How low-cost will Bucharest-New York be with low-cost air carriers?

How low will Bucharest-New York be with low-cost air carriers?

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Starting from the news “Norwegian has announced new routes from London Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood", The Romanian press was quick to write how low-cost we will fly on the Bucharest - New York route via London. Mathematically speaking, the calculations look good, but the reality is quite different. Good, at DIGI 24 the calculations are not done correctly either, but it's another story!

low cost airline tickets

In the first phase, I will explain low cost flight from London to Gatwick to New York. The prices of Norwegian on transoceanic routes seem attractive, but let's not be superficial. Low-cost does not mean sharper, but less service. The rates announced by Norwegian do not include services: food on board, hold luggage and reserved space. To benefit from these additional services, you will need to remove from your pocket 38.30 EUR / segment. Without this extra package we can hardly travel. Flights between London and New York last between 6.5 and 8 hours, long enough to not serve a snack on board and a glass of water. If we make a summary calculation for the London-New York route, we will have NOTHING x NOTHING EUR + NOTHING x NOTHING EUR = NOTHING EUR - minimum tariff with the included taxes and services.

Below is a London-New York roundtrip simulation. The price of 185 EUR is the lowest I have found, but this one is quite rare. So 518 EUR (with all taxes included) doesn't seem so low-cost anymore.

And now let's move on to the Bucharest - London segment. Currently, 2 full-service operators (TAROM and British Airways - London Heathrow) and 3 low-cost operators (Blue Air, Wizz Air - London Luton and Flying) are flying on this route. easyJet - London Gatwick).

Norwegian will fly from London Gatwick, so easyJet would be our low-cost solution on the Bucharest - London segment. But there is a problem! The two operational programs do not match. In the 2014 summer season, easyJet will fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and Norwegian on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. That would mean staying one night in London in the shower and one in return, so other costs.

But suppose it would fit. We will calculate at the minimum price: 2 x 38.12 = 76.24 EUR + 47 EUR luggage = 123.24 EUR - the minimum tariff for Bucharest - London (all taxes included + luggage hold).

Calculating Bucharest - New York, we have the minimum price 123.24 EUR (Bucharest-London with easyJet) + 428.60 EUR (London-New York with Norwegian) = 551.84 EUR (all taxes included and hold luggage). Again, this would be the minimum fare we should pay for Bucharest - New York round trip. But places are limited, so let's not have high hopes.

I did a simple simulation at British Airways, for the period 28 August 2014 - 6 September 2014 (period also chosen for the Norwegian simulation), and we found Bucharest - New York la 668 EUR (roundtrip and all taxes included + services).

bucuresti_new_york_british_august_septembrie_2014Is this difference worth the effort for low-cost flights to New York?

I think that the amount saved would be much less compared to the effort made to travel with two low-cost carriers, from Bucharest to New York. I do not recommend the effort to fly to Luton and then transfer to Gatwick. This would include the fare of the transfer train which is not cheap. There is also luggage, run / lose time and you risk losing your plane.

Let us also consider that the British fare is not among the lowest. I also found it at 650 EUR and even below. But I also remember the promotions over the year. Air France-KLM, TAP Portugal, Lufthansa etc. in September and October they had substantial reductions on the Bucharest-New York route, with prices from 430 EUR.

I recommend that you check the fares and other costs, make your calculations according to destinations and air carriers, see what opportunities you have, be careful about connections, flights, etc. As I said above, low cost means less service, but some you really need in your travels. It is often the case that low-cost is no longer as cheap as it seems.

(Cristian wrote on the same topic!)

  1. Ciprian says

    Congratulations!! An excellent article!
    And I am tempted to do such an analysis. A much cheaper Tarom - Air France / KLM or TAP combination right now.
    Plus, in May all the articles in the press mention that there are no Bucharest - Gatwick flights

    1. Sorin Rusi says

      Yes, there are no flights to connect with Norwegian, but I assumed that there are still :). There is more to 2014 and easyJet may think it would be interesting to match the flights.

      I don't even think about other combinations. There would be too much head-to-head flying to Luton and then transfer to Gatwick. Long time spent with the transfer, costs, risk of losing luggage, losing the plane ... Better an AF-KLM with Paris / Amsterfam stop, a Lufthansa, TAP etc. I recommend that both flights be operated by the same carrier in order not to worry about baggage.

  2. Master RA says

    You were very economical, by the way! In my opinion, from experience, and especially from necessity (during flight the body becomes dehydrated), you need a lot more fluids (in 6-8 h), which are certainly not cheap. In NY, at the present time, in my opinion, the best connection is with TAP, it is also the most direct, and the conditions are ok.

    1. Sorin Rusi says

      I was economical because I wanted to show where the minimum rates start and that is not so low-cost. Inevitably, what we will experience in the future may cost more.

      And I'm preparing an article about low-cost :).

  3. Master RA says

    In my opinion, the low cost flight is, let's say ok, up to a maximum duration of 3-4 hours. The largest low-cost carrier, Air Asia, has had some attempts to fly from Asia to Europe and failed. I said, I don't see crossing the Himalayas, or the low cost ocean.

  4. Alex says

    Very good analysis, I would have said that where we take the apples we ran on pears and with many headaches in the middle. 🙂

    1. Sorin Rusi says

      Exact! I recommend low cost for short flights, when we want to travel without luggage etc. But when it comes to long flights, holidays, which involve other services, then I would recommend full-service companies. After all, we have to do calculations 🙂

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