Most cheap flights travellers have faced the occasional moment of clarity when they have questioned their own wisdom in using cheap flights carriers. Those moments often arrive when your flight has just been cancelled or you've just been hit with a bill for the 300 grams of excess baggage you had the misfortune to accumulate on your holiday.
There are, in all honesty, no shortage of shortcomings when it comes to the cheap flights industry but there is no question it has revolutionised the planet for countless thousands of ordinary people.
For many living in large or remote countries they would simply never have had the opportunity to visit foreign countries if it weren't for cheap flights.
And for those living in Europe, the entire region has become a potential long-weekend destination.
The market for long and short distance travel has expanded rapidly since early innovators such as Ryan Air came on the scene in the late 1990s. This brand new demographic of international travellers, while not without their drawbacks, are certainly expanding the tourism opportunities across the globe.
For Australians the entire Asian region has been opened up with a number of cheap flights [http://www.cheapest-flights.com.au] airlines competing with each other to drive prices down.
Local tourism operators in places like the UK have turned out to be some of the biggest losers, however, as they are suddenly competing with Spain, Portugal and Italy for the weekend holidayer market.
Where before the choice for the average English family was a weekend in either Brighton or Portsmouth, now destinations such as Amsterdam, Cairo and Prague are just a cheap flight away. And they are proving irresistible with record numbers of travellers taking up the opportunity to fly internationally each year.
Some good tips for booking cheap flights:
- Always book ahead: Savings will always be at their maximum if you can book your ticket well in advance.
- Travel in off-peak times: Travelling during off-peak and shoulder seasons between Autumn and Spring are always cheaper than summer.
- Don't be afraid to use a travel agency: Some of these get access to great deals and if you are a first time international traveller they can take some of the heartache out of the experience.
- Research on the internet: there are many fantastic cheap flights websites out there with access to some great package deals.
- Safety concerns have arisen in certain regions in recent times - particularly in Asia and Africa. When it comes to air travel, the word "cheap" should never apply to safety. If an airline cannot compete in the marketplace without slashing their safety budget then it should forfeit its right to operate at all. Make sure you check the safety record of your airline.
The girls on their hens night are screaming at the guys on their stag night, the leg room is cramped, the hostess is rude and the departure time came and went before you boarded... but after arrival, as you sit back and soak up the warm foreign sun on distant shores - without having to break the bank - you'll reflect on just how great cheap flights are.
Cheap flights have changed the world.