Low cost airfares in Europe have made air travel there relatively affordable, even after a TransAtlantic flight. The United States was slow to catch on, but Skybus Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, Jet Blue, and Air Tran have thrown the country into the low cost market and air fares are dropping dramatically everywhere.

Skybus Airlines – Based in Columbus, Ohio, Skybus Airlines is a no frill airline based on Ireland’s Ryanair has turned many heads in the American airline industry. Priority seating is extra, as is food, drinks, and checked luggage. Skybus Airlines offers 10 $10 seats on every flight. Skybus destinations are often smaller or regional airports not far from major cities such as San Diego, Oakland, Bellingham (Washington), Saint Augustine, Ft. Lauderdale, Kansas City, and several others. At present, Skybus Airlines offers no connecting flights without stopovers in Columbus and has tentatively planned to begin international flights to Nassau, Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico upon approval.

Spirit Airlines – Based in, Spirit Airlines has recently reorganized to offer low fares. Luggage and food are now a charge on Spirit Airlines. The low cost airline offers the lowest fares to many Latin American destinations such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Peru, and El Salvador with roundtrip fares without taxes going for as little as $1.

Southwest Airlines – Based in Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines is the most profitable US airline and the second largest airline measured by the number of passengers served in the world. Southwest Airlines has posted profits in 34 consecutive years. Short flights, basic service, a laid back atmosphere, and simple fare structures have made the low cost airline favored by many US travelers. Southwest Airlines currently flies to 64 domestic destinations in the United States, covering many of the country’s secondary airports and several of the largest ones such as LAX, Phoenix, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.

AirTran Airlines – Low cost airline Air Tran, formerly a part of ValuJet, is based in Orlando with its main hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Air Tran offers more than 700 daily flights in the Midwest and east coast. Air Tran offers flights to many regional airports such as AkronandPortland, as well as to Atlanta, New York’s JFK, Tampa, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Air Tran also offer international flights to Nassau, Bahamas.

Jet Blue – Jet Blue is the hip low cost air airline with a hub at JFK airport in New York City. Jet Blue offers the best entertainment options of any US airline such as XM satellite radio, 35 channels of DirectTV, and 20th Century Fox movies from every seat. Jet blue also serves international destinations such as Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

There are several other low cost airlines in the United States such as ATA and Frontier Airlines.