Who has not used a discount airline? This question is so normal for air travelers that the words are synonymous with budget and economy. Discount airlines dominate the airline industry. Travelers expect a discount and will go through unexpected contortions to use one.
Air travelers will drive 150 miles each way to save money on an airline ticket. The demographic of this type of discount traveler is one who will endure inconvenience for the sake of cheaper travel costs. How long it takes to get to their destination is seldom a deal breaker for air travelers who wish to economize.
Changing planes multiple times is no longer such an annoyance for a family of five if they save money while using a discount airline to get them to their destination. Direct flights, built around an airline hub system, are no longer the strongest booking motivation. The number of passengers who are willing to drive long distances to get to another airport that a discount airline services is on the rise. Actually both passenger profiles are relatively normal air travel behavior right now.
Discount airlines know this and they have capitalized on this demographic. Look at the explosive growth of Southwest Airlines in the United States. While other boxed in airlines charge a fee for everything from checking luggage to everything but an eight ounce bottle of water on board, Southwest attracts its customers by canning the box of hidden fees.
International airlines take a hit in the fuselage with the customer economy model of Ryanair. British Airways amended it code of travel in response with its campaign of “Fly in Comfort-Luxury for less.” Other international carriers, who once enjoyed the high ticket airfare traveler, faced extinction unless they too changed to meet the competition of discount airlines.
Air travel at a discount is here to stay. More and more carriers are ordering the “airbus” because that is what they are: the air bus for travelers. The traveling public have the demands of modernization and some comfort and the expectation to pay as least as possible to fly where they want to go.
Discount airlines know how to fly and they know how to pack in the passengers, convenience aside.
Will that be coke or coffee?