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Aussies turning to low-cost carriers to keep travel dreams affordable

Budget airlines are increasingly in favour, despite common reliability concerns, according to a new study on travel habits.

One third of Aussies turned to a low-cost airline in the past 12 months.

Low-cost airlines make overseas travel accessible for more people and new research shows Australians are embracing the concept.

A Finder survey has revealed a third (35%) of Australians – equivalent to more than seven million people – have flown with a low-cost carrier in the last 12 months.

Younger generations are more likely to take a budget friendly flight, with more than half of Gen Z (53%) and two in five Millennials (43%) saying they’ve done this.

Some 42 per cent of Australians have taken an international trip in the past five years, spending on average $6,765 – meaning more than $57.6 billion has been spent on travelling abroad since 2019.

Most is spent on accommodation, with Aussies forking out $2,343 on average, closely followed by flights ($2,153), with food ($748), activities ($547) and car hire ($311) rounding out the top five international travelling costs.

The study showed Aussies were willing to accept all-too-frequent failings of low-cost carriers to maintain their travel ambitions, with 30 per cent saying their budget airline had cancelled or heavily delayed their trip.

Low-cost airlines bring with them an aura of unreliability.

Other problems encountered included hidden fees (16 per cent), poor service (10 per cent) or lost baggage (10 per cent).

“The cost-of-living crisis has put international travel out of reach for many Australians,” said Finder Travel Expert, Angus Kidman.

“The rise of low-cost airlines has made travel more affordable for many by offering basic flights at a discounted price.

“Saving on flights puts more money back in your pocket to spend while you’re away, but always check your fare covers everything you need.”

Kidman added that travellers should choose a holiday that fits within their budget and always take out travel insurance.

“It’s often true that you get what you pay for and lost luggage or flight delays can add unwanted stress to your holiday.”

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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 12 September 2023

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