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
(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
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
), and have no actual desire to ever experience Spirit.
(6) Connecting airport, if applicable - avoid ATL
at the height of the thunderstorm season, ORD
in winter, MIA
(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