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What You Must Know About Budget Airlines

Budget airlines are on every continent, but did you know that these airlines made their debut over in Europe? There are still more budget airlines in that part of the world over anywhere else. Their costs are significantly cheaper than regular airlines in Europe, which is quite different than the small savings you will see in the US or on other continents.

People boarding to Ryanair plane on Lech Walesa Airport in Gdansk. Ryanair operates over 300 aircraft and is the biggest low-cost airline company in Europe.
People boarding to Ryanair plane on Lech Walesa Airport in Gdansk. Ryanair operates over 300 aircraft and is the biggest low-cost airline company in Europe.

Most budget airlines place bulk orders when they order new airplanes, because that allows them to save a lot of money since they are getting such a steep discount. While these airlines could purchase older planes, they see a bigger savings with the new ones, due to the fuel efficiency and fewer necessary repairs.

Low cost carrier, Air Asia, taking off.
Low cost carrier, Air Asia, taking off.

All the employees of these budget airlines only need to go through training for the one type of aircraft the company uses. Instead of ordering five of one type of plane, ten of another, and so forth, the company simply orders one kind and uses it for every flight they have. This saves a bunch of time and money.

The flight attendants perform multiple tasks including cleaning the plane and taking tickets at the gate. This means fewer employees are needed to get every job completed.

When you take a budget airline flight, you probably notice that they normally do not fly into the larger airports in Europe. This is due to the higher costs of flying into those areas, so they choose to fly into the cheaper airports that are a little further from your destination. They will fly to regular airports on occasion, but it will be at the least popular times.

All budget airlines have very little downtime in between flights, so they are making more money every day. Time in the air is more profitable than time spent on the ground. Connections are also not usually available with budget airlines, because they do not have the employees to transfer the bags.

EasyJet Airbus A320 airplanes at Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) in Germany. Airbus is a European aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse, France.
EasyJet Airbus A320 airplanes at Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) in Germany. Airbus is a European aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse, France.

Many regular airlines have tried to jump on the budget airline bandwagon but have failed. They simply do not have the number of planes required, or the number of destinations, to make a company like this work.

Various low-budget airline aircraft parked at the terminal of Eindhoven-Airport.
Various low-budget airline aircraft parked at the terminal of Eindhoven-Airport.

Over in Europe, Ryanair and EasyJet have smashed the competition with their budget airline model, making it quite difficult for anyone else to break through in that part of the world. Only time will tell if the budget airlines within the US, mainly Allegiant and Frontier, will be as successful one day or if they will fall prey to the budget airline curse.

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Do You Know How High Commercial Passenger Planes Can Fly? Check It Out!

Every time you take off on an airplane and reach your cruising altitude, your pilot comes on the overhead and tells you how high the plane is flying. But do you know why they tell you this?

Every airplane has a limit as to how high it can fly. These limits ensure that the aircraft you are flying in is operating at its maximum capacity. Most of the time, all aircraft are allowed to fly at heights of forty-two thousand feet. However, as a plane gets closer to an airport, the air control experts can tell the planes to adjust their altitudes.

Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861 registration A6-APH flying into London Heathrow airport after operating as flight EY19 from Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861 registration A6-APH flying into London Heathrow airport after operating as flight EY19 from Abu Dhabi.

Here are a few height limits for specific airplanes:

  • Airbus A380: 43,000 feet
  • Boeing 787-8 and 9: 43,100 feet
  • Boeing 787-10: 41,000 feet
  • Boeing 737 (up to the 500): 37,000 feet
  • Boeing 737 (600 and newer): 41,000 feet

Most aircraft will only fly around 35,000 feet, as they feel that that is a safe height. However, if you ever have the chance to fly on the Concorde, you will find that you are flying much higher at a maximum height of 60,000 feet. The Concorde can handle these heights, due to their engines and other intricate features.

The air is thinner at higher altitudes, so flying is more efficient the higher the airplane is in the sky. There is less resistance, so the plane can fly faster without using more fuel. All jet engines operate better at higher altitudes too. The reason for this is that these jet engines can be run closer to their maximum capabilities.

The height that an airplane is flown at is dependent on the current wind conditions. Most aircraft will want to take advantage of the Jetstream winds on occasion, while other times, it is something to be avoided.

An A380 jumbo jet landing from a flight from Paris.
An A380 jumbo jet landing from a flight from Paris.

There is a point where the air is too thin and that is why these ceiling heights are in place for each individual aircraft. When the air is too thin, the engines cannot create enough thrust and the wings don’t have sufficient lift. Also, if an engine fails, it can be quite difficult to start it again in too high of an altitude.

