#TravelTuesday came flying around this week, arriving quicker than a supersonic passenger plane, with #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter) this week asking the travel community for its views on Airlines and Airfares.
A nice easy question to start us off, courtesy of @TravelAtWill:
Which airline makes economy flights better? How?
The team at @aardvarksafaris kicked off with a carrier I haven't flown yet, telling us "@flyethiopian econ has lots of channels & a widescreen to keep you & other people entertained on long haul" Those seats certainly do look comfortable:
Next up was @travelphotogiri, who reminded us that often for some flights, it doesn't really matter: "Comfort isn't my #1 priority on a short flight. Cost is." What's the cutoff for you @travelphotogiri? How long does a flight have to be before you look at other factors?
@tommyburson summed up his priorities quite nicely: "@FlySWISS mostly because of the free chocolate. A lot of free chocolate. Because chocolate makes everything better, right?" We agree, so we just planted a tree with @cffigrenada to help!
The next question was from @aardvarksafaris:
Give an example of a great service from an airline.
@WorldDetour made the important point that: "I'm quite impressed by the service of flying. That one is really appreciated!" I think sometimes we forget quite how impressive an aeroplane really is! She did then go on to add "I really enjoyed our plane detouring to look at an eruption volcano in Reunion island. The pilot knows what really matters. "
@bigfatheadz also added "We nearly missed our wedding flight. @VirginAtlantic kept the desk open and the staff gave me hugs and tissues as I was bawling". Lots of similar answers as well - it seems that the staff on flights around the world are what makes the service great.
After much conversation, we moved onto question three:
When do you think is the best time to book a flight to get the best fare? courtesy of @FrankiCobbett
This seems to be a question that everyone has an opinion on and no-one seems to agree on! @driveonleft suggested "Booking in advance helps, but there are always last minute deals. Avoiding the high season and going in shoulder seasons is key" while @bewholeZA stated that it "really depends on the country. @Skyscanner says 18 weeks in advance for Bangkok; 7 weeks to UK".
Handy tip for free! Our own personal recommendation from experience: 35 days out seems to be the most cost effective on average, but it varies from around 50-25 days. We have actually tracked flights over that time frame and usually see something like this:
The fourth question flew (I'm getting into this now) in from @CharlesMcCool:
What was the most FUN airline you have flown on?
@driveonleft had a clear priority: "Airlines that have a bar/lounge area is fun: @VirginAtlantic @EtihadAirways @emirates. Nice to have a drink and chat with others." A good lounge is always a treat! @HIP_Hotels seconded many shout outs to @VirginAtlantic: "Virgin Atlantic - we definitely love Richard Branson's airline." They came up time and time again throughout the chat! Well done @richardbranson and the whole team!
The fifth and final question addressed loyalty, via @philatravelgirl:
Are you loyal to any one airline/alliance? Why?
@cvoyagerm led us off with "Loyal to being against certain airlines! Not loyal to a specific airline but where possible use @SingaporeAir." I've only heard good things about them too, although I'm sure everyone would love to hear about those "certain airlines"! @tommyburson picked out "I have a soft spot for @Fly_Norwegian because they're like me: kinda cheap, kinda reliable, but have great taste in music." They keep coming up in my search results - definitely one to watch out for!
@Travelzoo_UK had some sensible advice with: "If you travel enough to build up status, loyalty pays. If you’re just flying for odd holidays, go by price and travel time instead"
So there you have it, some agreement, some disagreement and some great tips to try! Thanks to everyone that took part and please do join in next Tuesday at 10.30am BST!
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Siamac and Julieanne are avid world travellers, sun worshippers and enjoy sharing recommendations of treats they've encountered along the way. With this blog and Concierge99's Top 5 Guides, they can help you make the most of your travels, giving you an opportunity to find interesting and unique things to do wherever you are in the world.
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