How to Choose Your Favorite Airline

Four Methods:PriceComfortSafetyMaking the choice

Whether you're taking a plane for a business trip, visiting family on the other side of the globe or backpack traveling around the world, choosing your favorite airline will depend on what it offers you by way of price, service, route, and flexibility. Here are some tips to assist your choice.


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    Compare and select online. You don't need to rely on the travel agent anymore to make choices but you do need to do the legwork and research that your travel agent once did.
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    Understand the extent of airline companies available. Since the new millennium, the number of airline companies has doubled. The introduction of budget airlines was an enormous historical change and while it's great for travelers, it makes choosing harder.
    • Budget airlines stick to the absolute basics. They cut unnecessary luxuries, from food to baggage allowances. As a result, many more people have access to flying. However, this lack of service is something you need to think about carefully in advance because it'll impact your enjoyment and even your well-being depending on your reason for traveling and the length of travel. For example, if you're unwell and you're traveling to a hospital or for the "last great trip of your life", budget travel isn't likely to take as good care of you as more expensive travel.
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    Make your choice to travel with an airline based on three main reasons. These reasons are: price, comfort, and safety. The following sections detail what to look for as part of your overall choice.

Method 1

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    Choose your airline based on price. If you're heavily price conscious because you're on a strict budget, then budget airlines are probably your main, if not only, choice.
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    Understand the limitations of a budget airline. Budge airlines generally use mainline aircraft, but with a greater number of seats compared to legacy carriers. This means that there are more passengers but the same amount of luggage space. As a result, you will often be charged for wanting baggage beyond carry-on luggage, and you'll be penalized very heavily for excess baggage. In addition:
    • Many budget airlines operate a certain aircraft (e.g. Southwest and the Boeing 737 variants. It is rare, though not unheard of, for budget airlines to operate wide-body aircraft. This means that most routes on these carriers will be domestic or short international flights. For example, one of the big budget airlines Air Asia, based in Malaysia, flies to over 40 destinations including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, China, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. JetStar and Tiger Airways have gradually expanded their capacity to assist passengers to fly over Australia as well. But they cannot fly beyond these destinations.
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    Expect increased price to bring increased convenience. If you're the type of person who likes flying at the last minute, or needs to fly longer distances, you'll need to pay more.

Method 2

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    Select according to service and comfort levels if these are important to you. Here, the crowd starts to thin because some airlines are recognized as providing greater comfort and service than other airlines. For example, without favouring any one airline over another, airlines renowned for top service include Singapore, Qantas and Arab Emirates, famous for their excellent quality of service.
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    Look for such "extras" as:
    • Proper meals plus dessert.
    • All sorts of drinks including coffee, tea, and alcohols are unlimited.
    • In economy seats extra necessities are provided such as socks, slippers, toothbrush, blanket and eye cover for good night sleep.
    • It has become a standard to have a monitor for each seat, which can be customized for each passenger to their favorite movies, all the popular TV series, games or music.
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    Compare the comforts with budget airlines. They don't provide anywhere near as much, and with good reason – you're saving money! Expect the following:
    • Smaller seating. This can be hard if you're more than average height or weight.
    • No extra services, such as food or drink. Or you have to pay for such services with your own money (if this is provided).
    • No blankets or pillows unless you're sick.
    • There are always exceptions. Take note of these and make the most of them while they last!
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    Consider the online facilities of the airline. If you're a hurried business traveler, it can be convenient to have fast, easy, quick electronic processing that you do yourself, from your computer terminal to the airport check-in itself.
    • All airlines have websites where consumer can purchase ticket online 24×7.
    • Upgraded system supports selecting your own seat as well.
    • All budget airline websites have already migrated this function to support to more customers worldwide but it also means you do most of the "legwork".

Method 3

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    Consider the fortunes of the airline. There are accidents and they are something to take into account when choosing an airline. Some budget airlines are more prone to accidents than others, though most large budget carriers are very safe.
    • Do an online search for sites that keep records of airline accidents. Make your own mind up!
    • Check out the International Civil Aviation Organization online for some safety statistics.
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    Check for insurance. In response to increasing trends of budget airline mishaps, airlines like Jet Star and Tiger Airways introduced their own insurance program.
    • Applying for the insurance online as you purchase the ticket.
    • Not all airlines support travel insurance.

Method 4
Making the choice

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    Weigh up your options. On the one hand, budget airlines are cheap, easy to access and to a certain extent, they cover the safety of the passengers with insurance. Choosing which airline to fly with comes down to your priorities. Normally for short distance travel, budget airlines are near to perfect. However, for longer distance travel it's recommended that you take a larger, longer existing airline. While it's a little more pricey, you’re certain to get better service to help you survive during a long and tiring flight.
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    If you’re an adventurer, however, try traveling around without pre-scheduling your flight tickets. Take a bag or two, walk into the airport and ask for the next budget flight to wherever. Don’t forget to ask if there are any special last-minute-sale tickets available. This kind of traveling is much more memorable than walk-in-queue with other members of touring team or ready-booked hotels. After all, that’s what travelling is all about and budget airlines make it really easy to enjoy!


  • If you are looking at budget airlines, actually add up everything. They might advertise a flight for $20, but they won't have included tax, baggage costs and food costs. On the other hand, non budget airlines often tell you one price which includes all the food you want, checked bags and tax.
  • There is a minimum number of crew for safety. Do not expect any airline to cut corners on this; it's internationally ordained and must be met by law.

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Categories: Air Travel