One of the best things about traveling to Europe is the ease of hopping from one country to another. Trains have and continue to be a popular option; but in more recent years, the emergence of smaller, budget airline companies made traveling across the continent even more accessible. Here are some of the best European budget airlines, ranked by highest to lowest customer experience.
Best European Budget Airlines
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Even though it ranks third in terms of size for low-cost airlines in Europe, a flight with Norwegian Air Shuttle is one of the more comfortable ones you’ll have as a traveler. Their short duration flights include mostly Boeing 737-800s that seat around 180 passengers and are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi and live television. Norwegian also has one of the newer fleet of airplanes, with an average age of fewer than four years, making them the best European budget airlines according to SKYTRAX.
As far as destinations go, the airline offers flights to and from more than 100 airports in Europe. More recently, it started longer-haul routes from the United Kingdom to the United States’ cities like Chicago, Orlando and Miami. During flash sales, a transatlantic flight starts at $99 one-way.
When traveling with Norwegian Air Shuttle, keep a keen eye on your baggage weight. On international long haul flights, “Low Fare+” provides an allowance of one, 20 kg (44lbs) checked bag. Anything over will cost you $15 USD per kilo!
The German-based Eurowings is Lufthansa’s low-cost carrier. Their fleet is mostly made up of Airbus A330/320/319 and seats about 150 people. In recent years, due to the addition of long haul flights to Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean, they added several Airbus 340s, which can seat up to 300 passengers. Eurowings also has some of the more prolific routes originating in Europe with over 210 destinations to choose from. Feel like having an impromptu stay in Salzburg? Eurowings can get you there.
Travelers flying with Eurowings can enjoy unlimited entertainment onboard via their Wings Entertainment app. Available for download through the App Store, Google Play Store and Microsoft Silverlight, it contains a range of movies, television series, and programs suitable for children. Their in-flight offerings are also a highlight. In addition to German-made Warsteiner Bier, which only costs 3 euros, you can get power liquid energy boosters made with maca, ginger and vitamin B12 for 4 euros.
You can say that Ryanair popularized low cost flying across Europe; thus cementing its spot as one of the best European budget airlines. Despite its pay-for-fee everything service, the prices they offer can be very tough to beat. If you can fly from Dublin to Brussels for 16 euros or Berlin to Cologne for 10 euros, you probably won’t mind coughing up an extra 3-5 euros for added fees like choosing a seat or having priority boarding. Just remember to check-in online because it won’t be a pleasant surprise when you get pinged for a 55-euro late check-in fee.
Should your travels, either via plane, train or cruise, take you to Europe, odds are you’ll be hopping in one of these flights. Share your thoughts on these best European budget airlines below.