Is Breeze Airways Good? Honest Review + Experiences (2024)

Are ultra low cost airlines ever really worth it? Sometimes, yes. It’s hard to argue with roundtrip tickets for two under $150.

That is, if they can actually deliver you on time to your destination without losing your luggage or breaking your legs just to fit in the seats.

We’ve all heard the horror stories from a certain yellow low cost airline, but you can’t assume all low cost carriers are the same. So, is Breeze Airways good?

We tested it for you, and we can confidently say they’re worth it!

We’ve flown on Breeze several times in 2023 and tested out several different options to get a comprehensive picture of what it’s like to fly on Breeze Airways.

Let’s look at all the features, booking options, and the flight experience and help you decide if Breeze Airways is good enough for you, too.


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Quick Summary: Is Breeze Airways Worth It?

Yes, in our experience, flying on Breeze Airways is worth it.

  • Great price!
  • Comfortable seats with leg room
  • On-time (but we had decent weather each time)
  • No luggage issues (tried both carry-on and checked)
  • No customer service issues

With the right expectations, Breeze is an affordable way to travel more in the eastern US and parts of the Southwest. Plus, their network keeps growing to new destinations each year.

A blue Breeze Airways plane at the gate in Charleston, SC

Now, this isn’t one of the major full-service airlines, so don’t expect all the bells and whistles yet.

Things we didn’t like:

  • Temperamental, basic mobile app (but we’ve seen improvements already)
  • Limited drinks included (water/coffee)
  • Snacks and other drinks available for a fee
  • No in-flight entertainment or wifi (Wifi is now available as of February 2024!)

Low cost carriers often make you jump through lots of á la carte pricing hoops. That’s how they keep fares so low, but it feels like getting nickeled and dimed to death.

Breeze, though, still has fare tiers that bundle some amenities together.

So while you can book a cheap base Nice fare and add on á la carte baggage or snacks, you could also book a Nicer or Nicest tier fare instead and get some features included without the extra clicks.

The included base amenities are few and far between, but that’s how you get the cheap fare for those that don’t need or want to pay for amenities they won’t use.

While it’s #firstworldproblems annoying to have to buy a snack or soda before we get on the airplane, it’s absolutely worth the $300 we saved booking Breeze instead of a full-service carrier that includes a snack and drink.

We will fly Breeze again, for sure!

Is Breeze Legit? (No, You’re Not a Guinea Pig.)

New airlines are one of those things that people don’t want to be the first to try. Nobody wants to be the guinea pig.

We get it. We also prefer reading reviews and then choosing.

But we had several trips planned this year where the Breeze Airways fare was considerably cheaper than taking one of the bigger airlines, and was a direct flight!

So, we looked into them and decided to try it.

A printed boarding pass for a Breeze flight
My ticket (edited) from our August 2023 Breeze flight

Breeze Airways is a new low-cost airline, established in 2018 and launched its first flight in 2021.

It’s geared towards underserved markets, usually smaller airports that would require a layover or two at a hub city if you were to fly on a bigger airline.

I love that they connect smaller airports, because if you’ve ever tried to fly to a smaller airport, you know how aggravating and expensive it can be to get there via one of the major airlines.

Breeze uses smaller planes, too, which, in our opinion, is great!

All the smaller Embraer planes are 2-and-2 seating. No middle seats! Even the larger Airbus planes are 2-and-3 seating in economy, so only one side has middle seats.

These planes get the same attention and maintenance as any other airline. They’re not better or worse. The FAA holds them all to the same standards. 

Breeze Airways Features

Let’s look at some specifics. The real info you want is in the details:

  • Where does Breeze fly?
  • Is the price fair, or do you pay for what you get?
  • Are you packed like sardines into the seats?
  • Do you have to pay extra for carry-on and checked bags?
  • Are there snacks?
  • Seat back screens or no?
  • How’s the staff?

We’ve flown with Breeze in 3 different states and have tried out almost all of their amenities and upgrades at this point.

We’re able to compare and contrast and provide helpful tips so you can decide if flying Breeze is the right move for you on your next getaway!

Let’s start with routes.