There are a few safety concerns when you are flying at too high of an altitude as well. When the cabin pressure is off, it will take more time to stabilize it in lower altitudes if the plane is higher than it should be. When the cabin loses pressure, a person can only remain conscious for between fifteen and thirty seconds at 35,000 feet. When an airplane is at heights of 50,000 feet, the timeframe drops to only five seconds.

A Boeing 787 taking off.
A Boeing 787 taking off.

Private jets have a little more leeway in the sky, and you may find that you are riding on corporate jets that can safely ride at heights of 51,000 feet. These jets usually have larger engines and that is why they can successfully ride at these heights.

Now that you know how high commercial passenger airplanes can fly, you will understand why the pilot is telling you the plane’s altitude during your next flight. While it won’t change much of your experience, at least you can compare each one of your flights to the others and see how the altitude changes can result in a smoother or more turbulent flight.

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Flying High In Style: The Battle Between Boeing & Airbus

Airlines are always vying for the customer’s attention.

And when it comes to innovation, airlines have found that when they’re trying something innovative, customers will certainly pay attention.

Boeing and Airbus have been battling it out to try and trying to out bid each other when it comes to the innovation of the aircraft carriers that transport us in our travels. They’re both trying to conquer traveling faux pas (chilly air, uncomfortable seats, tiny windows) and deliver the ultimate in passenger comfort.

Does one airline come out more on top? Is it safe to say there is a winner?

Let’s first break it down.

Between Airbus and Boeing, both of these are long range, wide-bodied, twin-engine aircrafts hoping to transport customers long distances.

The Airbus A380 is a super-jumbo plane that is capable of transporting, depending on how the layout is configured, 550 to 800 passengers.

An Emirates Airbus A380-800 super jumbo, the largest passenger aircraft in the world is waiting for passengers and loading at London Heathrow terminal 3 during sunset
An Emirates Airbus A380-800 super jumbo, the largest passenger aircraft in the world is waiting for passengers and loading at London Heathrow terminal 3 during sunset.

While this spaciousness on a flight sounds like a dream, travelling alongside 550 to 800 people could sound like, to some, trying to leave the parking lot after a rock concert let out.

Think of the Airbus A380 like a double-decker bus in the sky. The two decks span the entire length of the plane and inside, it’s quite spacious. On some planes, there are showers, on-board bars, anti-turbulence systems, cool mood lighting, and the atmosphere is whisper quiet. There is also a tail camera in place that is viewable from your very own seat.

Emirates Airline flight attendant. Emirates first class. Onboard food, dining. Luxury travel. Airbus A380. First class suite.
Emirates Airline flight attendant. Emirates first class. Onboard food, dining. Luxury travel. Airbus A380. First class suite.

The case, though, is that in economy, seating can be quite dense. Cabin pressure does not fare as well as on the 787 and the 350.

Boeing’s 787 is fundamentally something different. Their vision has been invested in creating, designing, and building an airplane that transports passengers in the utmost comfort. They hope to make the ultimate in comfort and travel cost-effective and as affordable as possible.

Japan Airlines (also know as JAL) Boeing 787 9 Dreamliner taxiing in airport seen from above. Long haul flights to Haneda and Narita Airport. Aircraft aerial view.
Japan Airlines (also know as JAL) Boeing 787 9 Dreamliner taxiing in airport seen from above. Long haul flights to Haneda and Narita Airport. Aircraft aerial view.

The Dreamliner, as Boeing refers to the 787, offers better air pressure, humidity, and larger windows for viewing pleasure. Windows also have neat “tinting” shades, though they don’t completely black out. The bathrooms are often equipped with windows, which somehow just seems extraordinary and plain special. Cabin lighting is exceptional, the atmosphere is quiet, and there is also an anti-turbulence system in place.

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner economy class cabin and inflight entertainment system (IFE) at London's Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner economy class cabin and inflight entertainment system (IFE) at London’s Heathrow.

The realities of plane configuration means that adding in more standing headroom, larger windows, sizable bathrooms, and working to adjust humidity rates to be higher than the bone-suck-chill of normal aircraft, can be at times like working against the flow. The shape of planes dictate the size of the bathrooms. So does the number of seats. Should you cram them in there or offer a little more leg room?

The number of seats (comfort as an option or not) dictates, depending on ticket prices, how much money the airline makes when the flight is at full capacity. Comfort in the world of Boeing means asking paying customers what they’d like to see change. What could make the flight more pleasant? It all comes down to the interior design of the airplane.

All in all, the Airbus design seems to be something more innovative. Changing the culture of airline travel involves dreaming big, pushing the boundaries, and giving the risky ideas their own chance to fly.

Let us know if you knew the battle between Boeing & Airbus or if you were completely surprised with this list.