Travelers Flying High On Discount Air Fares

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Summer is right around the corner, it’s a time when many people pack up and take off for vacation but did you know there are some folks who travel all year round at amazing discounts.

“It’s my favorite thing in life to do.  Basically, if I’m not working, I’m on a plane somewhere,” said avid traveler Mike Awad, after walking into Miami International Airport.

Awad is on the go so much that he’s on his fourth passport.

But he’s not paying big money to see the world.  He looks for the deals.  On this trip, he’s trying WOW, a new airline with non-stop service to Iceland.

“They had a promotional fare because they came to Miami about a week ago,” he said. “For 99 bucks you can get to Iceland, for $150 you can get to Europe by way of Iceland and I’m like, ‘I’ll take that!’”

Awad normally flies Norwegian Airlines from Fort Lauderdale. The discount carrier flies to 6 destinations in Europe non-stop from here.  It’s part of a growing number of discount airlines offering low cost service to Europe.

“I only end up paying, my average ticket each way has been like 250 bucks,” Awad said. “I think the most I ever paid was 3 and a quarter.”

Here are some examples if you want to go to London in October.

Full service airlines charge more than $700, but you get all the perks and comfort with the price.  If you don’t mind going bare bones, Norwegian Airlines can get you there for $487 and WOW can do it for $420.

If you’re just looking for some deals, WOW offers prices as low as $130 one-way to Iceland, $200 to Amsterdam and $220 to Berlin.

Norwegian Airlines offers non-stop one-way flights from Fort Lauderdale to Stockholm for $170, Barcelona for $189 and Paris for $175.

But there are a few catches to getting those dirt cheap fares.

“At some of these smaller airlines where you’re paying a discounted rate you may not be able to choose your seat,” said Ocean Drive Magazine Editor Jared Shapiro.  “You may not be able to bring a carry on, you may have to pay extra for your luggage, read the fine print. The reality is if you want to get there, this is cheaper. “

He also stressed, “Know before you go!”  If you get on a discount carrier expecting all the frills of the big airlines, you’ll be disappointed.

“Look, you may not get champagne on the flight, but once you get to Europe, the champagne is going to taste that much better,” he said.

Awad understands that well.  He knows if he checks a bag or brings a large carry on it will cost him. So he only takes a small backpack.

So how many trips has he taken?

“Too many to count on one or two hands,” he said. “I’m usually in Europe about 3 times a year and Asia once a year.  Based on the last 4 years because of the discount carriers.”

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