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