How to tip the scales to benefit you - not the airline
It doesn’t matter if you’re flying for a business trip, visiting family or trekking around the world, choosing an airline to fit your needs requires only a few simple rules.
It’s never been easier to find the solution that best suits your personal style. Today’s marketplace allows you to review and compare all of your various airline options before purchasing. The world has never been more at your fingertips and there are several ways to spot a good airline.
Three factors to consider in choosing an airline
1.) Figure out your price options by airline – are your needs best suited by a budget airline? Should you fly economy, business or first class?
2.) Weigh the types of services provided at each price option by airline – what do you get for your money?
3.) Identify the airline’s level of flexibility with these options.
Determine your ideal airline must-haves and nice-to-haves
If you’re heavily price conscious with a tight pocketbook, then a budget airline is probably your main, if not only, choice. Of course as the old saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for.’
It’s likely you’ll have to suffer without many of the basic amenities you’re normally accustomed to. Be prepared to lose ample seating and leg space, to get by on fewer food and beverage service options and without complimentary blankets and pillows if you want to save money on ticket price.
Consider paying a bit more to receive a lot more
Price choices are a key differentiator in providing personal comfort onboard. This theory goes out the window if you’re the type of person who flies last minute or needs to fly longer distances. Your choice in airline could be more limited and there’s little you can do to avoid paying more.
With a bigger budget, however, you’ll benefit from all the amenities of a larger aircraft. These planes can accommodate last-minute requests and offer more room for you and your luggage.
Proper meals and drinks (including coffee, tea, and alcohol) will not only be more plentiful, but also of higher quality. An airline that also provides slippers, toothbrushes, blankets, and an eye cover for a good night’s rest. It might not seem like much at first blush, but trust us – a little goes a long way on transcontinental flights.
Also with higher fares is access to more entertainment options and an increased likelihood that you’ll receive a personal screen at your seat so that you can watch your favorite movies, TV series, games or music.
Time is money when you’re traveling for business
Here’s a short checklist to help business travelers get to where they need to be more quickly and easily.
- Purchase and select your seat online.
- Check in before heading to the airport by downloading the airline carrier’s mobile or website app, which will also allow you to receive important updates and notifications.
- Look into the TSA’s pre-check screening option to skip the long security lines.
Cross your T’s and dot your I’s
Take a hard look at the airlines’ insurance policy options. Are you traveling with expensive items that you’d like insured? Would you like the option to cancel last minute or change the date and/or time of your flight?
These options may only be available if you purchase flight insurance. If you’re considering buying travelers insurance that is not provided directly by the airline – that’s fine, just make sure you read the fine print on the form.
Budget airlines are cheap, but are you someone who needs the accommodations of a pricer airline in order to travel a bit more stress free? Take into consideration all of your expectations of your traveling experience and compare them to your options and then make the best decision for your needs.