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How to Choose the Right Airline
Nine times out of ten, if you were to randomly ask someone on an airplane why they chose that airline, its certain their response will be “It was the cheapest option” Yes its true, we are frugal spenders when it comes to the airlines. Here in the U.S the choices are fairly vast and competitive. Overseas, they have far fewer options. How can you determine which might be the best choice when you put aside the cost?
Begin with your destination. You’ll surely want to know which airlines offer a non-stop service from your departure airport. Personally, I find that paying the extra money for a non-stop is worth it. On connecting flights, although cheaper on occasion, have many drawbacks. Weather conditions anywhere that airline flies can impact the arrival of your connecting aircraft. Let’s say you’re flying from Las Vegas to Washington D.C with a connection in Chicago. There are severe thunderstorms in Mobile, Alabama. Your immediate thought is “So what, I’m not going to Mobile” That’s true, but you connecting aircraft is coming in from Mobile and it’s delayed by two hours. That is just one example.
It’s hard to say the airlines are reliable. Customer loyalty to one airline has become of victim of cost as well as poor customer service standards. The simple truth is, the airlines are no longer in the business to keep smiles on passenger faces. They want butts in the seats and money in the bank. However, there are some carriers who do, in fact harness a pretty good reputation and have managed to maintain loyalty with many of their customers. On a side note; one thing I have noticed in regards to customer service is location. For example, the United Airlines customer service in San Francisco is extremely more customer service oriented and far more accommodating then their fellow co-workers in Chicago or Newark.
The length of your flight should also determine which carrier you ultimately choose. Personally, I have never really found a seat in coach to be comfortable on anything over 2 hours. However, there are some airlines that have somewhat more comfortable seats than others. I have always found Southwest Airlines and JetBlue to have the most comfortable seats as far as U.S carriers go. If you’re flying international, Delta Airlines is the best option for seat comfort.
Inflight entertainment or lack thereof can be a deal breaker, especially on longer flights. Surely not every airline has seat back monitors but more and more airlines are installing Wi-Fi to use with those portable devices. Find out which airline has Wi-Fi. Today, it’s tough to find airlines that don’t offer it.
The bottom line when picking an airline, you should always consider which one has the best convenience, comfort and reliability.