The Downsides of Discount Airlines

discount airline cons

Discount airlines such as Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant often offer great flight deals, like one-way flights as low as $35 or discounts if you sign up for their flyer club. While these options can amount to some great savings, they’re not always as straight-forward as you may think. Here are some downsides from our EWR Airport parking company:

Baggage Fees

Many airlines allow each passenger one carry-on item and one personal item, free of charge. After that, some charge you for your first checked piece of baggage and a few others wait until your second or third checked piece of baggage before you’re charged. With discount airlines, however, you’ll be charged for your carry-on and your checked baggage – and sometimes, astronomical amounts.

If you book your flight online and note that you’ll be bringing a carry-on item and/or checked piece of baggage, you’ll usually face fees of around $30-$35. If you don’t note that you’re bringing baggage and you wait until you’re at your gate, you could pay up to $100 per piece.

Seat Selection

When you book a flight through a major airline, it usually includes the price of your seat and you can usually pick which seat you’d like free of charge. Many discount airlines, however, charge you a fee when you pick your own seat (sometimes up to $50 per seat selection).


If you fly a mainstream airline and your flight gets delayed or canceled, you may be able to have your ticket transferred to another mainstream airline. Discount airlines, however, can’t transfer you, so you may have to wait hours (possibly even a day) until you can catch another flight.

Flight Times

If you try to take advantage of a flight deal from a discount airline, be prepared to be limited in your flight time options. Many times, these airlines will only give you one or two time options, and they’re usually at the crack of dawn or late at night.

Discount airlines are great for those who travel light and who are flexible on flight departure times and arrival dates. For others, however, you may want to consider spending a little extra money and choosing a major airline.