If you’re strapped for cash budget airlines are a godsend, especially if you find the best comparison sites. At least that’s what I thought before I started using them regularly, then I realised that more often than not these airlines actually end up costing you money.

From the very start budget airlines charge you for all the extras. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone so I’m not even going to discuss it. What I do have a problem with is the small print. A prime example is Air Asia’s nonsensical billing system;

“Do you want insurance?” Choose between ‘continue’ and ‘cancel insurance.’ Warning, if you press ‘cancel’ and then ‘ok’ it turns out that you actually wanted insurance. Instead you have to press ‘cancel’ and ‘cancel.’ Wow, that was logical.

Customer Service
Customer service is just generally terrible with these guys. Even if you have someone who wants to be helpful company policy just gets in his or her way. I once used Jet Star and accidently put the same name in twice when I booked the ticket. I noticed the mistake quickly and contacted their customer service. Of course they could change the name for a fee; cost of altering the ticket, more than the price of the original ticket.

Barcelona to Bristol the offer from the budget airlines promised me. No, Bristol to Girona. Look on a map Easy Jet; it’s almost an hour’s drive between the two cities. Far from flying from Barcelona I’m flying from a different f%#king city. Flying from point A to point B, geography should be a strong point for these people. It’s like saying you’re flying to Manchester only to find you’ve arrived in Liverpool. So even though the ticket appears competitive compared to airlines that actually fly from Barcelona, after you’ve paid €15 for a bus ticket (or as I had to do when I was in Barcelona because there was no bus that early in the morning, €140 for a taxi) and wasted two hours of your day it’s no longer such a bargain.

End Result
Just don’t bother is all I have to say. Honestly, if you book early enough the price of a ticket with a major airline is often little different from the budget airlines, and even if it’s a bit more expensive at least checking in the luggage is free.