Budget Airlines

16 08 2011

Commercial airline travel first came about in 1909, in the form of DELAG (Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft), using airships, and has since boomed into the one of the largest industries in the world.

Commercial air travel is statistically the safest form of transport in the world today. Airlines boast the best possible security and safety policies they can in order to ensure passenger safety and comfort, whilst they also offer a range of classes and prices.

Budget airlines have been around since the beginnings of large scale commercial airlines, and strive to deliver the lowest cost flights to customers. It is often these airlines that have poorer customer service and are often subject to criticism and in the eye of the media all the time for their problems.

Budget airlines are renowned for their cheap flights, but lack of luxuries such as included meals and drinks, pillows, blankets and in flight entertainment. They are also known to be the most often delayed flights and poorly organised, yet they are still very popular.

The recent temporary shutdown of Tiger Airways Australia brought about a massive media discussion, with fears that it may have to shut down for good because it was too costly for them to shut down for so long and spend a whole heap of money inspecting all of their aircraft before deciding it was safe to fly again, but they managed to overcome this and are now back in the skies.

So are budget airlines reliable? My answer is yes and no. In my experiences on budget airlines, I have experienced delays in my flight about 25% of the time, and have found the service not as satisfying as that of normal airlines. However, the flights and crew were safe and I still felt secure flying with them, which is the good part, because I was not in fear of crashing or anything like that, I was still comfortable. Another thing is, despite their cheap flights (which aren’t always cheap due to misleading advertisements and the little catches they add in which we don’t realise until after we have paid), budget airlines sell onboard food, drinks and entertainment for quite high prices which kind of defeats the whole “budget” thing.

I believe it is mainly media that gives budget airlines a bad wrap, due to the likelihood of the media only talking about problems and delays of budget airlines, and we don’t hear much of the good stuff. Also, the two television shows Airline and Airways focusing on easyJet and Tiger Airways portray budget airlines in a negative light by showing disgruntled passengers and delays and basically highlighting every problem the airline makes. Apart from this, I think budget airlines are just as safe as any other airline, and while it may not be as luxurious as others, it still gets you from A to B, safe and sound, which I think is the most important part of a plane trip, not the added extras that we like to indulge in. After all it is only called air travel, which is travelling through the air. Who mentioned meals and movies?