Low-cost airlines not only save but gain
I started traveling by low-cost carriers (LCCs) or low-cost airlines like Air Asia and Vanilla Air from 2011, and took them almost every year (except 2014).
LCCs can offer cheaper airfare compared to other airlines (non-LCCs) in general, although it's not always the case. The low price, together with their fare structure in contrast to other airlines (like Cathay Pacific and ANA), is only the starting point. What I can benefit is more than saving money.
從2011年開始，幾乎每年（除了2014年外）都有搭乘過如Air Asia、Vanilla Air等的「低成本航空」，因為營運和收費方式的不同，讓它們比其他航空公司有更大空間來得較便宜（雖然不是每一次都這樣，也要看其他公司的促銷，以及供求狀況）。五年後發覺，這些低成本航空公司所給我的，已經不只是「省下旅費」的層次。
1. Longer travel period | 旅行時間可以更長
If LCCs do not exist, I cannot afford a long period trip, say from two weeks to two months. Non-LCCs sell different kinds of round-trip tickets and their fares are dependent on how long you stay overseas. The longer the stay overseas, the more experience is the airfare of non-LCCs. (They have single-trip tickets of course, but it's always too expensive...)
LCC doesn’t have that price structure, and they sell single-trip tickets only. The price level is usually affordable and there is only slight (and even no) difference between two-month and two-week travel periods.
2. More options: more possible ways to travel | 旅行可以有更多的可能性
The fare structure of LCCs is different from other airlines. They don’t have all-in-one prices, they only have the based airfare with different add ons dependent on what you need. You will have to do more calculations to see if the total price is good for you, or to think what the current price can bring to you. For many people it is a kind of inconvenience and they may prefer the bundle (i.e., non-LCCs). When there is an opportunity to choose and opt out, travel can have more ways (say the route) than you imagine.
For example, I don’t need to leave the same place where I arrive in. In January this year, I took a flight to land on Thailand first, and then to Kuala Lumpur and back directly to my hometown. Yes! Non-LCCs do have open-jaw tickets, but usually not cheap.
Due to the cheap enough single-trip airfare, people can now choose different airlines when they are traveling to and back from a destination. They can get somewhere by airlines A while returning by B, for the sake of the lowest airfare and maximizing time of stay.
If you remember my notion of 'All plans are "Plan B"!' in this article, and get into habits of thinking and writing some exciting and strange ideas in your notebook, you may want to fulfill them. Low-cost airlines not only provide lower airfares, but also remove constraints so that those ideas will come true more easily. Don't just regard LCCs as a tool for saving money. Don't think taking LCCs as the only loss (due to less comfort and luxury enjoyment onboard) compared to other airlines. You will gain other things, say your dream and something unexpected but exciting.