Low cost doesn’t mean cheap.
I always thought that it doesn’t matter which airline you use, as long as it’s affordable and brings you to your destination. That was before I became a frequent flyer. Now I do like a minimum of comfort and reasonable prices. Recently I tested the Austrian low cost airline NIKI.
First of all: Of course I was sceptic. I had made a really good deal online, so the trip I took to test NIKI was 151 Euros (about 170 USD) roundtrip, it took me from Vienna (in Austria. That’s in Europe.) to Malta (south of Sicily/Italy). The duration of the flight was a bit more than 2 hours, the aircraft an Airbus A320. The first thing I noticed when entering the aircraft was that the air hosts and hostesses were really classy dressed, smiling and friendly. They were talking to the passengers who were boarding, not to each other. If you think that should be a no-brainer – well. I know a good amount of airlines now and it seems not to be a given that the air hosts are paying attention to the passengers. So: big plus for you, NIKI.
The second thing I noticed was that the whole aircraft was super clean. I mean: super clean. No greasy headrests, no crumbs, no weird stuff in your front pocket. That shouldn’t happen anyway? Again: I agree. But I’ve paid more for short hauls and had it less clean. The stewards were in really nice and classy dresses, the girls not wearing masks of make-up. They made me think a bit of the times when flying wasn’t that common as it is now. So: That’s another one for NIKI.
Even though it was a short haul flight, we got some food. That’s a speciality of NIKI: you book your meal online up to 48 hours before the flight and then enjoy it served freshly to your seat. The variaty is quite good; I had the warm breakfast, which was some eggs with potatos, cold cut, ham, veggies and rolls. But if you please you may also order Schnitzel, italian antipasti, a sweet breakfast, chicken cesar salad, curry… and it’s not even expensive. You might think that’s where they get you, but actually they don’t. My breakfast tasted really good and came for like 14 Euros (about 16 USD). Reasonable pricing, especially if you keep in mind that a medium sized Americano comes for about 5 Euros (5,60 USD) at the airport.
During the whole flight the service was immaculate, the stewards and stewardesses were friendly, the head of the crew was a funny guy who joked around and made the flight a really special experience, even though there is not really in-flight entertainment. There were community screens showing the covered distance, general flight info and some comedy clips. Basically what every short-haul aircraft offers. Something I noticed in a positive way was that I could actually understand (hear!) what the pilot said through the intercom. Oh, and seating space – that’s important too: I’m not very tall, therefore I hardly ever have troubles with my legs during flights, but next to me on the other side of the aisle sat a humongous guy and even he seemed to be still fine after we arrived in Malta.
In short: I seriously recommend using NIKI if you get a chance to. I made it a habit to check their website for special offers as they sometimes have flights starting from 48 Euros (54 USD). I even saw a Vienna – Los Angeles flight for 459 Euros (519 USD). The airline is also a good choice if you want to go to Asia or Abu Dhabi for example, or even the Seychelles, thanks to code sharings. NIKI is going to be my future go-to for short hauls. For sure.
Information about destinations & booking: www.flyniki.com
The pictures used were provided by the NIKI media team.