Sunday, April 5, 2020

How to pick your airline

July 14, 2011 by  
Filed under travel

Choosing the right airline for your needs is going to make your travel far more convenient, less expensive, and worry free. The following are some things to consider when choosing an airline:

  1. Who are you traveling with? If you are traveling with children, pick an airline that is going to assign you seats so that you can sit next to them, and so that it is guaranteed. If it is just you, then this is not as big of a concern. Look for flights that do priority seating for families with children, and that offer luggage allowances so that you do not have to haul your kids and your luggage through the airport.
  2. How much luggage will you have? If you are going to be checking luggage, you will want to choose an airline that offers free luggage checking, such as Southwest, who lets you check two bags free, or Jet Blue that gives you one bag free. Most airlines allow one carry on bag, and a personal item such as a purse or laptop. Additional luggage is $20 to $100 a piece. So, consider that in the overall cost of your trip.
  3. How long is the flight? If you are going on a short flight, a smaller plane, a commuter airline, an older craft with less technology, etc. may not matter that much. However, if you are flying across the ocean, or across the country, airlines that offer in flight internet, movies, television, radio, etc. are good options because you have a lot of time to kill. Delta is a good example of a carrier with plenty of on board options.
  4. What is your stature? When you choose your airline, consider the types of planes they use, how much leg room, head room, elbow room, etc. you are afforded, and how much it costs to upgrade to first class, or business class so that you get more space than in coach. If you are of large stature, a larger plane is probably a necessity for you, so bigger airlines like United, Continental, and American may be better options than Jet Blue, Southwest, and Delta.
  5. What kind of service do you want? Do you want food? Do you want online check in? Do you want priority seating? The services you want offered on your flight will play a huge role in which airline you choose. Not all airlines are created equally, so decide what you want, and choose the airline that meets those needs.

When you pick your airline, it is not always about price, and prices can be misleading. For example, you may save $15 on a flight booking with Delta, but then have to pay $20 for your first checked bag, and $15 for the next, so the flight that was $20 more with Southwest is actually a better value for you. Take a little time before booking a flight to see what other frequent fliers think. The internet is a great source for information and you are going to learn quickly what airlines are known for more leg room, and which ones offer the best prices on in flight meals, or have the most entertainment options.

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