Seven budget airlines in North America to keep an eye on

virgin plane on runway

Locating a cheap flight and selecting cost-effective airlines may not be as simple as it might seem. Budget airlines follow a different business model to traditional full-service carriers. The focus is on providing rock-bottom airfares. Other services which may be offered by a conventional airline, like free food or a blanket usually comes at an additional cost on a budget carrier. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that all budget airlines operate the same way. Here are seven budget airlines to keep an eye on in North America

Allegiant

Allegiant serves about 75 destinations, with a focus on leisure destinations in hot climates in North America. Services offered prior to arrival at the airport are minimal. You have to pay an extra fee for a selection of a seat, and only then will you bypass the lines at the terminal for boarding passes. Allegiant often operates from midsize airports in large cities or smaller markets. Before booking on Allegiant, always check to determine if this airport is linked to others in the area.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier has a significant hub in Denver, and serves many cities which are near national parks in the western USA; the Airline often offers exceptional fares between Denver and other locations. Primarily a national USA budget airline, Frontier also offers flights to Costa Rica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Volaris

Volaris is the most significant low-cost carrier located in Mexico. It flies to a limited number of destinations in the USA and has code-share agreements with Southwest. Along with Mexico City, Volaris also has a presence in Los Angeles International (LAX). A customer perk supplied by Volaris is that it offers rewards if your trip is delayed for more than half an hour.

WestJet

WestJet is the second only to Air Canada for services within Canada. Headquartered in Calgary, WestJet serves cities through North America, 71 destinations in total. The list of codeshare partners of the airline is impressive: KLM, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Delta, American Airlines and Korean Air. Unlike many budget airlines, WestJet has a frequent flier program and on occasion includes some free snacks or drinks.

JetBlue

JetBlue does a lot of its business along the east-coast corridor, with its heart in New York JFK. It’s a favorite selection of budget travelers opting for Fort Lauderdale, Miami and San Juan. Its code-share agreements offer convenient connections with bigger international airlines like American and Lufthansa. JetBlue’s customer support and legroom are becoming part of the general advertising strategy.

Southwest

Many cost-effective airlines tend to be quite small and concentrated on a defined service area. Southwest became the most substantial cost-effective airline in the USA, and the nation’s most prominent overall domestic carrier. Southwest soared because it provided an alternative to sky-high prices and last-minute bookings. Flights operate in Coach and a fundamental part of the advertising plan has focused on highlighting free luggage checks. The Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program was revamped years back to credit travelers for money spent as opposed to mileage or segments flown.

Virgin America

A comparatively new cousin of the Virgin Group household, Virgin America made its debut in 2007, offering cheap fares between the east and west-coasts from the U.S. Unlike several budget airlines, Virgin America does provide first-class seats. Depending on the part in which they’re seated, passengers may pay more fees for cushions, snacks and in-flight pictures.


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