I really don’t like the term applied to them really, cause the fact faced by most passengers is that its high cost if wanting to go on holiday for a week with them, and even Charter airlines have moved to the ‘low cost’ model where seats together and meals are optional extras.
The general public are blind sheep, they don’t know that other ‘real’ airlines exist. When I tell people what I’m doing after my degree, I end up saying ‘the German national airline’ as they haven’t heard of Lufthansa. Flying to Spain- Who are Iberia?
I much prefer travelling on ‘real’ airlines as I like to call them. I actually save money that way – for my Christmas snowboard trip I fly LX. Last year return for £80, this year return for £130. Free food, drink, no luggage charges, snowboard travels free and on the ARJ its 5 abreast seating. With U2 I’d have paid £110 this year, plus a card fee, luggage, snowboard and any food or drink I choose to have; I think the final U2 cost was about £180.
Marketing has a lot to do with it too. U2, FR and BE all put copious amounts of print & online ads out everywhere. The likes of BA, LX and OS appear to me to target their marketing. LH is a strange one, MAN has become a mini UK hub for them and there’s lots of advertising around the city, I think its proved effective as their numbers are up 20% here. With full service and £49 fares, they are appealing.