Whether you are planning a vacation within Europe or outside, a large portion of your spending will undoubtedly be airline tickets, especially if you’re traveling with your family or friends. To somehow reduce the spending on transportation, many recommend using low cost airlines, which charge considerably less per ticket. However, there is an abundance of different low cost airlines in Europe and it can be often hard to choose the right one, with the best service-to-cost ratio. To help you decide which airline to pick for your trip, we have created this Top 10 Low Cost Airlines in Europe list, which lists the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular airline companies on the continent.
Often rated number 1 on many top lists and achieving the first place in Best Low Cost Airlines in Europe 2019 category, EasyJet is an airline company valued by many. While these British airlines suffered some setbacks in 2018, being rated the U.K.'s worst airline because of its amount of delayed flights, EasyJet made a surprising comeback in 2019, becoming not only the top 1 in Europe, but also top 2 in the world. The most frequently stated advantages of EasyJet are low prices, comfortable seats, good ground service, and relatively okay cabin staff service. Take into consideration that as with every budget flight, you should not expect anything above the average. These are low-cost airlines, after all, but they definitely excel in their category. Also, remember that since EasyJet is a British company, Brexit might affect the quality of their service. So far, however, they have been holding strong.
Called by themselves the World’s Best Long-Haul, Low-Cost Airline, Norwegian Air is a great consideration if you’re traveling from or to Norway. Norwegian offers very low prices, while still maintaining the surprisingly high quality of service. Airplanes used by Norwegian are new and frequently serviced, with the average age of their planes being below 4 years old. Moreover, Norwegian uses 787-9 Boeing Dreamliners for long-haul flights, which is the best choice when it comes to premium economy class. Many of Norwegian’s airplanes include very comfortable seats, an entertainment system built into your seat, and even multiple meals, even in economy class. Moreover, the Norwegian Air website hosts a tool which you can use to find the perfect flight for you, depending on your destination and budget!
Loved by some and hated by others, RyanAir is definitely one of the most popular low cost airlines in Europe. While being famous for its extraordinarily low prices (sometimes you can book a flight for just a couple euros), they are also infamous for their horrible customer service and additional costs and restrictions. For example, while a RyanAir flight itself might be very cheap, you will pay a lot more just for your luggage and airport check-in. However, while the Internet is flooded with negative reviews about RyanAir, they still maintain some of the lowest prices in the world. Great prices, a large variety of available destinations and safety are often enough to convince most passengers. However, when you choose RyanAir, make sure to look out for their hidden fees (luggage, food, seat choice, etc.), which can often sum up to cost more than the ticket itself. Moreover, RyanAir often flies to smaller airports, situated outside major cities, which can add additional transportation cost.
This relatively new budget airline has quickly made its way to the top of the charts when it comes to low cost airlines in Europe. Eurowings is an offspring of Lufthansa and is dedicated to only budget flights. When it comes to comfort, Eurowings is relatively well-reviewed, with online reviewers often praising their comfortable seats and an adequate amount of legroom, especially when compared to other low-cost airlines. However, Eurowings very frequently deals with complaints and angry reviews pertaining to customer service and delays. Hundreds upon hundreds of customers complain about having to wait hours for the flight to arrive, after which the delay only goes higher. In 2016, one of the Eurowings’ flights was delayed almost 70 hours, and that is not an isolated case, since almost a third of their flights get canceled or delayed. Moreover, they also impose very high additional costs for overweight baggage.
With its main base of operation in Barcelona, Vueling Airlines is a Spanish budget airline company, established in 2004. While their tickets are considerably cheaper than some of Europe's budget airlines, the value you get for your money is relatively low. Customers are especially complaining about the seat and cabin space and the quality of seating in their airlines. Moreover, Vueling is considered to very frequently lose luggage and their customer service is quite unresponsive, often sending automated messages over and over, without actually trying to resolve your problem. While Vueling is often criticized for its customer service and quality, they are praised for their punctuality and prices. A number of customers online have spoken favorably of Vueling, appreciating their help in organizing alternative flights when one of theirs gets canceled.
Owned by the International Airlines Group, LEVEL has its main operating bases in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris-Orly, and Vienna. LEVEL is considerably better than its rivals when it comes to additional costs, such as carry-on luggage and oversize freight. Moreover, they often provide some of these services for free during promotions and events. However, a lot of reviewers complain that the exact prices of additional costs are hard to find and establish, and, moreover, they are often irregular and changer on a per-flight basis. The biggest problem of LEVEL, as repeatedly stated by online reviewers, is the inconsistency of their seat reservation policy. Most passengers are split on check-in, often seating couples, families, and groups apart from each other. If you are traveling alone, LEVEL might a good choice due to the good quality of their planes and the comfort of traveling.
Quite surprisingly, Jet2.com has very overwhelmingly positive online reviews, with their average on TripAdvisor being around 4.5. Moreover, they have consistently won the Travelers’ Choice award for three years now. The reviewers frequently value the friendliness of the cabin crew, which is helpful and provides you with any information you might require. They also have very reasonable prices when it comes to tickets and additional costs, and also their on-board food and drinks are quite cheap, compared to their competitors. Jet2.com provides easy online booking and check-in, which will surely save you some time spent at the airport. Their flights are on time, their planes are in great condition, and there is plenty of legroom. However, the single flaw often stated by reviewers is that they do not have great coverage.
If you have traveled across Europe before, chances are you have seen the Wizz Air advertisements, since they have great coverage within Europe. The airline has also come through considerable change since its establishment, improving a lot. Their booking process is very simple and quick and the Wizz Air app comes in handy when you want to manage multiple flights. The app also stores boarding passes and check-in info. Their prices usually range from 5 to 35 euros per ticket, which is rather cheap, and their Priority access is very affordable. Wizz Air is also very often praised for their punctuality, as their flights rarely get delayed or canceled. However, while their on-board staff is often friendly, their customer service is horrible. Moreover, their baggage allowance includes only one bag for free - a carry-on bag - and Wizz Air hides many extra costs, as even airport check-in costs money.
These Latvian low cost airlines are considerably less popular than their competitors, but are still worth checking. Their reviews are generally positive and above-average, with customers appreciating their legroom, seat comfort, friendly on-board crew, and overall cleanliness. The check-in and boarding also usually goes without complications, and the food and beverages are quite cheap when compared to other airlines. The airline is also using new Airbus A220-300 airplanes, which offer a good quality flight for a small price. However, do not forget that this is a rather small airline company and their coverage is not so great, mostly covering Eastern Europe. They also lack most in-flight entertainments such as WiFi or TV, but their customer service is surprisingly accommodating.
Finally, we finish this list with Pobeda, one of the top Russian low cost airlines in Europe. Their prices are a lot cheaper than most and the flight personnel is usually friendly and efficient. While delays happen with Pobeda, they are not as frequent as with RyanAir and are much shorter, usually being around thirty minutes. However, since Pobeda is a Russian airline company, most of their staff and information is only available in Russian. This also creates further problems when trying to reach customer support, as online reviewers often mention. Moreover, their carry-on policy is quite confusing and their sizes are often non-standard.