Looking for a good deal on an international flight? You may want to look beyond the major airlines and fly on one of these lesser-known airlines. Whether you’re interested in discounted flights, unique nonstop itineraries, or the option for stopovers along the way, make sure to consider these airlines when comparing options for your next international trip.

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Azores Airlines

Formerly known as SATA Internacional, Azores Airlines flies an all-Airbus fleet connecting the Azores islands with Europe and North America. Travelers flying between the two continents can add a stopover up to seven days when connecting in either Sao Miguel or Terceira. Azores Airlines has interline or codeshare agreements with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Porter Airlines, SATA Air Açores, Air France, TAP Air Portugal, and WestJet to expand booking options to more cities.

Where does Azores Airlines fly in the U.S. and Canada?

  • Boston (BOS) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) and Terceira (TER)
  • New York (JFK) to Ponta Delgada (PDL)
  • Toronto (YYZ) to Ponta Delgada (PDL) and Terceira (TER)

What is included in Azores Airlines’ fares?

Azores Airlines has a generous baggage policy compared to other airlines. The lowest “Discount” fares and the next level “Smart” fares both include a personal item, one carry-on bag up 8 kg, and one checked bag up to 23 kg. Advanced seat assignments require an extra fee, as do flight changes. The main difference between the different fare levels is the cost of the change/cancellation fees. All fares include meal service.

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Former JetBlue CEO David Neeleman started Azul Brazilian Airlines in 2008 and it has grown into one of the largest airlines in Latin America. Azul primarily flies an extensive domestic network within Brazil but it has international service to neighboring countries in South America as well as a few routes to Europe and the U.S. While Azul is not a member of any major airline alliance, it has partnered with several Star Alliance carriers such as United and Copa Airlines. It also has a codeshare agreement with its founder’s other creation, JetBlue. 

Where does Azul fly in the U.S.?

  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to São Paulo-Campinas (VCP)
  • Orlando (MCO) to São Paulo-Campinas (VCP)

*Azul also shows routes from Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando to Recife, Ft. Lauderdale to Belem, and Orlando to Belo Horizonte on its route map. However, these routes have not been added back to the booking schedule since being suspended during the pandemic.

What is included in Azul’s fares?

All Azul fares include meals, drinks, and hand luggage up to 10 kg. The lowest “Economy Azul” fares do not include any checked bags or advanced seat assignments and have higher change/cancellation fees than other fare levels.

Cayman Airways

Row of Cayman Airways planes on tarmac
Cayman Airways

If you’re looking for a Caribbean getaway, you can start enjoying the spirit on the way by flying the flag carrier of the Cayman Islands. Cayman Airways’ slogan is “Those who fly us, love us” which might be partly due to the free rum punch onboard. Cayman Airways doesn’t have any airline partners, but you’ll be able to connect in Grand Cayman to Little Cayman or Cayman Brac, and can continue your Caribbean vacation with service to Cuba, Jamaica, and Honduras.

Where does Cayman Airways fly in the U.S.?

  • Denver (DEN) to Grand Cayman (GCM)
  • Miami (MIA) to Grand Cayman (GCM)
  • New York (JFK) to Grand Cayman (GCM)
  • Tampa (TPA) to Grand Cayman (GCM)

What is included in Cayman Airways’ fares?

Cayman Airways has lower checked bag fees than its competitors with a first checked bag charge of $20-25 and it’s also more generous by allowing up to 55 lbs. before charging overweight fees. Carry-on bags and free advanced seat assignments are included with the “Economy Low” and higher fare categories, but there is a fee for flight changes.

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Formerly a part of the now defunct Thomas Cook Group, German leisure carrier Condor continues to fly several long-haul nonstop flights between North America and Frankfurt, usually on a seasonal basis. Travelers can also connect to other leisure destinations around Europe, Africa, and Asia. It has a few unique partnerships including Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Sun Country, and WestJet to allow for even more connectivity.

Where does Condor fly in the U.S. and Canada?

  • Baltimore (BWI) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Las Vegas (LAS) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Minneapolis (MSP) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Phoenix (PHX) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Portland (PDX) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Calgary (YYC) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Halifax (YHZ) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Toronto (YYZ) to Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Vancouver (YVR) to Frankfurt (FRA)

What is included in Condor’s fares?

