If you're interested in catching a flight out of town but want to save money on a plane ticket, your best bet is to find a flight from a budget airline. I caught a round-trip flight with jetBlue from Raleigh, NC to New York City, NY for $108 or $54 one-way.
Budget carrier airlines offer extremely low prices, but can sometimes lack in amenities and other complementary services on the flight - like free water, food, blankets, pillows, checked bags, etc.
Depending on your preferences a budget airline might be the perfect choice for your next getaway, so below I will list the best U.S. based budget airlines and summarize the experience with them.
This information is based on my experience and stories I've heard from friends or family. Your experience may be different so use this information as a resource to making final decisions when booking with any of these budget airlines.
jetBlue (my personal favorite)
There's a reason they are ranked fairly high among customers. Firstly, they're one of the only budget airlines to offer free snacks and beverages, free Wi-Fi and seat-back TVs (on most flights), and comfortable seating.
jetBlue is my preferred budget airline, because all my experiences with them have been pleasant and safe. I've only had 2 flights with them be extremely delayed (more than 2 hours), which is pretty good considering I flew 10+ times in 2022 during airline strikes and staff shortages.
This airlines is unique in all the amenities it offers. More legroom, two free checked bags, a free carry-on, and free snacks and beverages are available to passengers. However, they group boarding based on when you bought your ticket. So, if you procrastinate and buy your ticket last minute, you might get stuck in the back of the plane.
On the contrary, if you're a heavy planner and bought tickets far in advance, you might get to sit in 2A or 3E. This airline is also known for their friendly, witty staff. Your pilot might crack a joke during takeoff.
Update: In December 2022, Southwest had over 2,000 flight cancellations within 1 day and many people were stranded in the airport with nowhere to go. They had the largest number of cancellations of any airline by far that day. This occurred partially due to a snow storm that was hitting the midwest and east coast. However, it is important to know that if you're traveling during the winter season, you might want to avoid this airline based on how they operated during this storm.
Although this is a newer airline, so far so good! Passengers are allowed one personal item no matter what tier you are. There isn't any in-flight entertainment, but according to the airline, Wifi In-flight will be available for purchase soon.
As far as customer service goes, it's a toss up. Some people claim to have had above and beyond service from this airline while others claim it was the worst experience they've ever had. It all depends on what airport you're at and the staff working that day. Hopefully, as the airline matures, they can standardize their hospitality across all help desks.
This airline doesn’t charge cancellation or change fees for any tier, which if you know, you konw. This is a great policy to help customers feel cared for and considered by the airline incase of last minute changes.
Your biggest obstacle with them is finding an airport they fly to. Avelo is currently only flying to 12 western and 13 eastern cities, so if you're not near an airport on their limited list, you wont get to enjoy their services. The cabin, seats, and seat trays are also not that big, which is common among most budget airlines.
Hopefully these insights give you a better idea of what it's like flying with these budget airlines. Just remember - they all offer extremely low prices. Let me know if this helped you plan your next adventure in the comments and talk soon.