(1) What airline should I choose for my flight? Are there any airlines to avoid?
Many good things have been said in rec.travel.air about the following airlines:
Aeroflot Russian International Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air France, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, ATA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Easyjet, Egyptair, El Al, Iberia, Icelandair, JAL Japan Air Lines, Lufthansa, MAS Malaysian Air, QANTAS, Ryanair, Sabena, SAS (Scandinavian Air System), Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Swissair, TAP Air Portugal, TWA, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Express.
(2) What airlines should I not choose? Are there any airlines to avoid?
Many bad things have been said in rec.travel.air about the following airlines:
Aeroflot Russian International Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air France, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, ATA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Easyjet, Egyptair, El Al, Iberia, Icelandair, JAL Japan Air Lines, Lufthansa, MAS Malaysian Air, QANTAS, Ryanair, Sabena, SAS (Scandinavian Air System), Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Swissair, TAP Air Portugal, TWA, Tower Air, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Express.
(3) But wait, those are all the same airlines!
No they're not.
(4) What airline is the only airline not appearing in both categories?
Tower Air. Do not fly them if you can help it.
Choose the one closest to your home. If you're in the UK, this always means London Heathrow.
(2) But wait, I live 100 miles away from London, do I really have to fly from London Heathrow?
No, but you may not be able to get a nonstop flight on the world's favourite airline!
(3) How early should I get to the airport?
At least three hours early for an intercontinental flight, two hours early for a continental flight (including domestic).
(4) But what is there to do at airports for such a long period of time?
Stand in long lines, of course! And if you're lucky and you're flying Aeroflot from Heathrow, you too could get shouted at in Russian by celebrity Jeremy Spake from "Airport"!
(5) What about airport shops. Are they a good value for money?
Of course! How would they stay in business if they did not have competitive pricing?
(6) Should I eat at airport restaurants?
Why? You will be fed on the plane! The food on the plane is much better than the institutionalized fare available on the ground.
When the agent calls for "passengers with special needs". You're special! You're mother told you that, so it must be true!
(2) What seat do I choose once on the plane?
Take any seat you choose, especially the large comfy ones up front. Just ignore any seat number you have on your card. It's your entry in the on-board lottery. The results of the lottery will be announced on board.
(3) What do I do when the flight attendant asks me to move to my correct seat?
First of all, it's STEWARDESS! Then point out that you were there first, and your mother always told you it's finders keepers, losers weepers. If the passenger with the stewardess who claims it is his/her seat starts to cry, you've won the on-board lottery!
(4) I'm booked on a flight that's one hour in duration, sitting in row 33. What kind of food shall I expect?
A five course meal, starting with elegant goose liver for a first course, followed by french onion soup (served in a crock, of course), then a salad, a main course (with four choices!), and finally trifle for your sweets course.
(5) My goodness that's alot of food! How can the airlines afford to feed me that much food?
What do you think you paid for? The exorbitant price you paid for your ticket should get you SOMETHING!
(6) Do I get free drinks?
See the answer to question 5 above. All drinks are free, including Dom Perignon champagne.
(7) Can I see the cockpit?
Of course! you don't even have to ask permission. Just go up to the cockpit door, knock, when the crew asks "who is it?" give them the secret password of "it's your meal, captain".
(8) I don't like the person sitting next to me. How can I get them to move?
It is your RIGHT to have a pleasant seatmate next to you. We must regret to inform you that pleasant does include "nuns", however. If you are not catholic, you may unfortunately become converted on the flight. If you are catholic, you will undoubtedly be quizzed on the strength of your faith.
(9) The plane is rocking around alot and some chimes have sounded but I have to get up and use the lavatory.
Certainly, get up whenever you please, including while the plane is in motion on the ground. Don't forget to get up as SOON as the plane lands so you can be the first one to the door. This is especially important on domestic flights inside the USA.
(10) Once the plane lands, then what?
Well, you have to get off the plane, of course! Go to the door at the BACK of the plane. It's only idiots who get off the plane at the same door they get on.
The airline wants you to know that it cannot know ahead of time which claim your bag will arrive on. Instead, walk around all of them one at a time. After about two hours (at busy airports such as Heathrow), you will find your bag.
(2) If I have to go through immigration, what line should I go through?
If you are European and entering the USA, enter in the line for "US Citizens".
(3) The plane arrived three hours late. What kind of compensation should I expect?
You are entitled to one US Dollar per minute of delay. The airline will be pleased to give you this compensation. However, you must fill out a short six-page form describing what happened and pay the 100 US Dollar filing fee. If your form is returned to you for errors you must pay another fee.
The only thing I was telling the truth about was section (A), question (4).
Back to my homepage