Which Airline Is Really The Best?

Pick up any newspaper or watch any news channel and many times you will find something about the airline industry. Popular topics range in how gas prices affect airline prices, the latest merger or bankruptcy claim, an airline crash or problem with a flight and even terrorist attempts. Airlines even capture our attention by running airfare specials in the newspaper and on TV. The funny thing is, you don’t even pay attention to these advertisements unless you travel often or are planning a trip. So which airline is the best anyway?

There are a lot of things to take into consideration when deciding which airline is the best for you. Price is usually a big factor for most travelers. There are a few things to consider when thinking about price. If you live near a hub for an airline you are certain to be able to get better fares. Think about if it is worth it for you to travel to a larger airport rather than taking a flight out of the airport that you live 10 minutes away from. If you are only saving about $50.00 it is probably better to just take a flight from the airport you live closest to. Remember, you need to think of gas prices and traffic – both of which are on the rise.

Consider being flexible in your travel days to receive the best prices. If you can leave mid-week, then you are more likely to receive a better deal than if you were to fly Thursday – Sunday. These are the busiest travel days so the airlines take full advantage of this fact. Airlines also run special deals if you are more flexible with your departure schedule. This includes the time that you want to leave too. Early morning flights – very early morning flights – are often less expensive than mid-morning or evening flights. Think about rush hour traffic. If you leave before rush hour in the morning, or after rush hour in the evening you’ll most likely land a better deal.

The best time to book your own flight online is Tuesday evenings between 12 and 1 a.m. Airline’s computers change their fares at this point and this is when they are available to the public to be purchased. If you catch an airline just right, then anyone of them can be the “best” when it comes to pricing. There isn’t any one airline that consistently has the best prices. Although, the discount airlines like Air Tran and Jet Blue tend to be cheaper. But these flights are only available in select areas so many times you cannot fly these airlines.

Another factor to look at when deciding which airline is the best is the percent of flights that they have on time. These are the results of one survey that was conducted:

Hawaiian Air
Jet Blue
Southwest
ATA
United
Sometimes it’s better to drive than to be stuck on a flight that is delayed. Consider this on shorter distance flights.

Carry on luggage has become more popular with travelers because nobody wants to be caught without their clothes and people want to get off a flight and go – not wait around for their bag to come round the corner of the luggage carousel. This is how airlines ranked for lost baggage:

1) Hawaiian Air

2) Jet Blue

3) Southwest

4) Alaska Air

5) Continental

It’s also pretty frustrating when you have booked a flight and you aren’t allowed to get on it because someone overbooked the flight. How does that happen anyway? Here’s how the airlines ranked on passengers that were denied boarding:

Jet Blue
Hawaiian Air
United
American Airlines
US Airways
So which airline is the best? Everyone is going to have their personal opinions. But according to this, you should book a trip to Hawaii right away or else fly Jet Blue whenever possible.

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