Chile’s Sky Airline emerges as discount airline with several innovations

By Kendall Thiele / The Santiago Times Staff

Sky Airlines, the second biggest airline in Chile, has in the last year transitioned from a semi low-cost model to a low-cost or discount airline.

What does this mean for consumers? Simply that the company has gone in the direction of cheaper fares rather than more services and comforts. Because it is a budget airline, you can expect to find cheap flights but forgo the extra touches such as a pillow and complementary snacks.

This transition coincides with a newly renovated website where users can find fares, check their flight status, manage flight details and even get assistance with the online 24-hour help desk.
More recently, the airline has invested close to $10 million USD in technology which includes the newly improved web page.

The most important change, however, is that passengers now need to come to the airport with a printed copy of their boarding pass and complete a web check in instead of going directly to the counter. Sure, the new website is more user friendly, but the real objective was to cut cost by having passengers book flights, print boarding passes, and check-in at home. This is becoming a common theme in budget airlines, such as Ryanair in Europe, that now charge passengers a fee for boarding pass printing, a service that used to be free.

The new and improved website gives customers the chance to see price fluctuations within the month presented in a graph. The homepage of the website also advertises the lowest fares to popular destinations but take note that these prices do not include taxes or any other additional fees.

Sky offers bargain domestic flights within Chile as well as international flights to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. As long as customers are aware of some of the hidden fees and plan accordingly, this airline is a good option for travelers looking to save money.

“The new way to fly,” claims the slogan for the airline. And this ‘new way’ comes with many benefits such as more options and the ability to compare fares quickly and easily, but also demands a little digging by the consumer as things are not always as they seem.