I am factoring in price (especially including landside transportation), total travel time, convenience and schedule. Up to a certain extent, I would pay a few Euro more in order to avoid free seating and not having to fly at 6 a.m. in the morning.
And quite often, when factoring all these variables in, the "mainline carrier" wins hands down for me. Let me give you an example.
I am frequently travelling to Paris. AF
are both offering flights for about 100 Euro from DUS
, which is pretty close to my hometown DTM
. 4U is flying from CGN
with prices starting at 38 Euro/rt. But by the time I am usually booking these flights, the ticket price of 4U is more likely already at 58 to 68 Euro, while AF
are still at 100. CGN
is much farer away from my home, and I have to factor in at least another 20 Euro landside travel cost to get there. At this point, a flight with AF
is only 10 - 20 Euro more expensive than 4U, AF
offers more frequencies and more convenient times plus I don't have to worry about a good seat during boarding. Also, I get miles for my frequent flyer account.
And this travel cost difference of 10-20 Euros (including all landside costs for access to either CGN
) are exactly the sum I am willing to pay more for a mainline flight (factoring in all the variables I mentioned at the beginning of my post).
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!