Where Breeze Flies

Breeze Airways specifically serves smaller airports so it can compete with the bigger airlines.

If you want to fly Atlanta to Boston, Breeze isn’t for you.

But if you want to fly Charleston to Providence (hint: we have!) then Breeze is a great option.

That doesn’t mean they don’t fly to any big cities. Breeze flies to Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Orlando, New Orleans, and more.

But its bread and butter are smaller but popular spots: Charleston, SC; Fort Meyers, FL; Provo, UT; Syracuse, NY; Norfolk, VA, etc.

Check out the Breeze website, scroll down on that first page, and you’ll see a map of the Breeze network.

Hover over a city name, and you’ll see where you can fly to from that airport.

Most of their flights are direct, but they don’t have as many flights per day as major airlines.

Direct flights save so much time but usually cost an arm and a leg compared to a flight with a layover. That’s not the case with Breeze, in our experience.

You won’t have as many times to choose from but you’ll get to your destination with less hassle.

The wing of a Breeze Airways plane as it takes off from Charleston International Airport

What About Delays or Cancellations?

Yes, that’s a risk with any airline, but I like how easy it is to address this quickly yourself in the app if something comes up.

First, it’s important to know that ALL Breeze flights are non-refundable, with the exception of the 24hr rule and if they have to cancel a flight.

Second, for any Breeze flight,you are able to cancel or modify your reservation up to 15 minutes before scheduled departure for flight credits, which have to be used within 2 years.

If something comes up and you have to cancel, it’s simple to do in the app or on their website.

If Breeze has to cancel, get in line with the gate agent with everyone else, just in case, but then get into the app and find your own flight. Options will fill up fast if they’re rescheduling an entire plane.

You can pick a new flight any time in the next 14 days for no additional cost.

If none of those work, you can request a refund from Breeze instead and book elsewhere.

Just be careful if you’re requesting a refund in the app that you don’t use the ‘cancel and credit booking’ button. That gives you flight credit, not a cash refund.

Cost

Breeze has three pricing tiers (Nice, Nicer, and Nicest) which are equivalent to basic economy, economy plus, and first class.

They keep costs down by allowing customers to choose the amenities they want to pay for.

When you’re booking, it can feel like you’re getting nickeled and dimed to death, adding $20 here and $10 there.

But do the math (we’ll have examples in a minute), and you’ll find that you’re still getting a better deal than if you’d booked through a major carrier.

Two Nicer fare seats on a Breeze Airways flight
Nicer tier seats

The Nice tier is like basic economy on other airlines. You get nothing but a seat, and you don’t even get to choose that.

Picking a seat, adding a soda, or bringing a carry-on bag are all upcharges at this pricing tier.

The Nicer tier is like economy plus on other airlines. You get a seat that you choose, a carry-on bag, and a checked bag.

You’ll still have to add on a snack or soda, but the big expenses are included.

The Nicest tier is Breeze’s version of first class. They call it Ascent.

You’ll choose a seat in the first few rows with the most leg room on the plane, get a carry-on bag and checked bag included, and, finally, a snack and non-alcoholic beverage is included, too.

Our Recommendations:

We’ve found that if you only need a seat and a carry-on bag, then it’s usually more cost effective to buy a Nice fare and add seat selection and the bag as an upcharge.

But that’s not always the case. If the fare difference between Nice and Nicer is $50 or less, go with the Nicer fare.

If you need a checked bag, take the Nicer fare and get a better seat.

We haven’t tried the Nicest (first class) fare yet because we don’t see the need, to be honest.

Extra leg room on a Breeze Airways flight
All that leg room in a Nicer seat rather than a Nicest seat

The seats are better on some planes (we’ll discuss that next), and you get a snack and drink, but that’s not worth the added cost.

The Nicer fare seats have plenty of leg room, start in the 6th row on most planes, and cost less. Bring a snack and save some money.

Seats Types, Leg Room, and Cushions

>> Seat Types

Breeze Airways is low cost so don’t expect the world’s comfiest plane seats. You’ll find pretty basic seats in all classes, depending on the plane.

Ascent rows, the first class seats on Breeze Airways planes
Ascent seats are more separated but don’t look like better cushions.

