the attraction of LCCs for years, with London historically being the best place to get low fares to Europe. Africa and Latin America have not really developed LCCs in their regions, however the place where LCCs increasingly rule the skies is in Asia. This region is simply made for LCCs with lots of small countries and short hops, in a region that has favourable currency exchanges against some of the rest of the world.
NONE OF THIS AND LESS OF THAT MAY BE THE WAY TO FLY
Once on a low cost carrier plane, there are a lack of frills we usually take for granted, but many people let go of food and entertainment for the affordability. When you have India´s Air Deccan’s fares starting at INR 500 (US$11.50), Air Arabia and United Arab Emirates flying the Middle East for 119 UAE dirhams (US$32), Tiger Air charging $63 (roughly US$39) one way for Singapore to Bangkok and Citilink taking passengers within Indonesia for 125,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($US15), who quibbles about a buscuit.
However the prices are offset by many LCCs flying old planes, fares selling out months in advance or not having online or credit card purchase facilities; so sometimes the normal carriers may be more convenient.
Another effect LCCs are having is the need for LCC terminals. Both Singapore´s Changi Airport and
Kuala Lumpur´s International Airport recently unveiled their purpose built LCC terminals. There are the usual shops but no high class lounges and often, as in Australia´s Melbourne Avalon Airport, the complex is forty minutes away from anywhere you may want to be.
The biggest effects that passengers at LCC terminals usually experience are walking from the aircraft to the arrival building, as there are no aerobridges. However umbrella´s are provided. That´s so thoughtful, don´t you think?