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What's the difference between low-cost and legacy airline carriers?

Summary: Low-cost airlines offer cheaper fares but with less included.

Low-cost or budget airlines:
  • The following services must usually be paid for in addition to your seat:
    • Checked baggage
    • Allocated seating
    • In-flight meals and refreshments
  • Examples of low-cost carriers include Ryanair, EasyJet and AirAsia.
Legacy carriers:
  • Usually offer higher comfort and include the above-mentioned services at no additional cost. 
  • Examples of Legacy carriers include British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa.

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