Some planes are nicer than others. Usually, the further you have to fly or the more popular the route, the nicer the plane’s seats.

We’ve flown from South Carolina to Rhode Island in barebones seats. We’ve also flown from South Carolina to Florida in seats with adjustable head rests and squishier cushions.

On some planes, the only distinguishing feature between seat classes is the colored stripe on the seats. Yellow for Nice (economy), Red for Nicer (economy plus), and the separated seats typical of first class.

  • If you choose a Nice tier ticket and want to choose your seats, it’s an additional charge to do so.
  • If you choose a Nicer tier ticket, choosing your seat is included, but choosing a seat in an exit row, for example, will incur a small upcharge.
  • If you choose a Nicest tier ticket, you’ll choose a first class seat in the first few rows of the plane.

As we mentioned a minute ago, we don’t actually think the first class seats are better than the Nicer tier seats.

On the bigger planes, they are bigger/more separated from their neighbors, but the cushions look the same. If that changes as they upgrade their fleet, we’ll update this.

>> Leg Room

Leg room in economy was decent. My 6’-2” husband fit his knees in just fine with no painful squishing against the back of the seat in front of him.

Comparing knee room in the Nice (Base Economy) fare on a Breeze Airways flight
Looks tight, but he had a couple of inches of room

That being said, they’re still economy seats so there’s not tons of room, just a couple inches of space.

If you prefer a roomier fit, you can pay to upgrade to a seat with extra legroom.

The extra legroom seats are night and day difference! There really is a LOT of legroom in the extra legroom seats.

The extra leg room available in the first row of Nicer fare seats on a Breeze flight
The best row for leg room for the price: right behind first class!

We book Nicer fares almost every time now because of the legroom and included luggage.

>> Cushions

There’s not much cushioning to speak of in these seats. We wouldn’t call them uncomfortable, but they’re also not cushy enough to fall asleep in, in our opinion.

If you’re tall, watch out for the extra head rest cushions. On the flights with basic seats (Embraer planes), we had no problems.

An extra headrest cushion extended during a flight for the comfort of taller passengers on a Breeze flight
Headrest up during flight (comfortable)
An extra headrest cushion stowed for takeoff but uncomfortably in the shoulder blades of taller passengers on a Breeze flight
Headrest stowed for takeoff/landing (uncomfortable)

On the Airbus planes, though, the neck cushion was in Mr. Means to Explore’s shoulder blades during takeoff and landing.

Good to Know: For first class seats, some planes (the Airbuses) have the really wide, separated first class seats with extra cushions. Others (the smaller Embraers) have the same type of seats as the other classes, just with a bit more leg room.

Bags

Nicer and Nicest bundle tiers include bags, but you can add bags if you buy the cheapest Nice tier, which doesn’t include bags.

Pro Tip: Always check the cost before you check out. Sometimes the cost of a Nice fare + bag is about the same as the cost of a Nicer fare ticket, which includes more perks than just one bag.

It’s always cheaper to pay for bags online ahead of your trip.

If you add a bag at the airport check-in desk, it’s higher.

If you have to add a bag at the gate because yours doesn’t meet required dimensions, it’s much higher.

Snacks & Drinks

The most controversial thing about Breeze flights, in our opinion, is snacks aren’t included unless you buy a first class ticket.

It’s such a little thing that we were surprised it wasn’t included, and it tends to catch many by surprise based on our fellow passengers’ responses from the flights we took this year.

The drink and snack menu on a Breeze flight from summer 2023
Menu prices as of Fall 2023

Snacks are available for purchase, but it’s probably a better deal to buy something in the airport before you board.

Same goes for drinks.

Water and coffee are the only free, included drinks.

Sodas, juices, and, of course, alcoholic beverages are all available for a fee. On our 2023 flights, a can of soda was $4 and most liquor, beer, and wine were $9.

Wifi (Added in 2024!)

The lack of wifi used to be the second most-often repeated letdown about Breeze Airways. Wifi used to be only available on certain flights, and there was always a fee.

We personally didn’t care about this. The flights we took weren’t long, a few hours, and we always bring our own entertainment, like music or books or phone games.

