Cheap Flights UK

A time-lapse photo of 3,000 flight trails over London, England in 2015

A time-lapse photo of 3, 000 flight trails over London, England in 2015. Photo by Business Insider.

Finding cheap flights in UK

To find cheap flight tickets for British travellers we have listed reliable, fast and low-cost online agencies who broker for hundreds of airlines, as well as a couple of particularly good, low cost airlines. These agents also frequently offer car rentals, hotels, package holidays and even cruises in some cases.

News about the UK’s cheapest airline, Ryanair:
In August Ryanair was criticised for its expensive in-flight food and drink. It was slated for issuing retrospective charges in September. It was also taken to task over the value of its prepaid currency card.
In November it was criticised for introducing a new two per cent charge on purchases made using a credit card.
Later that month it was named, along with easyJet, as the worst airline for legroom.
Ryanair also faced criticism from pilots’ unions for pressurising crew to make decisions based on ‘factors other than safety’ after two aircraft bound for Madrid were forced to make an emergency landing in Valencia after they drew near to their minimum level of fuel.
And Which? readers voted it Europe’s worst short-haul airline.

Some cheap flights UK providers

Air travel information sites (seat pitch, baggage delivery, flight tracking etc)

Skyscanner – a fast way to check hundreds of budget, scheduled and charter airlines for low cost deals to travel anywhere, including a by month date search that shows when flights are cheapest. The site is intelligent and well organised. Best site in 2012.

Kayak – a clear, fast and efficient listing of cheap airfares, flights for multi-city trips, flights from multiple departure and arrival airports and easily change flight times. Prices includes taxes and fees and there’s even a ‘ Buzz’ tool if you’re looking for destination inspiration! Best site in 2012.

Travel supermarket – Cheap flights and price comparisons from most popular airlines and travel agents, as well as prices of travel insurance, car hire, hotels and entire holidays. However, when they have technical issues that may result in unsuitable or incorrect quotes they choose NOT to warn users of glitches in the system.

Low Fare Flights – Comparing flight prices of the cheapest airfares to and from the UK around Europe.

Cheap Flights – a reliable and long-standing price comparison site for flights originally serving the UK but now offering airline tickets globally.

Dohop a simple quick flight/hotel/car hire comparison site including major airlines, prices and worldwide destinations including trips that start from non-UK ports.

Expedia – convenient for multi-bookings but slow and a little old fashioned.

ebookers – leading UK based agency representing over two hundred airlines

Fly Low Cost Airlines – European low-cost airlines’ flights search engine.

Low Cost Airline Guide – looking a bit tired now but LCAG combines route information from many European budget airlines into one convenient location. You can quickly determine which airline flies on your desired route and then book your cheap flight direct with the airline.

Travelocity – the largest online booking agency but somewhat cumbersome and rarely the cheapest.

easyJet – probably Europe’s most popular low-cost airline, with a fine online booking engine though staff are not incredibly well trained, all food and drinks on the plane need to be paid for, seat pitch is short and in flight sales pitch is long.

Ryanair – famous for offering incredibly cheap flights from UK and Ireland around Europe but equally famous for flying to distant and inconvenient airports, offering a truly sh** service, charging for just about everything possible in flight and having a constant barrage of commercials broadcast during the flight.

Some other useful air travel related sites

Seatguru – lists graphic seating plans of most of the world’s major airlines so you can choose the best seat available to you when checking in online.

Skytrax – 300, 000 airline and airport reviews and a seat pitch guide (especially useful for long-haul flights).

Flightstats – loaded with all kinds of airline related information from travel warnings, current flight status tracking, weather conditions, security wait times and whinge forums.

Flymycase – a courier delivery service that delivers your luggage from your home to your destination address so you don’t have to carry it to and from the airport or worry about it ending up in Helsinki when you’re in Tokyo (especially useful if you’re flying BA! )

Flight problems?

London airports UK Border queues

How to reduce the possibility of a long wait at immigration

• Don’t fly to Heathrow, especially Terminal 5, though Stanstead airport also suffers long queues. Gatwick is the other major London airport, has good train services into central London and has less of a waiting-in-line problem.

• Aim to arrive during regular working hours, in other words 9am-6pm. Late flights are cheaper and consequently busier but the majority of UK Borders staff will be home in front of the TV having a beer at that point. Though, to be fair, some management are always at home. It’s part of their job description.

• get a seat near the front of the plane, even if you have to pay a small premium and hurry off on arrival!

• travel only with hand luggage if possible as the baggage carousels are also in chaos since passengers cannot collect their baggage on time!

• Get a biometric passport, although the scanners still have reliability issues so the new passport may not help.

• There is a new plan to form a separate queue for travellers from outside Europe who do not require a visa, meaning shorter queuing times for US, Canadian, Japanese and some South American nationals.

The longest queuing times will be confined to those who need a visa to come to Britain, including Indian, Pakistani, and Jamaican citizens.