Established long-haul carriers offer passengers more entertainment and food options than their low-cost rivals, an industry expert has said.

Recently, several budget airlines have begun to offer low-cost transatlantic flights for as little as £129 each way, putting pressure on older carriers like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

However, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said that passengers who opted for the cheaper flights would miss out on entertainment and comfort.

For example, the spokesperson said that Virgin passengers could enjoy on-demand entertainment when they flew with the airline.

She explained that on more established long-haul airlines everything was already included in the ticket price.

"You don't pay extra for your drinks onboard; anything like that is all included," the spokesperson added.

"So you can have all your alcohol and your food, which obviously [cheaper airlines] charge for, onboard and that's all included within the ticket price. Any special meal requests you can do beforehand as well."

In addition, she explained that the established airlines had teams of people on-hand to help passengers with any particular special needs.

Earlier this year, Ryanair's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, revealed that he was thinking about launching a low-cost long-haul airline.

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(Tony Hill and Helen Gillilan)

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