June 20, 2024

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While intra-European travel is still much more affordable compared to intra-U.S, ultra-cheap tickets are far rarer to come across now than they were five years ago, when flights from England to Spain would cost less than the airport commute, and it doesn’t look like it’s improving anytime soon:

Aerial View Of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, Southern Europe.jpg

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has again affirmed Ryanair will increase prices by an additional 10%, as the company grapples with a record increase in demand, and if you’re crossing the pond this summer, you should be prepared for fluctuating fares.

With this in mind, you may be wondering are some of the most affordable airlines in Europe right now, and on top of that, what are some of the cheapest routes they have available?

Thanks to a new survey carried out by Which?, featuring the cheapest budget carriers in Europe, now we have an idea where to watch out for deals:

TUI Airways

TUI Airways Aircraft Taking Off From Skiathos Island In Greece, Southern Europe.jpgTUI Airways Aircraft Taking Off From Skiathos Island In Greece, Southern Europe.jpg

TUI is both an airline and travel agency based in the United Kingdom offering scheduled and chartered flights to sunny spots, mostly around Europe, serving over 70 destinations across the continent and further afield.

With 51% of flights leaving on time, and a 0.30% rate of cancelation from October 2022 to September 2023, it falls within the middle section of Which?‘s Best and Worst Airlines ranking, but it’s still a great option for Americans exploring Europe with the U.K. as base.

aerial view of cathedral and medieval buildings in girona spainaerial view of cathedral and medieval buildings in girona spain

Flights to the historical Spanish city of Reus, in the autonomous region of Catalonia, start from only $101 for travel dates within the next 3 months: Reus is one of the wine capitals of Spain, and other than its full-bodied reds, it’s known for its Baroque Old Town and culinary delights.

Flying to Girona, another well-preserved medieval city in Spain that featured on Game of Thrones, will also cost you $101 this summer, and if it’s some of that dolce vita you’re craving (and Neapolitan pizza), getting to Naples from the U.K. is an inexpensive $114 one-way.

Vueling Airways

Vueling Aircraft Parked At The Tarmac In Seville Airport, Spain, Southern Europe.jpgVueling Aircraft Parked At The Tarmac In Seville Airport, Spain, Southern Europe.jpg

Spain’s number one low-cost airline, Vueling, flies to over 100 destinations both within Spain and the wider Europe, and as far away as North Africa and the Middle East, and it’s one of the best-reviewed airlines on Which?, owing to its impressive on-time performance.

Over 75% of Vueling flights departed as scheduled in the one-year period between October 2022 and September 2023, making it one of the most reliable European airlines, and the cheaper-than-usual airfares contribute to its popularity.

Qala Beach In Gozo, Malta, Mediterranean Sea In Southern EuropeQala Beach In Gozo, Malta, Mediterranean Sea In Southern Europe

From Vueling’s center of operations in Barcelona, tourists can fly to Malta, a tiny Mediterranean island surrounded by turquoise waters and dotted with ancient cities, from only $21, while Vienna, the stately capital of Austria, is a $27 flight away.

Flights to Hanover, a German city in the state of Lower Saxony dominated by the landmark Market Church, originally built in the 14th-century, are only $45 one-way, and you can even visit Santander, a gorgeous coastal historic port in Northern Spain, for a negligible $19.

Eurowings

Passengers In An Airport Terminal Waiting To Board, With A View Of An Eurowings Aircraft In Prague, Czech Republic, Central Eastern Europe.jpgPassengers In An Airport Terminal Waiting To Board, With A View Of An Eurowings Aircraft In Prague, Czech Republic, Central Eastern Europe.jpg

Eurowings is Germany’s leading low-cost serving 210 destinations, and despite not being a full-service carrier, they typically excel at customer satisfaction rates, and both their cancelation and last-minute cancelations are minimal.

As a Lufthansa subsidiary, it is notorious for its higher standards of quality, and customer-friendly service: you’re able to block a middle seat starting at just ten euros, and change your flights free of charge as often you wish up to 40 minutes ahead of departure, paying only the price difference.

Beautiful castle in EuropeBeautiful castle in Europe

They’re great value for money, too, with cheap flights offered from multiple German airports: from Berlin Brandenburg, flying to Salzburg, an alpine city in Austria famous for its association with Beethoven and where Hollywood classic The Sound of Music was filmed, will set you back by $32.

Likewise, it’s $32 to get to either Dubrovnik, the most popular beach and culture destination in Croatia, or the country’s bustling resort city of Split, centered around the ruins of an ancient Roman palace, contrasted with a modern oceanfront.

Ryanair

People boarding a RyanAir plane in PolandPeople boarding a RyanAir plane in Poland

Tickets may well be getting 10% more expensive this season, but Ryanair remains at the top of its low-fare game: it’s one of the cheapest airlines to fly with, and as it serves 227 airports in 39 countries, you’re certain to find yourself an attractive deal sooner or later.

Customer satisfaction is one of the lowest, at only 47%—seats have not got one bit comfier since the previous Which? survey was conducted—but you get what you pay for, and we’re in no position to make excessive demands when there’s still $15 flights aplenty.

place de la bourse in bordeaux with a female traveler outsideplace de la bourse in bordeaux with a female traveler outside

Leaving from Ryanair’s Stansted hub in London, there are tickets for Billund, in Denmark, home to the LEGOLAND theme park, from $15 one-way; similarly, travelers can get to Bologna, a hidden gem of Italy with leading medieval towers and a picturesque canal, for the same price.

Bordeaux, a ‘mini Paris’ in Southern France, except it’s far less chaotic this year as it’s largely dodged the chaos of the 2024 Olympics, equally costs $15 to visit one-way, and if you’re keen on exploring an off-path, undiscovered capital, flights to Bratislava in Slovakia start again from $15.

15 seems to be Ryanair’s lucky number.

WizzAir

luggage with wizzair planeluggage with wizzair plane

Hungary’s WizzAir operates a whopping 950 routes worldwide, mainly within its own continent, and despite the lower satisfaction rate of 44%, it’s a widespread consensus they just can’t be beat when it comes to affordability.

We’re sure you can forgive their on-time performance of only 63%, and last-minute cancelations affecting 1.20% of flights, when you get the chance to fly from Paris Beauvais to beautiful Albania, one of the best-kept secrets of the Mediterranean, for a dirt cheap $16 this season.

Panoramic View Of Gdansk, A City On The Baltic Coast Of Poland, Central-Eastern EuropePanoramic View Of Gdansk, A City On The Baltic Coast Of Poland, Central-Eastern Europe

A host of $21 flights are available to a number of European destinations, including Bucharest, the vibrant capital city of Romania, the colorful Baltic port of Gdansk in Poland, and even Italy’s capital of fashion, Milan.

If you’re planning on flying from a European airport other than Paris Beauvais, you can use WizzAir’s Fare Finder feature to see affordable fares leaving from your preferred point of departure, as well as keep track of any last-minute deals they release before seats get filled.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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