Everyone wants to fly in style, but sometimes, we really don't have a choice. However, regardless of what your situation may be, there will almost certainly be two or more to pick from - and it's important that you make the right call.
A good or a bad airline could quite literally either make or break your holiday/trip away, and that's no exaggeration. It's an important part of any given journey and if it's something you hesitate over or decide to be spontaneous about, you could be in the middle of Armenia when you're meant to be in Ibiza (no sarcasm).
If you aren’t comfortable on a flight, thousands of miles in the air, then when can you be comfortable?
Certain airlines will take pride in their ability to give you an A+ experience, to the point where you’re telling all your friends and family about it in the days and weeks to come. However, other airlines may not care about any of that and might believe that all you want to do is go from point A to point B. Legroom, seat size, and even the size of the plane can vary.
9 Possible Add-Ons
Be very careful when looking at what you’re getting included with the price for your flight, because you might find that you have to pay extra for, well, just about everything. Not reading the fine print is something that we’re pretty sure has cost us all dearly over the years, and it needs to stop.
If you’re committed to having a great flying experience then you may not care all too much about this, but at the end of the day, add-ons are not your friend. In fact, add-ons are the opposite of your friend. Check and see if your airline includes free checked bags (or even cabin baggage), refreshments, wifi, and seat selection.
Delays are so frustrating because more often than not, they’re caused by small issues that could’ve been resolved with relative ease. It’s actually somewhat surprising how often delays occur, given how important and profitable the industry actually is.
Pay attention to reviews and do a quick online search to discover which airlines have the worst track record for delays - and which are most likely to give you the best compensation if you are delayed for some reason. Delays are a lot easier to deal with when they come with a nice check as compensation!
7 Route Selection
Some airlines only fly specific routes, so you need to ensure you always double-check before booking. This is particularly important for people who have favored airports they like to fly out of because if the airline you’re going for doesn’t cover your route, then you could be left in a sticky situation.
This should be pretty obvious when you are booking one particular flight (it's always a good idea to double check which airport you are flying in and out of, just in case), but this is important for airmiles and other benefits. If you take a lot of flights, trying to book them all with one airline will help you build points faster - and that means making sure that airline flies to all your usual destinations.
6 Airline Rewards
Speaking of reward programs... check and see which airlines are going to have the best rewards, especially if you are flying on a regular basis. It's a good idea to stick to one airline as much as possible to rack up those points, or to make sure that the airline you choose works with any other reward systems (credit cards, for example) that you are able to use. Rewards can be a big deal for regular travelers, so don't miss out.
Delays are one thing, but cancellations take the game to a whole new level – and that’s not a game we want to play.
Cancellations are just so much worse than delays because there’s no visible solution in sight. You soon find yourself scrambling to find a different route or avenue to get to where you need to be, and while the situation can probably be resolved pretty quickly, there’s no way of knowing that in the moment.
As with delays, it's a good idea to read the fine print and figure out what the cancellation policy of the airline is; will they put you on a new flight without any rebooking fee? Will you get hotel or food vouchers for overnight cancellations? What about monetary compensation? These things are going to matter in the moment.
4 Third-Party Sites
If you can’t recognize the airline that you’re flying with, or it all seems a little bit too good to be true, then that’s because more often than not it is. It's always best to book through the airline themselves if you can, but if that is just too expensive, stick with trusted comparison sites, rather than going for a site you've never heard of. If it seems to good to be true, it might well be - make sure you know which airline you are with, and how much they are responsible for (rather than the site itself) so that you know who to go to with a problem.
3 Flight Price
If you’re running on something of a budget, then obviously, you have to pick what’s available to you – but the flight prices can be both appealing and tricky in equal measure. Sometimes you’ll have companies that advertise one price when they mean another, with the cheaper option obviously seemingly more appealing. Make sure taxes and fees are included in your quoted price.
Then again, while the higher class airlines will require a higher price, there’s obviously a reason for that. Their service is going to be of a much higher quality on average, and that needs to be taken into consideration.
2 Pilot Qualifications
We aren’t suggesting that you take a deep dive into the personal files of these people, but it’s important to know who is flying you around the world.At the very least you should question how long they’ve been on the job because sometimes, the answer is “not that long at all”.
It's not going to be possible to check who, specifically, is piloting any specific route (and that may change anyway), but have a look online at the overall caliber of pilots - and how much pilots want to work for this airline.
1 On-Board Food
This is especially important if you’re on a long haul flight because you need to ensure that you’ve got plenty of options if you’re going to be in the air for that long. Some people like eating more than others and some might be able to go longer amounts of time without consumption, but either way, you’ve got to eat.
If there’s a wide variety of stuff to choose from then that’s obviously the ideal scenario, but either way, you’ve just got to make sure you do your research because some airlines are much better than others with this.