>> In February 2024, Breeze announced High Speed Wifi is now available on all flights!

Wifi is included for free when you buy a Nicer or Nicest bundle tier, and that counts for everyone on your itinerary. If you buy 4 tickets on one itinerary, you all can use the wifi.

Just one more reason we will always choose the Nicer fare on our future Breeze flights.

If you still want the Nice fare (the basic economy option), you can add on wifi for a fee.

Seat Back and In-Flight Entertainment

Breeze Airways planes don’t have seat back screens.

As of February 2024 they have wifi and in-flight entertainment (movies and TV) on all flights, but you need to bring your own screen, be that a tablet or phone.

Their planes do have a holder for your phone or tablet, though, which is honestly more helpful than some of the terrible screens we’ve seen on other airlines’ older planes.

But this is still something to be aware of if that’s important to you.

We always recommend having your own entertainment downloaded to your device, just in case, but many of you will be happy with the addition of wifi and in-flight entertainment.

A foldable tray table on a Breeze Airways flight

Customer Service

We haven’t had to really put the Breeze employees to the test yet for customer service under pressure.

We had good weather on all our Breeze flights so far, so no delays or issues for which we’ve had to work with them.

But the interactions we’ve had with Breeze Airways staff so far has been all positive.

The flight attendants were all helpful and cordial, even when having to explain to every other row that snacks and soda were not included.

The gate agents were nice, and the check-in desk for luggage drop were all good.

Good to Know: The check-in desk for luggage drop (outside of security) doesn’t open until 2 hours before your flight.

If you arrive at the airport earlier than that, then you’ll have to wait to be able to check your luggage and go through security.

Doing the Math: Cost Comparison with Other Major Airlines

Here’s a few side-by-side examples of flights we’ve researched for the busy 2023-2024 New Year holiday weekend.

We specifically chose the holiday weekend because flight prices are always high for holidays, and you’ll still see how good of a deal Breeze flights can be!

Regular flights on non-holiday weekends with 2-3 months’ notice can be roughly half the cost shown here.

Example 1: Charleston, SC to Providence, RI (Eastern Seaboard)

BreezeAmericanUnited
Flight$334 (Nicer)$574 (Main Cabin)$580 (Economy)
Seat Selection$0$0$0
Carry-on Bag$0$0$0
Extra Legroom$0$Varies $Varies
Savings$240+ per person  

Note: We’ve done this flight during the summer busy season for Newport and can confirm Nicer flights for two people were under $470 roundtrip.

Example 2: Charleston, SC to Tampa, FL (Short Hop)

BreezeAmericanDelta
Flight$388 (Nicer)$548 (Main Cabin)$607 (Main Cabin)
Seat Selection$0$0$0
Carry-on Bag$0$0$0
Extra Legroom$0$Varies$Varies
Savings$160+ per person  

Note: Same here! We’ve done this flight in the summer on a Nicer fare for two people, roundtrip, for $500.

Example 3: Hartford, CT to Las Vegas, NV (Cross Country)

BreezeUnitedAmerican
Flight$1,128 (Nicer)$1,350 (Economy)$1,368 (Main Cabin)
Seat Selection$0$0$0
Carry-on Bag$0$0$0
Extra Legroom$0$Varies$Varies
Savings$222+ per person  

Note: Book this same trip two weeks later and the price drops in half on all airlines. But even at its highest price, Breeze is still beating out the major airlines by hundreds of dollars per person.

Breeze is a Good Option for Smaller Airports!

If you’re flying between smaller airports in the eastern half of the US, we recommend trying Breeze. The price is pretty incredible, and you’ll more than likely save yourself a layover.

We’ve flown Breeze several times already and will again in the future!

Happy travels!


Headshot of Rachel Means at Clingmans Dome in Smoky Mountains

About the Author: Rachel Means

With six-figure student loan debt and only 10 PTO days per year, Rachel started traveling the world. A decade later, she’s paid off her loans, changed careers, and been to 36 US states and 14 countries. She’s an expert at planning and budgeting for travel and loves to help others do it, too! Read her full story here.