Fact: The price of flights is the most frustrating, discouraging, and impeding part of traveling. It seems like the number one question everyone always has is “Where can I find cheap flights?”, and even though it is possible, it’s still the biggest chunk of change you’ll have to fork over, and easily one that can prevent you from traveling all together.
Hehe look at everyone grilling me bc I got to go in the short line since I only had a carry-on!
In an ideal magical world, flights would just be free, but in the real world we actually live in, cheap flights are the next best thing. …Or are they? Obviously you are going to search for the cheapest flights when you want to travel, but don’t forget that you get what you pay for. Or rather…what you don’t pay for.
I recently flew with WOW Airlines, which I heard had insanely cheap flights to Iceland, and while I loved the service, my luck with seat selections, and ESPECIALLY the hot pink airplane and flight attendant ensembles, I didn’t love the hidden fees, lack of in-flight entertainment, or amount of what seemed like uncurteous-travelers on board. I can easily deal with all but the latter.
Regardless, I’ll still take the cheapest flights I can get, and in fact, will search cheap flights instead of the date and destination, but there’s definitely some things I always tend to notice when I do…maybe you can relate.
PROS OF CHEAP FLIGHTS
1. It’s Cheap, Duh.
By “cheap” I really mean “less insanely expensive” because, let’s be serious, no flight is ever really “cheap”. But regardless, cheap flights still save you hundreds of dollars compared to regular ones, which makes the opportunity to travel at least achievable.
2. It Gets You There, Duh.
Anyone who refuses to take cheap flights because of the airline or time availability, then complains about not being able to afford to travel can just go crawl into a hole and like…oh wait, they’re probably already in one. Sure, the airline might not be brand new or well-known, and you might have to fly all night or take a long layover, but the bottom line is that you get there. Which is more attainable thanks to cheap flights.
3. It Might Be Less Crowded
Just gunna throw it out there that I had a whole row to myself on Malaysia Airlines.
Believe it or not, a lot of people really are afraid to go on airlines if they aren’t well-known, and especially if they’re questionably cheap! Airlines that are specific to a country and brand themselves as “affordable airlines” like WOW are always your best bet for cheap flights, and may also be your best bet for getting a good seat, or even whole row!
On my flight with WOW to Iceland, I ended up finding a strange half row in front of the emergency exit that I crammed myself into (thank God because I was sitting next to a young couple with a LAP baby), and on the way back, got an exit row seat that I could have done a cartwheel in!
So much leg room that my legs can’t even reach the seat in front of me!
Also, just going to throw it out there that I flew Malaysia Airlines two weeks after the second plane went down, and had about 8 rows to myself.
4. Customer Service is On Point
Note the line to the left for people (like me) with only carry-on luggage so they don’t have to wait in the other line…how thoughtful!
Typically if an airline is advertising cheap flights, it’s because they really want people to fly with them. Or perhaps there’s nice humans in the world?! That means the customer service is usually awesome because they need those happy passengers to spread the word about their good experience. That being said and regardless of any flight you take, you should always be nice to and respect your in-flight team, otherwise…you suck. And you shouldn’t be allowed on the plane.
CONS OF CHEAP FLIGHTS
1. Those Hidden Fees Tho.
It cost me $60 rt for my CARRY-ON, and I was 0.6kg away from an additional hundred and having to check it!
Not gunna lie. I thought I was super savvy booking a $530 round trip ticket to Iceland 2 weeks before departure. Too bad the taxes and fees ended up costing me an additional 2-hundo. OH, and another $30 each way for my CARRY-ON, which almost got increased by another $80 had I gone over the 12kg weight limit… That being said…if you’re about to book a really cheap flight…check the fine print for those lovely hidden fees first.
2. Non-Complimentary Anything
The wine wasn’t free even though it was an international flight, but it was needed to deal with those two kids sitting in front of me…
Don’t expect to get complimentary drinks or snacks on cheap flights. I mean, there’s a good chance that you will, but there’s also a fair chance that they’ll charge you for your little plastic cup of Diet Coke, because they don’t have Diet Pepsi…or free beverages.
3. An Eclectic Mix of Extremely Well & Extremely Not-Well Traveled
WHY are your shoes and socks (half way) off?! You do not live on this plane!
While there’s usually a lot of savvy travelers on cheap flights who know the easiest ways to just get to a destination, there are also a shit ton of people on them who seem like they’ve never flown on an airplane before. Remember that big ass emergency row seat I was excited about earlier?
Yeah, well it wasn’t so awesome when the kids in front of me used it as an area to bother their parents from behind,or when the tour group behind me used it as a pathway to get up and go socialize with other people in their group.
I won’t even begin to talk about the brain aneurism I almost had from the little girl with strobe lights on her shoes that kept stomping up and down the aisle…(WHO LETS A KID WEAR LIGHT UP SHOES ON AN AIRPLANE AT NIGHT?!) or the guy across from me trying to act like a suave-smooth-traveler by taking his shoes off like he owned the place, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that none of them travel a lot. Just saying.
4. NO WIFI?!?!?!?!?! Omg death.
If I had wifi, I could have been making blog post images like this…but at least they had power outlets so I could write the whole time…
Ok, ok fine. First world problems. But on a 5+ hour flight I feel like it’s more of a health precaution than an amenity to have wifi. Granted, it would just add on to the “hidden fees” of the flight (wifi is usually $10-30 in flight), so maybe it’s not so much of a con not to have it anyway.
5. Cleanliness is next to…non-existent
Don’t make the pretty flight attendants in cute outfits pick up after your mess…that’s just rude.
Before I go accidentally bashing cheap flights for not having clean aircrafts, let me just throw it out there that there are practically no flights with clean aircrafts, but not because of the airline, it’s because of YOU. It’s not the airline’s fault your child spilled crumbs and boogers everywhere, and it’s also not their fault that you left trash in the seat back pocket or farted in the seat!
Most airline passengers don’t care about messing up their area because they just assume someone is going to come clean up after them, but GUESS WHAT? Yo mama don’t work on that airplane! Clean your shit up!
6. Shitty travel times and layovers
Red-eyes aren’t so bad if you can figure out every possible position to fall asleep in…
7am departure to Thailand? Ouch. Could be worse. You could be not going to Thailand. Yes, your morning is going to suck. Yes, you’re probably going to be hungover. But you can (hopefully) sleep on the plane, or just OD on Starbucks at the airport.
As for layovers, think of them as a free flight to an additional destination. If you have to have one either way, get the longest one possible and go check out what’s around the airport. If not…there’s always airport bars.
Alyssa is a self-made, full time travel blogger who loves adventure and typically travels the world solo. She's been to 53 countries and 6 continents so far, and believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!