Stories

Best to worst: Budget Airlines around the world

We do a thorough research on safety profile of each airline before booking our flights. With Asia becoming the Bermuda triangle after last year’s disappearance of aircrafts and with European airlines known for their extra rude customer service, cramped up seats and fees for even an extra ounce of body fat, we had to go with our gut feeling once in a while. Although, after the recent tragic German Wings crash, it’s hard to tell how much research can help with all the unknowns.

For our research, we mainly used airlinesrating.com, trip advisor forums and airline history through search engines. Here is our take on budget airline ranking:

  1. Air Asia (yes they had an accident recently but so did German wings, an airline with best safety record) In our experience Air Asia is one of those few budget airlines that still maintains excellent customer service along with a smooth flight. Based on customer reviews there have been reports of delays but nothing that stood out in a bad way for us. We have flown with them 4 times.
  2. Garuda Indonesia: The cheapest airline we have flown to date. Sunny and I paid less than $100 for two one way tickets within Indonesia. To top it off, they had great baggage policies allowing 20kg of free checkin bags and a carry on! In the past their safety record has been bad but we had no problems flying with them whatsoever.
  3. Hainan Airlines: Safety record is not bad. Customer service was decent (nothing too exceptional), no discomfort on the plane ride. They provide tablets loaded with their entertainment content for the duration of the flight. Overall nothing much to complain about.
  4. Indigo: Not much competition with budget airlines within India but they still do a better job with customer service than any other airlines within India. Yes if you have extra baggage the fees are insane, especially with no international tie ups but still makes up for rude customer service, delays and cramped up seats with other airlines.
  5. Vueling Air: Like so many budget European airlines don’t have too many expectations. Awfully long lines at check in, overworked employees (ground staff and air attendants), in general chaos.
  6. Cebu Pacific: Looking at their logo makes you smile and nervous at the same time. Compared to Philippines Airlines they don’t have a good clear safety profile but are a lot more cheaper and organized. We flew Cebu Pacific once with nothing to complain about!
  7. Philippines Airlines: Very very strict baggage policy. I kid you not they will charge you even if you go over 0.5 kilo! To top that off gate changes, boarding and flight delays happen with no announcements. They have a good safety profile but we haven’t had the best experience with them both times.
  8. Easyjet: Just a very awful experience with delays and unpleasant staff! Extremely cramped up seats made the 1 hr 15 min flight seem like an eternity. We had no baggage problems but a number of passengers around us were unhappy with their hidden fees!
  9. Silk Air: flight was delayed with no announcements (this was becoming normal with a number of cheap airlines). However what made this experience worse was the flight was unbelievably bumpy. The captain made no announcements if the weather conditions were bad or that’s just how the aircraft operated. I couldn’t sleep a wink on the red eye flight. Lets just say that I was happy to land without my eardrum damaged!
  10. Dragon Air: Worst of the lot. They had nothing positive to be said for. We missed a connecting flight with them with no apology, if anything we encountered rude ground staff giving us attitude for flying economy…detailed rant and story in another post! 


We did not go with Ryan Air due to the tag of the most hated airline and online reviews. We decided to spend a little bit more and go with other budget European airlines. We have also flown with Smart wings, Jet airways, Air India but don’t remember much about the experience to review!

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