Pacific Southwest Airlines were the first to launch a low cost air service into the sky on the 6th of May 1949, and over the last fifty years various entrepreneurs have attempted to make the model work. One of the most famous figures in the airline revolution is Sir Freddie Laker who instigated the very first transatlantic low-cost flights with his 'Skytrain' service. Aviation legislation made it difficult for early low cost operators to succeed, often resulting in bankruptcy despite high demand for the service.
The deregulation of the airline industry in America and Europe reduced the barriers of entry for start-up airlines wishing to compete against the national carriers. The legislative changes implemented in the early nineties created an equally competitive basis for low cost carriers to compete from and have acted as a catalyst for the rapid expansion of the ever growing sector. The main beneficiary of the development has been the general public, who have enlarged horizons to aim for as a result of cheap travel to explore the wider world.
Increasingly people are beginning to evaluate their work-life balance and make positive changes to manage their personal satisfaction. This has been marked by a rise in part-time working in higher and more skilled roles. The combination of people valuing their spare time more highly and the reduction in the cost of air travel has seen more people then ever before going away for foreign breaks to venture towards new locations and enjoy new experiences.
So, if you'd like to soak up the basking sunshine of the Mediterranean, go skiing on the exhilarating slopes of the Alps or indulge in some shopping in the bustle of an Italian city, you can take you to your desired retreat; and regardless of the length of your trip you're sure to find a wide range of destinations to suit your budget.
If you take advantage of the availability of cheap flights and travel, it can be beneficial to use the same hotel chain continuously on overnight stays as you may be eligible for membership of a hotel loyalty program which will reward your repeat custom. These schemes were once the reserve of high-powered international businessmen and flight crews, but thanks to the lower cost of travel everyone can take advantage of a loyalty program as they can now afford to travel more regularly.
Further airline deregulation is opening the skies up further and the world will shortly see the launch of several low cost carriers operating between America and the UK, crossing the Atlantic 'pond' daily, – just like the early attempt by Sir Freddie Laker to do so in the 1970s. This time low cost operators are here to stay and international air travel has never been so accessible.