Traditional Airlines vs. Low Cost Carriers (LCCs)
The demand for travel is constantly growing but growing at an even higher pace is the public demand for lower airfares. The air transport industry is different because unlike almost every other industry the cost of flights has decreased over the last 20 years all while the cost of everything including fuel increased over those years. The average consumers are very demanding and still want more price cuts, some of these customers are willing to sacrifice traditional airline comforts to get those discounts.
The traditional airline comforts in flights use to include up to 2 pieces of checked luggage, a nice hot meal, peanuts, hot towel, entertainment and inflight refreshments all included in the price of the ticket. The flights arrived and departed from major airport hubs and the customers were flown to their destination typically using usually larger more comfortable airplanes.
People of all ages travel daily creating a wide age spectrum of travellers and on the older end of the age spectrum customers have become accustomed to the traditional airline comforts and still have expectations of the traditional carrier. Traditional carriers are very aware of their legacy, brand and public perception and are unwilling to change this if they have a strong legacy. In recent times we have began to see traditional carriers launch their own low cost brands as is the case with Lufthansa and Eurowings. Older carriers market themselves as premium and established to persuade potential customers to choose to fly with them and this became a problem to customers that did not care about tradition and legacy.
The solution to the problem is the low cost carrier which provides their customers with the lowest possible fare and allows them to pick and choose any add ons that they want at a cost such as in-flight meals, checked baggage, seat selection and even priority boarding. This no frills approach appealed to the younger to middle age travellers who value being at the destination more than in flight refreshments on their journey.
This worked well and for a while there was a balance between traditional and low cost carriers but the market is always evolving and both types of carriers felt that they were losing ground to each other in terms of sales. The traditional carriers began to offer lower cost flight options and cutting luxuries such as free checked bags and the low cost carriers began to change how they operated, low cost carriers began flying out of smaller airports in focus cities rather than bigger hubs but in recent years have began flying out of hubs also like their traditional counterparts. Low cost carriers also began offering comforts such as in flight refreshments, web check-in and WiFi.
The price gap between traditional and low cost carriers has decreased significantly over the past few year and rightfully so because in some cases the budget fare price, service and even aircraft from a traditional carrier is equal to a comparable low cost carrier. What we are seeing now for basic travel is almost a parody between the two types of carriers creating a type of hybrid carrier. Which one should you choose? well that’s up to you we’ll make sure that you get the best price no matter which carrier you choose.