Do you want air with that?

My first trip to Europe at the tender age of 16 found me on a group charter flight out of Chicago. I held a paper coupon as entry to the plane and got a free travel bag out of the deal. The plane, as I recall, was adequate. I’m sure it was not a large plane but at 16, loaded with the excitement and anticipation of going to Europe for 6 weeks, I was immune to any discomfort that might have existed on that flight. Just a few years later I was in college in Denver and flew back and forth to Chicago on holidays and breaks (Just couldn’t take the drive through Nebraska too often). I remember the planes had smoking sections and I remember being able to curl up in a seat and sleep. Even better: I sometimes had the whole row for sleeping! Pillows and blankets were readily available if needed. Paper tickets were still the rule for boarding and were obtained from our local travel agent.
I didn’t think much about pricing and comparing airfare back in those days. I just called the travel agent and let her do it.
Today the internet makes pricing and comparing airfare accessible to everyone. There are apps to help you choose the best plane, the best time to fly to your destination, the best seat location. You can choose multi city and book yourself to several destinations on one ticket. The dirty little secret of this wonderful advancement is the fact that you are never guaranteed to have the lowest or best price. It’s possible that all seats on the flight are slightly different prices!
While I agree that it’s very important for our own peace of mind to feel we are paying a comparative amount to our fellow air travelers, we have no way to know if our price is the rock bottom lowest.
So let’s set that aside and talk about the value of FLIGHT EXPERIENCE and convenience. Do you want to have a long layover between flights? Do you want to fly from a smaller airport or a larger airport? Do you want to fly out first thing in the morning to miss all the later flight delays of the day? Do you want to travel on a flight with a preponderance of business people or with a bustle of families? How much time do you invest to just get to the airport? The answers will be different depending on the reason for your travel and the time you have available for the actual process of “getting there”.
When booking a client on a Japan cruise I used their frequent flier information and compared ticketing direct with the airline, through a consolidator and also through the cruise line air program. Pricing was slightly different between the three and different flight times and combinations were shown on each of the sites. My client was impressed with the cruise line air offering: in this case I was using Princess Cruises EZ Air. Their system took the cruise embarkation and disembarkation information, factored in the approximate time needed to get from the airport to the cruise port, and provided a variety of flights at very competitive prices. A huge peace of mind benefit is the “next port protection” of booking through their site: they will route you to the next appropriate port of call if your flight is delayed or cancelled. This is a huge benefit when you are booking someone from the middle of the United States to Asia. Anything could happen.
Once we had the flight selections available we looked into the actual airplanes and seating on each of the flights (going to Japan takes a really, really long time and you need to have a comfy seat!)
The flights were chosen and my client enjoyed not only the cruise in Japan but the convenience of having the air travel part of his overall cruise itinerary.
I am happy to say that my website offers a wonderful airfare component called “Select Air”. You can find it on the EXPLORE MORE tab on my website. Don’t forget to sign up for exclusive offers and discounts while you are on my site.

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