Pluses and minuses
Flown with everyone in the last three years (from BA to Thomsonfly) and things are becoming more difficult as the airlines become squeezed. Even BA is introducing maximum bag sizes for hold luggage from November.
Things I like about low cost flyers.
1. Normally, they are lower priced than the regulars and it's easier to arrange routes and fly into places near where you want to go and there are more departure options (eg Swiss were trying to charge me £1571 for a regular single from Zurich to Birmingham this summer - eh?!)
2. They try to leave and arrive on time and don't wait for late passengers. BA is so useless - it's always late.
3. You don't have to pay for stuff you don't want and you can always buy water/sandwiches on the ground first - BA only provide a drink and a small bag of snacks - hardly great service.
4. You can change the ticket for a small fee without having to pay for the outrageously expensive flexible ticket that the majors sell - regular £60, flexible £320.
5. You can avoid Heathrow - even with T5, still hate it. Still rubbish connections to anywhere but London and always late to leave.
But they are getting much more pernickity. You really have to check the small print, especially on baggage now.
* BMIbaby has a smaller check-in bag size and some European low cost have introduced a 6kg check-in bag maximum, presumably to increase the number of hold bags
* Ryanair has a 15kg maximum hold bag size, BMI it is 20kg. No aggregating - which isn't very good for a family - and the policy is not evenly applied, you might travel out with a heavier bag OK, but then get charged on the return. And it's extremely expensive for heavier bags. (By the way BA will do this too from Nov)
* Some airlines force you to go through check-in even where you have no bags
* On board prices are extreme (Easyjet is cheapest but still expensive)
* You have to unclick a lot of options they try to add - it's easy to miss that insurance option, particularly since it will probably be invalid if you already have other travel insurance.
If they do cancel flights they have to pay and there's a penalty charge they must pay (up to £250 per person). It's EU law. Naturally this is not widely advertised by them.