Condor’s lowest “Economy Light” fares are very restrictive. This type of fare only includes a small personal item that fits under your seat. Extra fees apply for an 8 kg carry-on bag, checked bags, and also if you want to check in at the airport. If you want to bring a carry-on bag, it’s usually cheaper to upgrade to a standard “Economy Classic” fare, which also includes a checked bag. Expect to pay extra for seat assignments and flight changes.

Flair Airlines

One of Canada’s newest ultra-low-cost carriers, Flair Airlines, has expanded considerably recently. It’s making a big push in the transborder U.S. market in 2022 by adding several new routes. The fares are hard to beat but you’ll want to be aware of its many extra fees. Still, by flying into major Canadian airports, it can be more convenient to fly Flair Airlines than Canada’s other ULCC, Swoop.

Where does Flair Airlines fly in the U.S.?

  • Burbank (BUR) to Edmonton (YEG) and Vancouver (YVR)
  • Denver (DEN) to Toronto (YYZ)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Toronto (YYZ)
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Montreal (YUL), Ottawa (YOW), Toronto (YYZ), and Waterloo (YKF)
  • Las Vegas (LAS) to Abbotsford (YXX), Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG), Toronto (YYZ), and Vancouver (YVR)
  • Nashville (BNA) to Edmonton (YEG) and Toronto (YYZ)
  • New York (JFK) to Toronto (YYZ)
  • Orlando-Sanford (SFB) to Halifax (YHZ), Montreal (YUL), Ottawa (YOW), Toronto (YYZ), and Waterloo (YKF)
  • Phoenix-Mesa (AZA) to Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG), Toronto (YYZ), and Vancouver (YVR)
  • Palm Springs (PSP) to Edmonton (YEG), Toronto (YYZ), and Vancouver (YVR)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Edmonton (YEG) and Vancouver (YVR)

What is included in Flair Airlines’ fares?

Base fares on Flair Airlines are very bare bones. Only a small personal item is included. You’ll need to pay extra for a carry-on bag, checked bags, and seat selection. The airline also sells bundles if you’d like multiple extras for a slight discount. View a full list of fees on the Flair Airlines website.

French Bee

French bee plane mid-flight
French Bee

French Bee is a low-cost airline flying long-haul routes between select U.S. cities and both Paris and French Polynesia with new Airbus A350 aircraft. The airline often has one-way fares to Europe for under $200 and has helped bring down prices to Tahiti considerably. It has a unique partnership with Alaska Airlines for more connectivity along the West Coast.

Where does French Bee fly in the U.S.?

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris-Orly (ORY)
  • Newark (EWR) to Paris-Orly (ORY)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Paris-Orly (ORY) and Papeete, Tahiti (PPT)

What is included in French Bee’s fares?

Typical with low-cost airlines, French Bee’s “Basic” fare only includes hand baggage (personal item + carry-on). Checked bags, meals, and advanced seat selection require extra fees. Due to Covid, all fares include free changes though this may change in the future and a possible fare difference may always apply. 

Related: Six Things to Know About Flying French Bee

La Compagnie

Another French airline that may not be on your radar is the all-business class carrier La Compagnie. The airline provides a boutique experience with lie-flat seats and luxury amenities for the entire cabin at prices that are usually considerably less than similar seats on other airlines.

Where does La Compagnie fly in the U.S.?

  • Newark (EWR) to Paris-Orly (ORY), Nice (NCE), and Milan (MXP)

What is included in La Compagnie’s fares?

As is standard with Business Class travel, La Compagnie’s fares include everything you’d expect from two checked bags to advanced seat assignments and meals onboard. The lowest fares also include free flight changes.


The tail and wing of Level airplane

Owned by parent company IAG (British Airways and Iberia), Level is a low-cost subsidiary operating long-haul nonstop flights between Barcelona and the U.S., Caribbean, and South America. It began flying in 2017 and offers incredibly low fares across the Atlantic. Level recently partnered with another Spanish low-cost carrier, Vueling, to provide connections throughout Europe.

Where does Level fly in the U.S.?

  • Boston (BOS) to Barcelona (BCN)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Barcelona (BCN)
  • New York (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Barcelona (BCN)

What is included in Level’s fares?

