I recently went on a budget trip to Perth on Jetstar. I was glad that all the horror stories I've heard and read regarding budget airlines did not happen during my flight.
Since carriers charge really low nowadays, more people can afford to fly. I therefore compile a list of things that can be useful if you want to travel on a budget.
I have not tried the rest of the budget airlines but since Jetstar left a good impression on me and I will definitely fly with them again, the following are based on a Jetstar flight.
It is always cheaper online and book months earlier. Booking nearer to flight dates always equals expensive fares.
Choose a night flight. This allows you to sleep especially for long journeys which means you save on meals and/or entertainment on the plane too. Also, reaching your destination early in the day means you save on a day's accommodation the night before and have time to explore your destination before you check in to your accomodation.
A JetSaver Lite fare allows a maximum of 10kg carry on baggage. If you travel in pairs and need a total of >20kg but <40kg of baggage allowance, then get the JetSaver plan at an additional $20 for only one of you. This adds another 20kg to your allowance and you can have the option to check it in. To do this, book two tickets separately. To ensure that both of you get side by side seats, open up two browsers and book each ticket simultaneously.
Jetstar flies the Airbus 320 where all seats are similar. Avoid seats 29D-29F because the back of the seats is the toilet wall which means you cannot recline the seats like the rest. Although the other seats can recline only one step, it is still better than nothing. Also, the baggage compartment above seats in the row 28 and above are taken up by the crew and their equipments so if you like easy access to your baggage along the way, take this into consideration.
Jetstar has an in-flight portable entertainment unit that cost AUD10.
This is really worth the money for a long trip. It comes with a stereo earpiece which you can share with another person. Flight can be noisy so the volume might not be enough even at full blast if you share. So get a stereo jack splitter and bring your own additional earpiece so that both of you can have full stereo audio with less noise.
You can pre-pay your meals and enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, such as water, juices, soft drinks, tea and coffee during your international flight. Select the FEED ME option for $25-$30 each way for just one of you if needed. Share your meals with your partner.