There’s never been a better time to fly to Europe — or anywhere, for that matter — on the cheap.
These days, New Yorkers can take advantage of service on at least seven ultra low-cost, no-frills airlines. Most sell seats one way at a low price, so feel free to mix and match different carriers to suit your budget and schedule.
Just be aware that you’ll often pay not just for checked bags, but also for carry-ons — unless they’re small enough to fit under the seat in front of you or weigh a certain (small) amount.
Those fees can add up. So traditional airlines, which carry bags for free, have taken notice and often sell their seats on competing routes at a price that comes close to these discounters when bag fees are calculated. For example, most people can expect to pay about $200 on top of Iceland-based WOW Air’s low fares for a carry-on or checked bag that would fly free on, say, British Airways.
Keep in mind that these airlines often fly a route just once a day or a few times per week. If a flight is canceled, you’re stuck. A larger airline can put you on a later flight or on one within a partner alliance, such as One World or SkyTeam.
Here, we round up the low-cost carriers that fly from the New York area, along with any associated fees and insider tips for each. Also shown are representative round-trip airfares, culled from a recent search, but note that they’re subject to change.
Flies from: JFK and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY
Flies to: Nonstop to London, Barcelona and Paris with connections to many other European cities
Carry-on bag fee: $0, as long as it’s smaller than 21-by-16-by-9 inches and less than 22 pounds
Checked bag fee: $135
Sample fare: Stewart to Belfast nonstop for $227 round-trip
Tips: This summer, Norwegian started flying out of Stewart airport in New York state’s Orange County, which is about 60 miles north of Manhattan. The routes have reportedly been operating 90 percent full. Also, with Norwegian, you can play exchange rates by buying the return segment in euros rather than dollars. Norwegian mostly flies new 787 Dreamliners, known for providing a more comfortable cabin atmosphere.
Flies from: Newark
Flies to: Nonstop to London, Paris and Birmingham, UK
Carry-on bag fee: One standard 21-inch bag is free, but the maximum…