April 29, 2000
- Real Estate
Selecting an airline
Basically, everyone goes for the cheapest fare. But there are some other factors that you should consider too, if you are going to be airborne for a long time.
And, since you are going to be spending that time up in the air, you might as well make sure that you are comfortable.
Here are few basic pointers on what to look for when scouting for the best deal.
- If you are a smoker, pick your airline with care. Some airlines do have separate wings for smokers. However, a number of international carriers don't permit smoking on board at all.
- If you are a member of a frequent flyer programme, your choice narrows down to a single airline. But you should also check and see if that airline has partnered with any other. That will give you some flexibility.
- If you are travelling the country, then check if the airline is offering any special travel pass. In India, Indian Airlines, for example, offers foreign passport holders a special travel card that allows unlimited travel on airline flights within the country. Referred to as the Discover India pass, it allows unlimited economy class travel on all domestic Indian Airlines services.
The pass costs $ 750 for 21 days or $ 500 for 15 days. This validity is calculated from the day first flight is taken. However, no stop may be visited more than once, except when passengers wish to take a connecting flight.
- Check the timing of the flight. This is especially crucial if you are going there on work. For example, if two airlines offer flights from Bombay to London at 2:15 a.m. and the other at 5:55 a.m., it may make more sense to opt for the earlier flight. It should land in London at around 6:50 a.m. giving you a good start to the day. On the later flight you will reach at 10:00 a.m.
- To avoid jet lag, sleep (or don't) depending on the time you are arriving. For instance, if you are going to be arriving in London in the morning, do catch some sleep on the flight. Or, if you are arriving at your destination at around 11:00 pm, it is silly to sleep on flight. You might as well do so when you arrive.
- Since the possibility of dehydration is very high up in the air, drink plenty of water to avoid getting a headache. That is another reason why you should avoid or at least reduce your alcohol consumption on flight. It will further dehydrate you.
- Does the airline have lounge facilities at the airports? This is relevant if you plan to be spending ample amount of time at the airport or are in transit.
- Inflight, you may feel more comfortable with one airline than another.
Emirates, for instance, was the first airline to install personal video systems in all seats including Economy. It was also the first to equip its fleet with inflight phones and fax machines.
Some airlines also have sleeper seats with 160 degrees recline and leg rest extension in the business class.
Cathay Pacific Airways is in the process of installing an advanced in-seat data system on all classes of its 56-aircraft seater fleet. This will enable passengers to use their laptiop computers to access e-mail and the internet aboard the aircraft. This new system called Emport, provides a high-sepped network cabin distribution system allowing 200 passengers to access data at the same time.
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