Throughout the world, new low-cost airlines are snarfing up long-distance routes that were formerly dominated by the majors. Norwegian carrier Feel Air, for example, will take a swipe at SAS and others with service between Oslo and Stockholm and JFK Airport in New York next year. (Their motto says it all: "Long distance, low cost - FEELgood flying.") Iceland Express, meanwhile, will begin service between Newark and Reykjavik with connections to cities across Western Europe, putting pressure on larger rival Iceland Air to slash prices on similar routes. And tiny airlines across Asia have already jumped into the long-distance game, with carriers like Air Asia X linking major cities and continents with bare bones flights for a song.
Where this all ends I have no idea. Some posit that once the economy bounces back, business travelers will be more willing to shell out big bucks for the higher level of service of the majors. But the rest of us will quickly become addicted to the cheap flights, suffering the indignities associated with them in exchange for savings that border on the ridiculous. After all, a flight in a jet airplane is still an amazing thing. Should it really only cost ten bucks?