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Air travel - what are your top 3 priorities?

When you're buying a flight, what are the top 3 things you're considering. For example: price, convenience, awards.

20 Answers

answered by
Jeremy from Berlin

1. Price for sure. For this reason, flyer miles are rarely a consideration. If the price is close, I'll maybe pay a bit more, but miles on an airline aren't worth paying another $100 or more.

2. If price is the same, then # of stops/flight time.

3. For international trips, I'll actually take a longer layover than a shorter one. I love leaving the airport to see a new city for a few hours. Totally worth it.

2 thanks

answered by
Keith from Bowness-on-Windermere

1. Convenience: Leaves from an airport that's easy to get to by public transport; sometimes, using an airport car park cost more than the flight does.

2. Timing: Does not depart/arrive at an ungodly hour.

3. Price ... or, rather, value for money. I spit on the 'budget airlines' that charge extra for almost everything (except for the shortest flights)  

2 thanks

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

1. Price - I take into account all those "hidden costs" like baggage and carry-on fees. (Do you know that Frontier charges for anything other than a "personal item?!?) If two airlines offer a similar deal, I'll choose then based on points or comfort - I love extra legroom.

2. Time in the air. I will pay more if I'm saving several hours of my time. I prefer direct or minimal stops with reasonable layovers. A 13 hour flying day for a US flight? Not so much.

3. Itinerary. I want flights that maximize my vacation time and fit best into the schedules of those picking me up or driving me to the airport.

4. Points and perks.

2 thanks

answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

Southwest Airlines has had one accident in 50 years of business.  They are one of the most affordable airlines and they don't charge for 2 bags.  Why look anywhere else?  If they fly there I will book with them.  By comparison, other airlines are stuffy and the crew is usually in a bad mood.  Southwest has a phenomenal on time record.  If something goes wrong, I mention it to them on their web site and they will usually send me $100 in travel credit.  That is why I am totally loyal to them.

1 thanks

answered by
Morgan from Portland
  1. Price first and foremost. With all those "cheap ticket" sites that exist these days, it's hardly practical to justify some of the absurd totals charged by major airlines. Recently I snagged a ticket that was offered on American Airlines site for $560 for $127. Ridiculous! Once you factor in having to check baggage, transportation to and from the airports, and where you're going to stay once you arrive - not to mention food, and whatever else you'll be purchasing on your trip - the last thing I want to do is shell out over half a grand for airfare. 
  2. Quality is incredibly important. Am I going to be bunching my legs up against a brick seat, while constantly shifting in discomfort for 6 hours? Am I going to come off the flight agitated, sore, and drenched in sweat because the air hardly blows? These are definitely things I take into account before committing to an airline. Certain airlines offer a considerable amount of comfort over others, and the little things certainly count - can I expect to wait hours for a drink? Are the snacks a fingernail sized bag of stale nuts? When you're paying hundreds of dollars for the flight, it's nice to feel like it was worth it.
  3. This isn't always a priority, especially if I'm on a budget, but total travel time is definitely something I factor in. Am I going to have a 13 hour layover in Phoenix when I'm simply trying to fly from Portland to Seattle? I'll pass. It's easy to snag a cheap flight by taking ridiculous routes and layovers, but if I can afford to splurge, I like to spend my vacation on vacation, not trying to arrive.

1 thanks

answered by
Kandace from Forest Grove, Oregon

Price, # stops, and departure/arrival time. I depend on public transit, so I can't be leaving or arriving within a transit dead zone without making additional arrangements. I prefer to take late night flights and arrive in the morning after transit begins running.

1 thanks

answered by
Tonya Russ from Charlotte

1. Earning miles and book where I have status even if it cost more.

2. Non Stop

3. Connecting city, might as well spend one or two nights in a different city.

1 thanks

answered by
Joanna from Oakland

schedule convenience, affordability, airline quality 

1 thanks

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

frequent flyer miles, number of stops, and which airline. Because the majority of my miles are through United, I try to fly Lufthansa. For those of you that don't have miles, time to get on these web sites and learn how to earn and books with miles. Just booked a round trip to Europe, business / first $410. Most important thing is frequent flyer miles.

1 thanks

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

1. Price

2. Least amount of connecting flights

3. Schedule 

1 thanks

answered by

Good connection and good onboard service with free food and free wine is important for me.

I certainly look at the price too, but it's not the most important thing when chosing.

Good thing is that I can often get very good deals on airlines like Emirates and Qatar Airways where the onboard service is brilliant with free flowing wine and nice inflight entertainment.

1 thanks

answered by
Elliott from San Francisco

I would have to say price is the number 1 priority.  I think that is the case for the vast majority of travelers.  However, there are a number of modifiers that make up the "best" choice:

  1. Schedule 
  2. Non-stop vs. connecting flight
  3. Luggage charges and other fees
  4. Frequent flier benefits 
  5. Extra legroom 
  6. Airports served 

I look for a fair price but if I can not find a solution, I might consider driving.  With airlines providing poorer and poorer service, I will rule out airlines based on what they do not do.  The thing that upsets me the most are airline schemes and bait and switch practices.  

1 thanks

answered by
Morringhan from Sao Paulo

Price is usually my top priority. I can deal with uncomfortable seats and no food for long flights, as long as I can save some cash.

As long as the plane in clean, I'm pretty easy to please.

1 thanks

answered by
Nars from Boston

Price, 1- or non-stop, airline points.

1 thanks

answered first by
Justin from Phoenix

I want:

-a good airline that's part of my alliance and has good service.

-a good aircraft type (I avoid certain aircraft on international routes for various reasons, but none of them involve safety concerns; I don't really care about aircraft as much for domestic flights).

-a good route.

I'm willing to pay a bit extra for these. I have a nose for a good deal, but I am convinced that the bottom line isn't the be-all, end-all.

1 thanks

answered by
Carolann from Around The World

We spend a lot of time searching for flights in between one destination and the next so we definitely have priorities when choosing a flight. Our top 3 are:

1. Price. It typically comes down to price in the end but we balance it with our remaining two top priorities and all other factors

2. Time. Depending on where we are, it isn't always convenient or cost-effective to make our way to the airport in the early morning hours. It also doesn't always make sense for us to arrive at a new location in the evening where we still need to locate our accommodations and/or navigate our way through a new city. We also like to make sure, if there are any layovers, the time is long enough to explore the layover city, or short enough that we aren't spending hours upon hours in the airport.

3.  Carry-on Baggage Allowances. We travel only with a carry-on and a laptop bag each so we are always concerned about weight requirements of the carry-on allowances. Some airlines allow more weight and some combine the weight of the two allowed bags instead of weighing just the main carry-on baggage. If we have to check a bag, it will increase the cost so we always weigh that against the overall price of the flight.

answered by
Rasto from Edmonton

1. Price.

2. Time gaps between flights.

3. Never forget earplugs!

answered by
Deborah from Minneapolis

PRICE. Price, price.

answered by
Lyn from Vancouver

1. Price as money is my object  cause if I  had it, I'll  be in 1st class.

2. Dates that work with my sked helps

3. Flexibility to switch out with cancellation, dates and insurance

boring answers, but my money is precious as I savour every morsel  of vacation/travel time

answered by
Martin from Hamburg

1. Frequent Flyer Programm - Status benefits and status miles  


2. Airline Quality / Airline Saftey  


3. Affordable business fares

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