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What Is Most Important When Choosing A Flight?  
User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3527 posts, RR: 8
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5760 times:

We all have factors when choosing a flight:

Upgrade Availability
Mile Earning
Onboard comfort
Onboard service

Some argue they they would never pay a dime to upgrade ("Save the money and buy a good meal at your destination).
Others would mortgage their homes before flying in coach on a long flight.
Some go out of their way to earn miles.
Some go out of their way to fly specific aircraft (or to avoid specific aircraft).
Some will only fly if it earns elite miles.

What are your criteria?

17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSirThomas From UK - England, joined Jul 2009, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5751 times:

Well, for me it's mainly in this order:

1. Equipment
2. Class & Comfort (Generally like to spend a few pennies more to enjoy a comfy seat)  
3. Route - I normally want a non stop flight, but if there's a plane I haven't been on or a place I could spend a few hours in, I'll happily do so.

Apart from that I really couldn't care less as long as I get there, however I have a phobia of LCC's... The little irritating little things like having to buy drinks, go to crappy terminals and generally shoddy service put me off I wont lie! 


Flown On: A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/AT45/734/736/738/744/DH8D/T204/T154/IL62/T134/IL-18/An-24
User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Austria, joined Mar 2004, 3478 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5748 times:

For me:

1) Airline loyalty
2) Price
3) Schedule
4) Equipment

User currently offlinedumbell2424 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 1075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5746 times:

1. Price
2. Airline-US loyal, but if DL is $50+ cheaper and better times, I'm gonna pick DL
3. Route-If an extra stop can save me a few bucks, eh.

Could really care less about
Upgrade Availability
Mile Earning
Onboard comfort
Onboard service

User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3094 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5732 times:

For me:
1. Departure airport. If I can fly out of my local airport and save 2+ hours getting to a London airport, I'll pay more (£100 more is my "think about it" threshold)
2. Price
3. Route - I like new routes, interesting connecting cities where I'll hopefully have a few hours to visit the city itself.
4. FF points. I'm a (low) member on the 3 main alliances, so as long as I get points on one I'm happy. I'd still prefer the cash in fare saving, or interesting route though!


Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
User currently offlineYYZflyer From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 3644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5732 times:

1. Timing
2. Price
3. Equipment and Airline are about equal

If I can get a connecting flight or different airline/aircraft for about the same price or just a bit more (+$50-$100) I will choose that over the others.

Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
User currently offlineSpeedbird741 From Portugal, joined Aug 2008, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Airline loyalty
Engines on the equipment - I like RB211s 


Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1315 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

1. Departing airport
2. Airline (or alliance partner)
3. Mileage earning (see #2)
4. Number of connections (I often intentionally book them) / Route
5. Equipment
6. Upgrade options

I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineRJLover From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 580 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5705 times:

As an airline employee, travelling on standby....

1. Airline
2. Number of open seats on flights (and number of standbys ahead of me)
3. Routing
4. Equipment Type

Last Flight(s): YYJ-YVR-YYZ-YHZ Next Flight(s):
User currently offlineblueflyer From Tuvalu, joined Jan 2006, 4949 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5688 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

1) My personal black list (no AA MD80 ever)
2) Time in transit
3) Airline
4) Airport

1) Cabin comfort
2) Airline
3) Time in transit
4) Departure/arrival time

When we unleash the dogs of war we must go where they take us
User currently offlineFRAIAD From Germany, joined Feb 2011, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5685 times:

1. Price (I'm a student, what should I do  ) and *Alliance loyalty (miles). I'm willing to pay more for a flight that gets me miles but if the price difference is too big I go for the cheaper one.
2. Schedule/overall travel time
3. Equipment (can have a much bigger influence if it's something really special)

User currently offlinecarbon787 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5657 times:

1/ Departing Airport
2/ Number of stops to my destination, ie a more direct connection/flight (the less the better)
3/ Price
4/ Airline
5/ Seat comfort, on long hauls we mainly fly business class

Not too fussed about the equipment, I do have my preferences but it usually is not a deciding factor.

