Two years ago when I began to fly frequently I chose an airline without thinking it through. It took me almost two years to finally switch over to an airline which was more convenient for me. Why so long? I had to burn a lot of miles and elite benefits – which I should complete by years end. Continue reading to avoid the same mistake I made.
Choosing an airline is an important decision. It is better to have a lot of miles under one airline account than to have a lot miles spread out through different airlines. Therefore, I decided to make a post regarding my personal top reasons for choosing an airline.
- Hub Location – Is there a hub in your city or nearby? Do they frequently service a city you travel to for family or business? In other words, is there plenty of non-stop options to save you time? For example, I’m based out of Washington D.C. but my family is in Miami (an AA hub) – so American Airlines is the best airline for me, especially after the AA-US merger.
- Destinations – Does the airline you decide on have a large travel network? In other words, can they get you to Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, Asia and so on with less of a hassle? Most major U.S. airlines are members of an “alliance,” for example if you are an American Airlines flyer and visit Australia you would fly Qantas because they are both members of the oneworld alliance, making it easier to get miles on AA and enjoy any elite perks you may have.
- Do they have a reliable and valuable rewards program? In other words, will you be getting your monies worth by accumulating their miles? You want to make sure that award travel availability is satisfactory.
- Elite status – Do they have an elite status program? Does having elite status have adequate perks? Are they generous in upgrades? Extra baggage? Priority boarding & baggage? Bonus miles?
- Do they have a credit card? Although you do not need a credit card, it helps add more miles to your wallet.
- Are they part of a dining program?
- Are they part of an online shopping program?
- Can you book a cruise and get miles for it?
- Cost – Are they usually affordable and reasonable in price?
Customer satisfaction and safety is also very important. Make sure the airline you choose has a good record with the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration. I also take into consideration the average age of the airlines fleet in making my decision, I personally hate old planes and regional jets.
Essentially, flying is better if you get rewards out of it. It is all about the miles, the more miles you get, the closer you are to your next free flight! Feel free to ask questions in the comment section or on our Facebook page.