If the not-so-friendly skies seem more crowded than ever, it could be because another low-cost carrier is trying to squeeze in.
New Airline for 2013: Jetstar Hong Kong
The new discount carrier is expected to begin flights sometime in 2013 with three Airbus A320s and expand to 18 aircraft by 2015.
Other Celebrated Launches: Scoot, Song and Ted
Last fall, Singapore Airlines – which often lands at the top of ‘best lists’ for luxury and service – launched its own budget carrier with the unlikely name of Scoot. The discounter is up and running, sometimes offering deals from Sydney to Singapore for as little as $90 U.S. each-way. But low-cost carrier experiments by larger airlines haven’t always ended happily.
Though both had their fans, Delta’s short-lived Song (2003 – 2006) and United’s equally fleeting budget-airline-within-an-airline called Ted (2004 – 2009) didn’t work out financially.
Times change, though, and the differences between U.S. legacy carriers and the low-cost competition are increasingly blurred in the U.S. as older airlines drop perks and prices on the discounters creep up – as do their fees.
Budget Carriers Mean Big Fees
Florida-based Spirit, for example, now charges a fee for a carry-on bag, while Dublin-based Ryanair recently raised the fee on a first checked-bag for a phone reservation in peak season to more than $150.