As rail fares have continued to increase to eye-watering levels, this has tended to force more and more people into the skies above the United Kingdom. Although many people may think that the UK is only a small country, domestic air travel is still becoming increasingly popular. Also, don’t forget that there are several remote parts of the country and that Northern Ireland is not a part of Great Britain.
Air travel between cities such as Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Glasgow and Edinburgh, to London, really is big business and many millions of people rely on these services each year. Out of this competition has emerged a lucrative market with a number of domestic airlines all looking to fill their seats. This has led to some truly exceptional deals and domestic air travel can provide the perfect way of getting to other parts of the country in the shortest time.
All major airports across the UK will offer a good range of flights to other parts of the country and quite often there will be more than one airline on that route. This is always good news for the passenger as they reap the rewards of the tight competition.
This industry has certainly evolved over recent decades. Whereas only twenty years ago this network was primarily covered through British Airways, today the low-cost airlines have really found a niche for themselves and this really has forced prices down. As a consequence, British Airways has moved out of a number of UK airports and nowadays they only really have a major presence at the largest airports.
UK domestic travel is mainly quite a basic affair. This is the problem that comes from allowing so many low-cost airlines onto the scene. However, this love affair with such basic means of travel does seem to be showing some signs of coming to an end. There are many people who are not prepared to compromise on the service that they receive, even when this is just for a quick one hour flight. Also, the main flag carrier of the country and low-cost competition are actually starting to meet in the middle with their prices and people are tending to opt more and more for the traditional levels of service that far outweighs the ‘no frills’ operators.
Booking domestic airline travel is a very simple process. However, this will always work out best if you can gain access to the internet. Airlines are moving their procedures online more and more and this means that you really will lose out and pay more if you choose other methods of dealing with them.
When making the initial reservation, if you make the booking over the telephone, you can expect the airline to charge you as much as an extra £5.00 for each sector flown. Also, check-in facilities are being moved online at an astonishing pace nowadays and operators will make you pay a huge and arbitrary fee for going through this process at the airport. It does seem to be the case that if you are not able to use the internet, you are going to be penalised.
If you are travelling within the UK, you will still require an official form of identification. This is for security reasons and was introduced in the wake of the 9/11 disaster. Your best bet here will always be to take your passport with you - you can never go wrong then.
Finally, if you can travel with hand luggage alone, this will always work out as being the cheapest option for you. Many airlines charge you to take luggage in the hold (as much as £30.00 each way). Also, be weary of those unscrupulous low-cost airlines who will rip you off in making a booking even over the internet. It is not uncommon for a company to charge you an additional fee of £20.00 for using a debit card: yes that was ‘debit’ and not ‘credit’!