Airlines, Buses, Trains

Choosing an Airline: The Checklist

If you’re like us, you probably love that moment when you officially decide to travel someplace fun. For a moment you’re already there, sipping on a piña colada as you gaze upon a stunningly gorgeous sea…

Then those travel details pull your brain back to reality. If the vacation destination is far away, then flying is probably the best way to get there. We enjoy flying — but preferably with the best airlines. From safety to snacks, here are four tips to consider when choosing an airline for travel.

Tip #1: Research the Airline’s Planes

These flying winged wonders are far from cheap, which means that airlines want to get as much use out of them as possible. We prefer airlines that actually retire their planes and replace them with new ones when the time is right.

Take a look at plane sizes as well — sometimes airlines with smaller planes are harder to fit suitcases into the overhead compartments (or even duffel bags under the seat!). For greater odds of avoiding this problem, choose an airline with larger planes.

Tip #2: Price Check a Variety of Sites

Sometimes third-party sites have better deals than the regular sites. Sometimes the regular sites show more travel times than third-party sites. Every site has its pluses. Unless we know exactly which airline to choose from the start, we go through several before deciding we’ve found the best deal.

Tip #3: Consider Airline Perks

Does the airline allow you to choose your seats in advance? Preparing for a trip can get hectic, and worrying about whether or not you’ll get stuck with middle seats doesn’t help. The peace of mind that comes with confirmed seats is worth shopping around for.

Do most of the planes have wi-fi? What does the menu look like — a five-star meal? A cup of coffee? These perks, among others, are important to consider. You want to enjoy your flight, especially if it’s a long one. Details make a difference, so think carefully about what each airline has to offer.

Tip #4: Consider Customer Rewards

Airlines want repeat business — that’s where loyalty programs come into play. Try to find an airline with a solid program that will help you earn your way to free flights and other rewards too. And, let’s be real: words like “platinum” and “gold medallion” sound pretty darn good next to your name!