You've probably heard the buzz about RyanAir. Europe's biggest low-cost airline routinely offers flights with fares as low as $0.01, has an a la carte fee structure for everything from sodas to checked baggage, and puts advertising on just about every surface of its planes.
Skybus, America's newest airline, is looking to emulate that model -- and cash-in on the enviable 30% profit margin that it's yielded. The Columbus, Ohio-based airline offers flights starting at $10 each way.
The secret? Like RyanAir, Skybus flies to smaller, less-used airports rather than the major international airports favored by most airlines. Going to Boston? Skybus can get you to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Seattle? Your flight lands in Bellingham.
On July 16, the airline is adding three new destinations: Daytona Beach (St. Augustine), Hartford (Chicopee), and San Diego (which actually is San Diego International Airport).
It's not a solution for everyone. For one thing, no matter where you're going, every Skybus flight goes to and from the carrier's main hub in Columbus, Ohio. But the price of a bus ticket from one of these outlying airports to the local metropolitan area is often a lot cheaper than buying a ticket with a larger carrier.
Do the math and it may save you a lot to give Skybus a try.