A traveller’s guide to choosing airlines

SAM | 25th March 2019


If you’re not much of a traveller, then it’s unlikely you’ll worry too much about picking out one single airline to fly with when it comes to holidaying. 


However, if you are a frequent traveller, then picking the right airline can mean so much more. If you don’t do enough research, or haven’t had enough experience with airlines, then you might end up paying a lot of money for nothing.  For example, extra fees to check in your luggage or assigned uncomfortable seats with barely any leg room?! 


With all the new small airlines coming and going, it won’t be a surprise if you’ve never heard of a few of them. They come and go all the time. Although instead of dismissing them, do your research and see if these airlines can provide you with what you’re looking for.


There is no such thing as the perfect airline, all airlines have pros and cons, some more so than others, but it is you who should decide on the best one according to what you want from the experience. Here are some tips on determining what you should look for when choosing the right airline to fly with.


Beware Regional Airlines


When you decide to fly, try finding big new planes with airlines. Avoiding regional jets can help you more than you may think; the newer the aircraft the more comfort and space it provides. You get to have more space for your legs, luggage, and better seats. The better the engine the faster you will be getting to your destination. This is the advantage of becoming familiar with an airline, you should be able to know which planes are used to fly on all routes, and you can always research them online to know which plane will be flying a specific flight path.


Always Choose Non-Stop


When you buy a direct ticket, you might think that it won’t stop anywhere, but that can be wrong. It simply means you’ll be using the same aircraft without switching, you may stop to pick up passengers though.


Connections can add unnecessary time to your trip; taking a taxi, dropping off of a plane, walk to a new gate, and getting on another plane then waiting for it to take off. Unless the price difference is too high, then this is why it is always better to choose non-stop flights. British airways flights make it easy to determine if you’d like your flight to be one way or multi-city


Avoid Cross-Carrier Flights


You might consider buying a ticket from an airline for a flight that is actually by a completely different airline. These are known as cross-carrier flights. This is done so carriers could offer more routes. The down-side of cross-carriers reveals itself when you’d like to change anything about your flight. Simple changes like rebooking or upgrading take too much time and become way too bureaucratic with you going back and forth between carriers to finally get something done.


Loyalty Programs


Most airlines provide mileage-based dividends. If you are on a budget, you can redeem the bonuses for discounted airfares. You can determine your returns based on the miles you have traveled. Also, note that different miles have varying amounts. Therefore, it is a good idea to pick an airline with great rewards. Some tickets offer you 150% and even more if they are within the Full-Fare Economy codes, they also give you the option of upgrading to business class for free if the cabins are available.


Front Seats


Similar to a bus, the best sets on a plane are the ones closest to the front. Front seats give you a head start on everyone when it comes to getting out of the plane faster. Noise also is much less in the front since the main engines are in the back.


Choosing aisle seats come with advantages and disadvantages; the bright side, you get to walk around and go to the bathroom freely; the dark side, you may need to constantly get up and allow row-mates to pass by. Do not be hasty in choosing a window seat before you consider your other needs.


The common inclination is to look for the cheapest flights available if you travel a lot, but the price you may be paying may be your comfort, and adding to your exhaustion from a long flight already.


Sometimes it’s better to shop for better prices and sometimes getting a better value may be the right thing to do. You should always assess the length of the flight, research the airline, and read the small print to make sure your flights aren’t your nightmares.