I am not Skytrax and this is not a review of all the airlines.
So here’s my take on flying.
The most important factor in choosing an airline is the flight record. After all, we need to get from Point A to Point B. The basis for bestowing an airline as being safe include: previous incidents, average age of their fleets, and audits from governments and aviation industry’s regulatory bodies.
With that said, the world’s safest airlines for 2018 are (in alphabetical order):
- Air New Zealand
- Alaska Airlines
- All Nippon Airways
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- Scandinavian Airline System
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
Of course, just because they’re not up there in the list does not mean that the airline isn’t worth the trip. Just make sure they’re not in the bottom of the pack. For those who fear flying, traveling by air is one of the safest way to get to your destination of choice. While there are reports on tragic accidents, it is impressive to note that the airline industry has placed safety as its priority. Data from year 2000-2017, showed that the range of fatal accidents was between 10-37 and the number of deaths between 256-1139 for the years 2000-2016. In 2017, there were 10 fatal accidents for commercial flights, resulting in 44 deaths. None of the fatalities involved passenger jets.
Choosing a destination to travel should take into consideration the shortest route with the least possible jet lag, and the best available time without having to perturb your body clock.
That, to me, is a no brainer. Obviously, the cheapest fares will always be the least traveled routes. While it looks economically appealing to just book the cheapest, sometimes it ends up as being more expensive because you arrive either in the wee hours of the morning (where you’ll need to drop your things and stroll around town because your room isn’t available yet) or super late in the evening (because that’s the time you arrive).
The worst kind of flight is the long haul with (1) a very long (> 3 1/2 hrs) layover, or (2) multiple pit stops (> 1). Even when you’re traveling on first or business class, try to factor in the long layovers and try to see if it’s really worth the long wait. I mean, yes, you want to arrive at your destination but if you’re arriving like part of the luggage (that’s been tossed and thrown around), you might as well save enough to afford a trip that will make you arrive like a human being!
We all love free tickets. Or an upgrade! Believe me when I say, when you’ve flown in business class (especially for the long hauls), flying on economy class is a blah! With various airlines competing with each other for more customers nowadays, this is the best time to strike a deal by traveling in comfort. And getting away from it all. After all, your vacation can begin from the time you step into the airport, without having to wait till you get to your destination. From the personal lounges, you can sit and sip your margarita while watching CNN or the planes arriving and departing on the oversized windows facing the tarmac.
It’s not just about the better service or the personal space or the unlimited food and drinks, the extra amenities, the turn down beds, those large comforters and pillows and a 180 degrees lie flat bed or a chair that massages you all throughout your flight. Or those slippers and night shades or the midnight snacks, or another round of Martini with your tenderloin steak at 35,000 feet. Of course, there’s the extra space around you and the multiple sockets for your gazillion gadgets. You’ll never need your battery pack on board.
And no queue to the larger lavatories! That alone is worth the price of a business class ticket for long hauls.
And flying business class does not have to be too expensive that you’d break the bank. Stalk the internet and the various airfare promotions so that you can anticipate these mega sale where some business class fares are given for a song. Compare the various airlines that leave from your destination to the places where you want to go. And choose an airline that have alliances so that you’re earning miles on whichever alliance (not just the airline) that you’re flying! Pretty soon, you’ll be traveling free or on an upgraded flight!
If your budget won’t fit the business class seats, choose a plane that may offer premium economy seats or pay a little extra from front or choice seats. This is where your miles will also come in handy because some airlines offer the upgrade to better seats in exchange for miles earned.
Preparing for a flight is important. If you have maintenance medicines which you need to take during the flight, keep them in your carry-on bag. Don’t pack your house and insist on cramping everything into your carry-on luggage. You need to be considerate of other passengers who are sharing the same luggage bin as you!
At the airport, be mindful of the departure schedule. Try to be there 2-3 hours ahead of your flight. Take note of the announcements on boarding time and gates. Don’t hold up the plane because you’re still busy shopping at the duty free shop. Remember: you don’t own the plane! You don’t want people to clap or glare at you when you’re the last to board or that they will have to get rid of the baggages that you checked in because they won’t allow you to board any longer.
There are in flight reminders and instructions. In case of emergencies you will need to remember them. Take time to remember these announcements. They were made for you!
Oh and finally, please make sure that you dress appropriately even if it is a commercial flight. Other passengers still have their sense of smell intact. Don’t make it a 13 hours hell ride for the passenger next to you just because you’ve not showered or your clothes have been worn for several days. It is violative of human rights on an airtight enclosed area.
With these in mind, I hope you have a safe journey and enjoy your flight.