Low-cost carrier (LCC)

A low-cost carrier (LCC) is an airline that minimizes ticket prices at the expense of reducing operating expenses and offering fewer amenities to passengers. LCCs generate a lion’s share of their revenue from charging extra for ancillary services such as baggage, on-board catering, priority boarding, seat allocation, and so on.

Besides lower fares and less comfort, typical LCCs are different from full-service carriers (FSCs) in a number of ways:

  • use of secondary airports,
  • mainly regional flights,
  • single-class service,
  • no (or rare) connecting flights,
  • stronger focus on online sales,
  • bigger turnaround,
  • fewer comfort features such as reclining seats, spacious legroom, jetways, loyalty programs, and more.

The world’s biggest LCCs are Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, easyJet, JetBlue, and IndiGo Airlines.