User currently offlineexFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5622 times:

It's hard for me to rank my selection criteria, since they're interconnected - for example, "price" includes transportation to and from the airport, and that brings schedule into play since at some times of day, getting to JFK is more expensive and difficult than EWR, while at others it's pretty much a wash. Since I don't have a car and don't have any friends with cars, even the amount of luggage bears on the "total price", since if I can't go by public transportation a car service to EWR is much cheaper than JFK or LGA (I live in Jersey City).

So I'd say it roughly goes like this:

(1) All-in price, including travel to/from the airport and baggage fees if applicable

(2) Schedule (after its effect on price), especially as it affects travel on the far end of the trip and travel time (if price isn't in play) to and from the airport...this means EWR first, then JFK, then LGA, unless a car service is involved, then reverse LGA and JFK.

(3) FF program consideration - who do I need miles on to get to an award? Am I near earning status on someone?

(4) Equpment, part 1 - do I get to experience a new plane type? If so, that's a tiebreaker.

(5) Airline - usually this is decided by #3, but if that doesn't make the decision clear, who offers the best comfort and amenities, like IFE, snacks, etc. (This one tends to favour JetBlue.) There's also a "bias" here in that I really don't like Southwest, unless it's a very short flight (say, LAS-SAN or LAS-LAX), and have no actual desire to ever experience Spirit.

(6) Connecting airport, if applicable - avoid ATL at the height of the thunderstorm season, ORD, DTW, MSP in winter, MIA anytime, etc.

(7) Equipment, part 2 - avoidance, I don't like CRJ-200s, and if I have a larger carry-on will avoid MadDogs (I like MD-80s, but if I have to skip one to miss a gate check, so be it)

Now all that's for domestic or Western European travel, if I was traveling in more exotic (well, to me) parts of the world getting to add new airlines to my list would be higher up the list, and I'd even pay (somewhat) more to add airplane types I might never get a chance to experience again...Russian or Chinese types, DC-10 (Biman?) or MD-11, etc.

User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1345 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5584 times:

Schedule, price, and routing are my primary criteria. Schedule and price are interconnected and I can't really say that one is more important than the other. Routing is less important than schedule / price, except that there are some routings that I won't fly.

After looking at schedule, price, routing, if there are alternatives that are within maybe $25 or so of one another, I'll look at airline and aircraft type.

Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1539 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5566 times:

95% price.
4% time and dates availability.
1% everything else.

every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlineCXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2794 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5562 times:

1. Price - but only to a certain extent. I won't just go for the cheapest, if it means I can pay a little more to get the airline/aircraft I want, I'd do it without hesitation. It's only when there's a significant (more than 10%) difference in price that I would consider choosing the cheaper option. I'd also avoid LCCs unless there's no other reasonable choice.
2. Airline
3. Equipment
4. Schedule - I can work around the airline's schedule to get the plane I want.
5. On board comfort
6. Service
7. Food

The following don't factor into the equation at all:

Mile earnings - I'm not a member of any frequent flier program
Potential upgrades - probably no chance of that happening to me as I'm not in any airline loyalty programs
IFE - window would do me fine

Boeing 777 fanboy
User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8596 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5548 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Well, in the third world things are a little different.

1: route
2: schedule
3: price
4: airline

Anything else (such as 738 vs 319 etc) is irrelevant because it just causes inconvenience.

After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlinezkojh From China, joined Sep 2004, 1867 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5490 times:

mine would be:

1 . Price
2. Airline (has to be Star Alliance or nothing)
3. Aircraft type , mainly Boeing, but love the A380..!!
4. Schedule

Vietnam time..
User currently offlineInitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1079 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5475 times:

I actually had a similar post about this back in June.

Most Important Aspect When Choosing An Airline (by initious Jun 28 2010 in Aviation Polls)

My answers can be found in the post. In summary, I would go for an airline that offers me more legroom, reasonable prices, good IFE and good food. Best is they are in Star Alliance.  

