What is a LCC?

Last update:
2014-05-28

Wikipedia describes LCC as “A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts. To make up for revenue lost in decreased ticket prices, the airline may charge for extras like food, priority boarding, seat allocating, and baggage etc.” Some common principles for LCCs:

  • Flying Mostly middle- or short-haul flights (to cut down fuel costs ratio)
  • Simplified fleet (to reduce maintenance costs)
  • Land on smaller terminals/secondary airports, and at off-peak hours (to reduce airport landing fees)
  • Fly point to point, without transfers, and fly more in the air (to increase incomes)
  • Use airstairs instead of gates and jet bridges (to cut down airport facility fees)

There’re also less in-cabin services, to reduce costs and earn more:

  • Most planes have only full economy one-class layout, with high-density layout (to load more passengers)
  • No free foods/snacks/drinks, checked luggage, inflight entertainments (to reduce costs, and earn more)
  • Encourage passengers to check-in online, no seat selecting or imposes seat selecting charges (to reduce personnel costs, and earn more)

For ticketing, LCCs usually take use these ways to reduce costs:

  • Sell tickets on-line, no call centers or agents
  • Promotion at a really cheap price, even as low as $0. (Tax/Fees excluded)
  • No refund/reservation changes, or with expensive fees.
  • Control prices by separating seats into different price groups, from low to high with different amounts. When the tickets in cheaper groups are sold out, the price of tickets remaining will be increased.

What’s the Difference between LCC and Traditional (Full-fare) Carriers?

  LCC Traditional (Full-fare) Airlines
Ticketing Based on one-way tickets Based on round-trip tickets
Free luggage One hand-carry bag, or even none 1 or 2 hand-carry bag, 1 or 2 20 kg checked luggage
Seats No free selection, or extra charge Mostly free
Meals and inflight entertainments Paid Depends on availability, mostly free
Booking Directly via official websites From websites, agents, or call centers
Price comparing HelloWings Budget HelloWings or other flight scanners
Reservation change/Refund No, or with expensive fees Not for promotional tickets
Flight safety Must obey the same flight safety restrictions Must obey the same flight safety restrictions
Terminals/Airports Secondary Terminals/Airports that might be not the “famous” ones Major and tier-1 airports
Airlines Regional Global
Fares Possible to buy a ticket in a really low price, even as low as $0.(HelloWings Budget can help you to find and compare the ticket prices) Usually expensive than LCC
Cabin layout Full-economy 3 or 2 cabins
Transfer None, or only with same-carrier(HelloWings Budget provides you ticket searching and price comparing in different LCCs) Able to transfer with different airlines.