Name a worse experience than an airline losing your luggage after boarding a flight with no air conditioning and watching a man faint twice while traveling abroad. I’ll wait. Travelers note that specific airlines provide better experiences and benefits than others, making the decision to commit to one airline for life simple. Globetrotters explain the reasoning behind their loyalty in an internet thread.
Businesses that require travel for work send their employees on certain airlines for their required trips. My dad works for a nurse recruiting company and flies exclusively American on his company’s dime. Though those trips don’t come out of his pocket, he acquires X amount of points for each trip and puts those toward leisure vacations. He saves thousands of dollars on flying each year.
2. A Hub
Different cities serve as hubs for different airlines. For example, Atlanta is the hub for Delta Airlines, meaning residents living in The Big Peach rely on Delta for the majority of their transportation. An Atlanta local states the airport welcomes and waves goodbye to 1,000 Delta flights daily, and the airline offers most of the direct flights in the airport.
3. Companion Pass
When you demonstrate loyalty for a prolonged amount of time to an airline, they offer a multitude of perks. A companion pass is one of those perks, allowing the loyal customer to bring a companion for a free flight to their chosen destination. Sounds like a great deal to me.
Crunching into a cardboard seat while kids kick the cardboard in for four straight hours is an emasculating feeling no one should experience. One frequent traveler writes that he sticks to Delta because of his height and his need to stretch his legs. He shares that Delta offers the most legroom and space within the seats.
We’re human. We love routines, and if our routine gets interrupted, we may react like humans—our chest swells with panic, our eyes fill with fear, and our plans drip out our anxiety. To avoid those frightening feelings and sensations, we stick to a routine, which could include flying the same airline on each trip, going through security in the same part of the airport, and sitting in a similar seat on each plane.
6. Non-Stop Options
The most bizarre trip a travel agent offered me (after the airline canceled our flight) was a 27-hour connecting flight, starting in Tampa, Florida, flying to Denver, Colorado, flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then flying to my destination in Buffalo, New York. I was 19 then and knew no one in Colorado or Milwaukee to spend my extensive layover hours with, and I hoped I didn’t have to sleep on the stiff airport chairs. Thankfully, a seat on a non-stop flight opened up.
7. Never Lost Bags
I attended an arts camp at Wesleyan University in Connecticut the summer after high school. I flew from Tampa to Connecticut with my dad and two suitcases. Upon arrival, we learned that the airline lost my luggage and all the clothes I had for the next month. We called the airline and asked for tracking information, but they paused on the line, struggling to find the words to tell us they didn’t know where the suitcases were. Two days later, I received my luggage.
8. Lounge Access
Airport lounges allow guests to relax and recharge away from the constant traffic inside the main airport terminals. Of course, different airlines provide different amenities in their lounges, but most include Wi-Fi, workstations, and snacks, and higher-class lounges may have spas, showers, play areas, bars, or free alcohol.
9. Free Upgrades
After accumulating X amount of points on one airline, the company rewards you with free upgrade options. Move away from your smushed coach seat next to your snoring plane neighbor, playing footsie, to a spacious seat where you can stretch and sprawl out without worrying about your neighbor falling onto you and leaving a puddle of drool.
10. Good Customer Service
Trying to contact a breathing human on Spirit or Frontier’s phone lines hurts my soul. You wait hours listening to an exhausting loop of the same elevator song, and a robot tells you all the workers are speaking to someone else every few minutes. One globetrotter says they exclusively fly United thanks to their fabulous customer service interactions. A customer service representative switched their friend’s flight for free, though the price difference amounted to $750.
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