There is a broad range of airline options from traditional carriers, low-cost carriers, and ultra-low-cost carriers. It’s like a shopping mall with high end options and more economical choices to meet the different desires and needs of air travelers.
So, what’s the difference?
How many different airlines have you flown? Here are the airlines that fly out of CVG Airport in three easy categories:
All of them safely get you from point A to point B. And, how lucky for the Cincinnati region to have all these airlines fly out of the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport! Travelers from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond can take advantage of these options!
However, there are some major differences you should know about before you book your next trip.
First, let’s talk about the full-service players at CVG – which includes traditional and value/low-cost.
There is currently a great mix of carriers in operation in the US and Canada. Hawaiian Airlines is one of them, but it doesn’t fly out of CVG yet, but believe me – I’ve put my vote in the suggestion box!
These full-service airlines offer many routes, both domestic and international.
In general, most full-service airlines (traditional and value/low-cost) offer some pretty nice benefits:
Flight changes – If your flight is cancelled due to weather or equipment issues, these carriers often can rebook or revise your travel plans quickly or route you through another city to get you to your destination shortly after your original arrival time. This happened to us on a flight from CVG to London.
But what about those other airlines? You know, the ones we get fun emails from promising $29 flights to Florida. I’m often asked, “what’s the catch?” from new travelers.
They are what’s known as “ultra-low-cost carriers,” and they can be an amazing way to save money on your next trip.
Ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) at CVG include:
Overall, the common theme is in their name – these airlines save money on their operations and pass the savings onto the customer.
But there are some notable differences you should be aware of:
So… which is better?
There’s no right or wrong choice. We’ve flown with almost every full-service carrier – both traditional and low cost, as well as the ultra-low-cost carriers in the US and some fun ones abroad. (“Wizz Air” is my favorite name for an airline, and Ryanair straight up sells lottery tickets on-board!)
We aren’t fancy, keep our expectations in check, and generally enjoy most every flight we take regardless of which airline we’re on. Know what you are getting when you book!
Ultra-low-cost carriers often provide convenient nonstop travel options that full-service carriers may not. Traditional carriers focus on frequency of schedule options to their hubs to provide connecting opportunities. Low-cost and ultra-low-cost carriers focus on origin and destination nonstop flight options. In 2021, low-cost carriers Allegiant, Frontier and Southwest offered nonstop flights from CVG to a combined 12 popular leisure destinations that major carriers only offered on a connecting basis.
Here are my top recommendations on what to choose depending on your type of trip:
Let me know where you’re heading next. I love seeing your travel photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can reach me @JayKruzOfficial.
Get out and see the world. Just pack a smile, and every flight can be a great one!