The lowest level “Light” fare includes a standard-sized carry-on bag up to 10 kg plus a personal item. Checked bags, seat selection, food and drink onboard, and ticket changes all require extra fees. For a complete look at Level’s fare options, go to its website.


Based in Milan, Neos is an Italian airline that flies to several leisure destinations throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. The airline has an all-Boeing fleet and uses the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for its long-haul flights. After operating transatlantic charter flights for several years, it finally began scheduled service to the U.S. in 2021.

Where does Neos fly in the U.S.?

  • New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP)

What is included in Neos fares?

The lowest “Economy Promo” fares include standard carry-on baggage up to 8 kg plus a personal item, standard seat selection in the back of the plane, and meals. Checked baggage requires an extra fee and date changes are not allowed. The next level “Economy Relax” fare includes one checked bag and allows date changes without a fee.

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The new Icelandic low-cost carrier Play is looking to take off with what WOW Air left behind when it ceased operations in 2019. Play began flying between Iceland and the U.K. in the summer of 2021 and has plans to expand service across the Atlantic with new service to the U.S. in 2022. Once again, travelers between the U.S. and Europe will be able to enjoy ultra-low-cost fares with the chance to stopover in Iceland on the way.

Where does Play fly in the U.S.?

  • Baltimore (BWI) to Reykjavik (KEF)
  • Boston (BOS) to Reykjavik (KEF)

What is included in Play’s fares?

The base price on Play only includes a small personal item that fits under your seat. You’ll need to pay extra for carry-on bags, checked bags, seat selection, meals, etc. For a full list of optional fees, check out the airline’s website.


Rendering of VivaAerobus plane mid-flight

While many U.S. airlines offer service to Mexico’s most famous beach resorts such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, you may want to check out some of the destinations available by flying on one of Mexico’s low-cost airlines. You may have heard of Volaris, which flies from several U.S. gateways, but the other major Mexican ULCC, VivaAerobus, has been expanding its route network from select U.S. cities with extremely cheap flights south of the border.

Where does VivaAerobus fly in the U.S.?

  • Chicago (ORD) to Guadalajara (GDL), Leon (BJX), Mexico City (MEX), Monterrey (MTY), Morelia (MLM), and Zacatecas (ZCL)
  • Dallas (DFW) to Mexico City (MEX) and Monterrey (MTY)
  • Cincinnati (CVG) to Cancun (CUN)
  • Harlingen (HRL) to Monterrey (MTY)
  • Houston (IAH) to Guadalajara (GDL), Leon (BJX), Mexico City (MEX), and Monterrey (MTY)
  • Las Vegas (LAS) to Mexico City (MEX) and Monterrey (MTY)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Guadalajara (GDL), Mexico City (MEX), and Monterrey (MTY)
  • New York (JFK) to Mexico City (MEX)
  • San Antonio (SAT) to Leon (BJX), Mexico City (MEX), and Monterrey (MTY)

What is included in VivaAerobus’ fares?

VivaAerobus’ lowest “Zero Fare” is the most basic option which only includes one small personal item that fits under your seat. Everything else is extra. It’s usually very minimal to upgrade to the next level “Light” fare which includes a normal-sized carry-on bag up to 22 lbs. and free itinerary changes. For a complete look at fare options and extra fees, check out the VivaAerobus website. 

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ZIPAIR Tokyo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines flying low-cost flights between Japan and select cities in the U.S. and Asia. While the pandemic disrupted its launch plans, ZIPAIR Tokyo began flying in 2020 initially as a cargo airline and has since started flying passengers on its limited route network. The airline offers a unique no-frills service that includes both economy seating and lie-flat business class seats.

Where does ZIPAIR Tokyo fly in the U.S.?

  • Honolulu (HNL) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

What is included in ZIPAIR Tokyo’s fares?

The initial fare only includes up to 7 kg of hand luggage whether you choose standard seating or full-flat seating. You can either add extras such as extra carry-on baggage, checked bags, seat selection, meals, etc. a la carte or choose from bundle packages.

Note: Routes listed were correct at time of publication and are subject to change. Some routes may only be operated on a seasonal basis and/or are only scheduled a few days per week.

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