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When is a budget flight not a budget flight?

Our medical travel insurance customers will be surprised to learn that according to a recent report by a flight comparison web site, the airlines we would class as “budget” generally end up costing more than mainstream carriers.

For the report, prices from 10 airlines over four popular routes for a family of four, including two adults, a child and an infant (under two) where analysed.

It was found that once essentials to a family holiday were added, such as luggage, pram/buggy storage or sitting next to each other on the flight, the costs with the budget carriers increased dramatically.

From our customer research we know that many of our travel insurance with medical conditions customers do opt to fly with the no frills airlines wrongly believing that they offer the best value for money. However this report has shown that the increase from the advertised fare on the budget airlines to the price actually payable can be as high as 195%, whereas the increase on a mainstream carrier’s price is around the 22% mark. Furthermore, the study found that once all the extras were included the mainstream carriers in general worked out about £87 cheaper than the budget carriers.

So when checking prices of flights don’t go on the advertised price to work out the best price, you need to go through the full quote including all the extras then compare your results to see who does offer the best value.

I have always found budget carriers offer the best value if you use them like a bus, i.e. be prepared not to get the best seat, possibly be separated from your travelling companions and travel light. However once you start travelling with children and all the paraphernalia that that involves then the budget carriers just don’t work and it is mainstream for me all the way.


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