easyJet named as the UK’s Best Value Short Haul Airline¹
With British Airways coming in joint second¹
The increased competition among low cost carriers in addition to other factors such as oil prices and flight demand, has seen the average flight price to European destinations fall by 8% yoy². However, how can travellers determine if their cheap flight is really that cheap? Global travel search engine Skyscanner.net has been delving into short haul airlines to uncover who really offers the best value and it’s not necessarily the expected low cost carriers all making the top five. easyJet has been crowned UK’s Best Value Short Haul airline, closely followed by British Airways and KLM who take joint second place¹.
The airlines which made it into Skyscanner’s top ten value short haul airlines are:
|BEST VALUE SHORT HAUL AIRLINE OVERVIEW|
The travel search engine looked further than just average flight prices² and delved into baggage charges³, seat reservation charges4 and on-board catering5 to determine which airline offers the best value, and has proven that it’s not just the cheapest flight prices that makes an airline best value. Whilst Ryanair is the cheapest airline on average flight prices and seat reservations for European destinations², their baggage charges and on-board catering costs resulted in them sitting just outside the top 5, but it is important to note that they are still within the top ten and if baggage charges aren’t important to travellers then this airline might be the one for them.
Travellers found baggage charges to be one of the most annoying additional cost when flying on a value flight (29% of travellers cited this in a recent twitter poll survey6). Many of the top ten airlines offer value packages, which for an increased flight price can result in hold luggage being included. This was the case for British Airways who leads the way in value on baggage charges and KLM who were ranked in second place.
Cat McGloin, Skyscanner’s travel editor comments: “Whether an airline is of value to a traveller is very much determined by what that traveller deems important to them. When looking at the whole flight package travellers can be confused by what really is deemed to be a real bargain and what isn’t. Many travellers get pulled into an airline by a cheap fare offer only to then realise the cost for baggage and seat allocation has ramped up the final cost. The majority of airlines offer value packages where the flights might cost a little more but hold baggage and seat allocation is included and these should be considered. Our research, which is detailed on our site breaks down where each carrier ranks for the things that matter, i.e. flight price, seat allocation and hold baggage charges and on-board catering. We hope this will allow travellers the chance to weigh up which airline might be the better value one for them.”
Seat allocation has been a hot topic for debate as the busy summer period ramps up. Ryanair came out on top for offering the cheapest seat allocation price, closely followed by Wizz Air and EasyJet. If seat allocation and baggage charges are both important to travellers, then Skyscanner suggests looking at each airline’s ‘value added’ flight bundles as they may save them money.
The cost of on-board catering, even for short haul flights can be a sting in the tail and not where traveller’s might wish to start spending their euros. KLM led the way here by being the only airline we surveyed which still offers complementary on-board catering.
Travellers wishing to weigh up which airline might be best suited to their needs should check out Skyscanner’s Value Airlines Overview . It is important to note that airlines may from time to time offer discounts and deals which could alter whether they are better value, therefore it is important for travellers to take the time to review all options available to them on the day of booking.
¹Top 10 airlines were selected to take part based on the top 10 cheapest economy return flight prices from skyscanner.net for flights departing the UK to all European destinations between July 2016 and June 2017. Each airline was ranked in four areas: Average flight price, baggage charges (based on cost per kg), seat reservation charges and on-board catering (based on selected items). The airlines were then scored depending on the lowest cost for each section (scale 10 for cheapest down to 1 for most expensive). The total points scored across all areas were then added up to determine the Best Value Airline for Short Haul 2017.
² Based on Skyscanner average flight prices obtained at the point of exiting the site between July 2015 and June 2016, comparing against the period July 2016 and June 2017, for flights departing the UK to all European destinations, including the UK.
³ Baggage charges were based on return flights from London to Ibiza mid-August, based on the lowest possible charge available when booking online on the 23rd July 2017, the cost of value packages was also taken into consideration to find the cheapest method. Wizz Air and FlyBe were based on flights to Croatia in mid August as there were no flights to Ibiza for both carriers. To ensure fairness a cost per kg was used as the method of ranking
4Seat reservation charges were based on return flights from London to Ibiza mid-August, based on the lowest possible charge available when booking online on the 23rd July 2017. Wizz Air and FlyBe were based on flights to Croatia in mid-August as there were no flights to Ibiza for both carriers.
5 On-board catering was based on a total cost for the following items: White wine, beer, crisps and a can of soft drink. Costs for items were taken from each airlines website as of the 23rd July 2017.
6 Twitter poll of 214 people on 24th July 2017.
- Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company, providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire around the world
- Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps over 50 million people each month to find their travel options
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