Fly to Europe for Practically Nothing on These Upstart Airlines

Something neat is happening across the Atlantic: Airfare is getting really competitive. If you've been dreaming of a trip to Europe, start planning. Getting there is a lot more possible than you think.

Discount European airlines have already begun making inroads in the United States, including in the Midwest. But as the Economist reports, low-cost airlines are starting to edge into territory previously occupied only by giants like Virgin Atlantic and Delta. That means fares are likely to drop across the board. One-way flights for under $70 are nothing to sneeze at, but legacy airliners can play that game too.

Of course, you get what you pay for when it comes to deep-discount airfare. Often these extremely cheap flights make up the difference by charging extra for things like checked baggage or meals. Legacy airliners do charge higher prices because they can deliver those services at scale. But the new kids on the block, airliners like Primera Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and WOW Air, have something else going for them: new stuff.

Most of the older airliners are also using older airplanes. The newer companies have invested in newer airplanes, which are more fuel-efficient, so you can fly across the ocean for a local flight's price. That said, if you're looking for a slightly more comfortable trip, legacy airliners have also launched their own low-cost, often millennial-focused lines, like British Airways' Level or Lufthansa's Eurowings. If you were waffling about whether to hop across the pond this year, a whole bunch of companies have made the decision a lot easier.