Who else wants to fly across Europe for under $100?

I bet just about everyone wants to fly around Europe for $100 - and with the abundance of low-cost budget airlines in just about every European country, it's easier than ever.

Last year I was in the south of Spain and had to get to Slovakia, quick. Problem was, as a po' backpacker, flying seemed too expensive. And my Eurail train pass had run out.

Economy class all the way...

I was sitting at an internet Cafe in Tarifa explaining this to someone, and girl from London said "Hey, look at this" - And showed me a flight with RyanAir for € 0.00!!

Of course, I had to pay the taxes though. That still only added up to about €35. I then flew from Spain to Frankfurt, Germany (where I had to kill an hour or two) and then on to Bratislava, Slovakia. It ended up being two flights, so €35 each time turned into about $100 total - to fly over 2000km (1400 mi).

I've since taken to flying with low-cost airlines all over Europe. There's no better way to travel.

Here's a list of the best low cost airlines I've flown with:

Western Europe:

  • Ryan Air - The grandaddy of low-cost airlines. Based in Ireland, they're a great way to fly around Europe or to/from Ireland and the UK. Often has those €0.00 flight specials.
  • EasyJet - I haven't found them to be quite as cheap as RyanAir, but sometimes they serve a particular city that I need to get to. Still, with some planning, you're hard pressed to find a flight costing over $100-$150. Mostly serves flights to and from the UK.
  • German Wings and Air Berlin - Both of these airlines are obviously based in Germany. Hence, they make a great choice if you're leaving or going to Germany. They fly to a number of Eastern European countries as well, which helps. If you're going to be backpacking or travelling in the East, it's often cheaper to fly from say Canada to Germany, and then hop a flight from a low-cost airline to get you to points further east.
  • MyAir - An Italian based airline that flys to Eastern Europe, places like Bulgaria, Romania, etc. Based in Milan.
  • AirMadrid - Flights from Madrid to Ibiza and other island in the Med, and also flys to Paris and Bucharest. A little random, I know 🙂
  • Transavia - Based in the Netherlands, they fly to a tonne of destinations across Europe. They even fly to Cyprus and Malta!
  • Norwegian - Norwegian based airline (obviously) that flys all over Europe as well. They've got some good prices around €45 to fly from Oslo to London for example.

Eastern Europe Budget Airlines

  • WizzAir - Yes, the name make me laugh too. But they're pretty decent. Based in Poland, they're great for flying around Eastern European countries and can take you as far south as Croatia and Greece. Great prices, my only complaint is theire so called "Free Seating". As if that should be a good thing. Basically nobody gets a boarding pass. So you have 50 people crowded around the gates waiting to stampede the plane so they can sit beside their friends or something. Really annoying. But, hey, you get what you pay for right?
  • Central Wings - Based in the East as well (I think they're Polish) they fly all around Europe for great prices as well.
  • Sky Europe - Based in Prague, they also fly to a number of Eastern and Western European countries. I've used them to fly from Prague to Copenhagen and they were great. I find them to be a little more expensive than WizzAir but at least you get an assigned seat!

That ought to get your started on any cross-Europe adventures. Considering a train pass costs about $1500 for a two month pass, you could cover a lot more ground quickly and affordably by using Europes budget airlines.

Now that being said you should be aware of a few things. The taxes are what drive up the airfare prices. Like I said, even though I had a flight for €0 I still had to pay airport taxes. But still, that's a pretty wicked deal.

Also, don't expect to get any kind of re-imbursement if the flight is cancelled or delayed. It happens, and they (rightly so) figure hey, you only paid €10 anyways, so get over it. It sucks when it happens, but not much to be done about it.

Only other drawback - Many of the airports they fly to are not the main airports. The biggest difference I've noticed is when they say they fly to Frankfurt - They actually fly to Frankfurt Hahn which is an old American air force base turned into an airport. It's actually about a two hour drive away from Frankfurt! They do have shuttle buses, but be sure to double check which airport you actually arrive at.

Other than that, have fun!

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