Low-cost airlines. Their staff is generally unfriendly and often poorly trained. If there’s food, it’s crap, and sometimes you even have to pay for it and it will still turn out to be crap, making it even worse.
Seats are crowded with zero leg room. This realization sinks in about 10 minutes into the flight… BAM! That rotten kid sitting in front of you starts ramming his stupid head against the back of the seat. Which is about the same time the hairy-sweaty-smelly guy in the Hawaiian shirt sitting beside you begins to lean into your personal space as he falls asleep. Oh, and I absolutely love the general seating. Good Lord. There is nothing like getting elbowed by a 65 year-old widow as she races for the window seat. Good times, good times. And don’t get me started on the delays waiting for flights… if it weren’t for the pure economics, I’d be flying the friendly skies First Class. But alas, I’m one cheap fella.
So I’m stuck flying low cost, but some carriers are starting to get better. AirAsia and Tiger seem to try to hire somewhat competent staff and their seats are at least mildly comfortable, even if they don’t recline. But the delays still drive me mad. Recently, I’ve noticed the big carriers are starting to provide competitive rates to a lot of the same destinations the low-cost do.
If you check out the Special promotions pages of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways you’ll note that rates are often quite close to (if not lower than) what the discount carriers are offering. A good way to find out what rates are available is to check out Skyscanner.net. They should give you some of the lowest prices listed for the dates of travel. I like to take a gander at that, and then go check out the airline’s own site. Generally you can find it cheaper on the airline’s own site, you just need to look for it.