Which airlines are worth your time and money …
Your air based journey to and from your destination sets the tone for your holiday. It is important to choose an airline that will not have you missing travel days, wasting your time and/or costing you a small fortune. Unfortunately there are some rather poor airlines around so if you are not in the know, you may be lured in by a cheap price and end up paying for it in poor customer service and delays. There are airlines I swear by and others I genuinely refuse to fly.
The below is my personal experience with the following airlines, you may have your own experiences to add so please do comment if your experience differed from mine.
Air New Zealand – Great airline with fold out seats on certain planes meaning that in economy you can actually put your legs up and make a teeny tiny economy bed.
Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Blue – One of the best airlines I have ever flown. Spacious and comfortable seats and generally the hottest airline staff going round. Always choose Virgin flights if they are available
Emirates – Goes without saying this airline dresses to impress. You may pay a little more, but you are unlikely to encounter any troubles with such a prestigious airline.
Ryanair – European budget airline. They have picked up their game in the last few years though they remain an extremely tacky airline. No frills airline, however if you travel with carry only you can get yourself a cheap flight. Always check the airport the airlines are using at the destination as they can often fly to small airports outside of the city and disguise it still as flying to the cities main airport.
EasyJet – One of my favourite budget European airlines. Similar to Ryanair in that you can get great deals on flights however they seem to have a little more class and service than Ryanair. Make sure you adhere to baggage allowances or you will get stung at the airport paying for additional baggage.
Wizz Air – Very budget airline that can fly you cheaply around Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Unless you are travelling with just a small handbag, you will have to pay extra to bring carry on. Pricing depends on how big the bags are, in my experience I didn’t find them to be too pedantic about it when checking people in.
Viva Colombia – One of the worlds cheapest airlines! Flight prices are advertised for as little as $20 for travel within Colombia however actually paying the advertised price is near on impossible. You will be charged for baggage and fees for the booking so the total creeps up very quickly. However the prices still remain cheaper than catching a bus and the airline itself was pretty good. Just don’t be fooled by the ridiculously low prices, it’s not actually possible to pay that little.
Spirit Airlines – Budget American Airline which can get you around the Americas relatively cheaply IF the flight is not cancelled or delayed. Flights also go through hectic airports like Fort Lauderdale and I nearly missed my connecting flight whilst waiting 3 hours to get through customs and given the large volume of people in the same situation, Spirit wasn’t too concerned about assisting any of us. Fly them with caution and allow extra time for delays/cancellations. I would only fly this airline as a last resort.
Cubana Airlines – Possibly one of the worlds worst airlines. Delays are more common that punctuality and flights are often cancelled. It took 2 hours for bags to appear once the plane had landed in Havana for seemingly no reason (though I do appreciate this is more likely a baggage handlers issue). Planes themselves are run down and I felt genuine fear when this plane was taking off/landing. Would never fly Cubana again.
Aeromexico – Nice middle range airline. Upgraded me for free, food was enjoyable and overall was happy with my experience. Would definitely fly with them again.
Monarch – Another budget/middle range airline for Europe. No problems nor exceptional service worth noting. You should arrive happily at your destination should you choose to fly this airline.
Avianca – Preferred airline of Colombia. Flights are still affordable however more than the basics are provided. Overall good experiences flying with Avianca and would fly them again.
LAN/TAM – Airline of choice in Latin America. They look after their customers the best, especially during cancellations and delays which the other airlines can handle poorly. Was put up in a 5-star hotel for the day during our 8 hour flight delay in Buenos Aires.
VivaAerobus – Budget Mexican Airline. Watch out for this airline, they charge you to board the plane (a non optional fee you purchase when you purchase the flight online) and are vigilant in checking the weight of your baggage and charging per kg you are over. They will enforce the 15kg bag limit for checked in luggage
Aerolineas Argentinas – Argentina’s largest airline. Would not consider this airline a budget airline and they do enforce the 15kg limit for checked in luggage. However overall had no issues with this airline and would fly them again
Turkish Airlines – Budget flights available within Turkey, paid $40 AUD to fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia which is a steal (carry on luggage only). Would recommend this airline and use them again.
Tiger Airlines – Budget Australian airlines which I absolutely refuse to fly. Ridiculous policies around check in times and will refuse your entry onto the plane if you do not make the 45min prior to departure check-in. Fly at your own risk and be willing to forfeit your holiday at any point with this totally unreliable airline.
Jetstar – Relatively reliable budget airline in Australia. You will need to pay for checked in baggage and on flight food like other budget airlines. It is my budget airline of choice in Australia
British Airways – One of my favourite airlines. Good prices and great service. I am a regular customer for this airline and highly recommend it. Flies directly into Heathrow which is preferable.
American Airlines – Larger the normal seats and leg room. Generally a reliable, friendly airline that does not cause you any grief. On my return from LAX last year they let me check in over double the weight limit worth of luggage for no extra charge. Recommend their frequent flier program as part of the One World Alliance, was able to purchase a flight from Europe to America with flier miles this year with no dramas.
Royal Jordanian Airlines – My most recent surprise. Absolutely loved this airline, some of the best aeroplane food I have ever had and terrific service. The added extras such as pillows, blankets, eye masks were very much appreciated.
Qantas – Reputable Australian airline. Given Australia cannot compete with international flight prices, this airline does well to keep international flight prices moderate. The service is always spot on and you get good baggage allowance. One of my preferred airlines.
Wow … I think I know where all my money goes!
TBFree x x