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Your Favourite European Discount Airline?

With all the discussion about Ryanair lately, I thought it might be helpful to gather some comments on what your favourite European discount airline is. Not only will it give us a chance to sample some views on the various airlines, but should also provide novice travellers with an overview of what's available out there.
So I'll start by nominating Vueling, a Spanish discount airline. I've flown with them several times, both inside Spain and without, and I've never had a negative experience. The flights have always been on time, the crews have been friendly, the check-in process is smooth, and their new aircraft have uncommonly comfortable seats! Now that they've merged with Clickair, another Spanish discount carrier (all under the Vueling name), they now cover cities from Tenerife and Marrakesh all the way to Moscow....although, interestingly enough, none in Germany. For anyone considering the expensive Madrid-Lisbon overnight train, Vueling flies that route.
As an aside, two good sites for checking out European discount airlines are whichbudget.com, skyscanner.net, and flylc.com...altho in the last case, don't use their booking engine...get the airline info then go directly to the airline's website. And if you find a great airfare on a certain route, but the schedules don't please you, check the "big boys" on the same route. Many times, the larger airlines will offer similar deals, but better schedules, than the discounts on the same run.

Posted by
8939 posts

I've never flown Vueling but I'll nominate EasyJet. They use "real" airports, the planes have a little bit more leg room. and their employees seem to enjoy their job. RyanAir's staff appear to be the most miserable employees in the world, and from what I've read they have a right to be miserable. As Norm says never assume discounts have the lowest fares, especially if your flying "last minute" the "big boys" often have better deals.

Posted by
1752 posts

My expereince has been that often the "Southwest" effect occurs.

Last summer I needed a cheap flight from Madrid to Paris. There were some LCC options, but Iberia was even cheaper... (9 Euros!) This has happened everytime I have looked.

Posted by
445 posts

The only European discount airline I have ever flown is FLYBE, a British operation . I flew from Southampton to Avignon round trip and I was very pleased....large seat, pleasant personnel, great sandwiches to puchase. I paid to check in one bag
and believe I paid to make my reervation (it was 2 years ago.)

They have a lot of flights within the UK as well as
to Europe. And they also fly from Gatwick.

I was very pleased.

Posted by
2958 posts

This is a helpful topic Norm! We've flown several of the discount airlines--EasyJet, Ryanair, Atlasjet and Air Berlin. We always pack light and prepare ourselves for some of the inconveniences of flying a discount airline. We haven't had any really unpleasant experiences--I'm grateful for the low airfares. So far though, my favorite is Air Berlin.

Posted by
881 posts

I've really had good luck with Ryanair. 3 flights, total of 8 tickets (family), and no problems. One flight was delayed, but no more or less so than any other airline.

I also like that they use newer planes.

Adria airlines out of Slovenia was pretty good too. Took 2 flights with them. Good price, new planes, and hot towels for everyone! :)

Posted by
9363 posts

I have been totally satisfied with both Ryanair and EasyJet.

Posted by
3112 posts

I've always had good experiences with Air One, but haven't flown them since the merger with Alitalia. Hopefully, Alitalia will become more like Air One and not the other way around.

Posted by
29 posts

I flew on Germanwings on July 28 from Dresden to Dublin (via Cologne). The plane I flew on was really nice--leather seats and very clean. It seemed like there was a "normal" amount of legroom. No problems. Would recommend. They are cheap, too. They fly to quite a few cities throughout Europe.

Posted by
421 posts

I have used easy jet twice no issue what so ever.
used Vueling once the worst experience ever.

I am using Jet2 this time and I have read some negative stuff so it has me a bit worried.

Posted by
46 posts

I found Air Berlin to be a very good airline. I wasn't crazy about their check in process but their planes are clean, their staff is professional and polite.

Posted by
265 posts

Air Berlin is the best!
Only dicount airline I know of, where you get:
- Free luggage allowance
- Free sandwich (albeit not very exquisite)
- Free soft drink and coffee/tea.
You don't even get that with SAS who claims to be a legacy airline.

Posted by
425 posts

I've flown with Easyjet well over 100 times and prefer them above all the others. Unfortunately, Ryanair is the only direct link from "here" to the UK.

Roger

www.fermedecandeloup.fr