One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6526 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5427 times:

If I intend to fly from A to B I am not considering to fly from C or to D instead (unless official alternatives and still convenient to reach).
Having stated that, my main priority is "Timings / Schedule".


Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineJetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5425 times:

For international flights:

1) Equipment/Whether A/C has IFE or not
2) Airline reputation (service, meals, etc) (I usually go with 5* or 4*)
3) Price
4) Star Alliance
5) Departing from JFK
6) Timing
7) Never AA (Mom's Rules. She hates AA with a passion. But I might fly with AA this November just to try it out)

Domestic Flights:

1) Airline reputation
2) Price
3) Star Alliance or Delta
4) Departing JFK or LGA, never EWR
5) HAS to be a morning flight
6) Never AA

and the more connections = the better. Unless it's a longhaul flight where all I want is to get to my final destination ASAP.

It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6543 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5415 times:

1) Alliance loyalty (in my case, Oneworld)

2) Equipment (mostly IFE related, but also seats/comfort)

3) Times

4) Connection airports (since I live in MCI...i.e. when going to HKG, I would rather transfer in SFO over LAX...weather at that time of year also has to do with it. January? DFW over ORD)

5) Food experience in past

Price - depends if it's for work or for personal. Personal, #2...Work, #4 or so.

User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 5058 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

For me it is:

1. Airline loyalty
2. Comfort / equipment / Food onboard / aircraft type
3. Price

For instance, if there is a B747, B777, A340-500/600 or A380 serving the same route, I'll try for the A380 first, then the other two Airbuses, and the Boeings last.

User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5410 times:

Price is the ultimate factor, but I usually stick with DL as long as they're pretty comparable to everyone else (especially since I'm Medallion and save on checked-bag fees). After that, it varies from trip to trip. Sometimes schedule is more important so I have to base my itinerary off of that. For example, I'm flying home over Easter weekend. I needed a Thursday evening flight out and a Sunday evening flight back. No getting around it. If my schedule isn't a factor, then I base it off of equipment type. I'll avoid 50 seat CRJs if at all possible, but will go out of my way to fly domestic widebodies or to get mainline over regional jets. Last summer when I flew up to Detroit to visit my girlfriend, I took an early morning flight and then waited around DTW for a few hours while she was at work just so I could get the 777-200 on ATL-DTW. Connecting hub and the time of year plays a factor as well. I'll connect in ATL over DTW in the winter time, but vise-versa in the summer time, and if I have a chance to connect in a new airport, I'll often take advantage of that opportunity as well, as long as the schedule or price difference isn't an issue. If I can fly a new airline, I may do that (two years ago, B6 and DL were the same price on an MCO-LGA ticket, so I gave JetBlue a try - great experience). All that said, IFE is basically a non-factor for me. The window is all I need.

User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2469 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5395 times:

1. Alliance (Star Alliance or SkyTeam... I try to avoid oneworld at all costs)
2. Departure / arrival time
3. Price
4. Airport (I try to fly out of SHA instead of PVG, as SHA is much closer, but PVG is really the only choice for int'l travel)
5. Equipment (I generally don't care, but I avoid regional jets at all costs - luckily not much of that in Asia, since it's mostly widebodies here)


25 BlatantEcho : #1 is always fight duration or number of stops. I love planes, but i want to get to my destination as quickly as possible. #2 is related, but it's dis
26 RamblinMan : Ah, well, it depends on the type of trip, and what else I have to do that day. Recently I took DL MDW-DTW-BNA over a myriad of nonstops for two reason
27 MSPNWA : I'll post my priorities when booking a domestic U.S. flight in economy. I'll fly just about any airline at least once, so here's my list with that asi
28 JetBlue777 : I agree. Last month, we chose to connect in ATL (DL) over ORD (UA) because I just had that feeling that ORD would be messed up with all the snow..whi
29 dc9northwest : It's a linear combination of: Airline (Skyteam unless no other choice or interesting equipment or much cheaper fare for a more convenient flight) Equi
30 BD338 : Generally my choice is driven by: 1) Schedule - including reasonable connection times (enough time to get through customs and not have to run at sprin
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