Why Should I Fly With A Connection Instead of Flying Direct?
I recently booked a flight to Europe and was offered several options by the travel agent. He knows my travel preferences but also knows I am basically cheap, although I prefer frugal.
One of the options was a connection instead of a direct flight. Taking the connection gave the option of arriving on time, leaving home and Europe about 1.5 hours earlier. It also offered a savings of almost $1000.00 ($500.00) per traveller.
If you are not in a time crunch and can take the extra time, you might save some money and get better seats. We did. Your choice, but no matter what you decide it was your choice not the airlines or the travel agent. Ask for options when you book, it might be worth it.
Be polite, be kind
I was trapped in Denver in a snow storm, waiting to get rebooked. A guy at the front of the line was yelling at the gate agent, including personal insults as well as the "I'll never fly with…… airline again." & "I'm a blah, blah, blah", frequent flyer statements. Does he really believe the gate agent controls the weather?
He didn’t get there faster by yelling, and as it turned out he didn't get a better seat. I waited until the line was gone, no planes were leaving for several hours. I then approached the gate agent and asked if she needed a break. I mean it was snowing - the airport was closed. It cost me nothing, its not like I would miss my plane.
She took a short break, returned refreshed and able to deal with the frustrated public. It was much easier to arrange alternative flight options under these circumstances. I received a complimentary upgrade into business and about eight hours later I saw Mr. Hostility in a middle seat at the back of the plane.
There is never a cost to smile at some one who is helping you when you travel and it often yields wonderful rewards. I've had several unique experiences when someone, a taxi driver, a server, a desk clerk or airline employee has taken pride in sending a friendly and smiling customer or guest to that special and favourite attraction or restaurant. Sometimes it just helps you check into a hotel quickly and efficiently. Just dealing with someone who is pleasant and not stressed may be reward enough.
Be On Time
I once read an article from a traveller who stated, " if you've never missed a flight then you spend to much time in airports". I like to get there early, have a coffee or something to eat, catch up on calls, use my computer or read a book. Being stressed all the way to the airport - no thanks. Long security lines that don't seem to move while the clock does move can ruin your whole day. And what if its a place where you have to clear customs or immigration at the port of departure?? All this stress to save a couple of minutes just isn't worth it in my opinion.
Don't miss the moment just to save a bit of money on your trip
When my wife and I were younger we went to Venice on a discounted cruise. We didn't have much money then as we had a young family. We looked at the gondolas and wanted to go for a ride, but decided not too as it seemed very expensive. We both now regret that decision, we haven’t been back to Venice and 15 years later we still haven't had that ride. Find a way to treat yourself.
Eat local and get lost - on purpose
Some of the best food I've ever eaten was local that seemed unusual but was a real treat. OK, so you aren’t going to try bugs - I get that- but how about goat, buffalo, seafood and fish, different fruits and vegetables etc. And the best way to find these local treats is to wander about wherever you travel (as long as you feel safe), get a bit lost, force yourself to interact with locals, see local cafes and food outlets where locals meet, eat and enjoy what the locals enjoy. These are memories you will not forget. We ate at a small place as we were trying to find our way back to the hotel and were treated to great cooking and amazing blues played live in the restaurant.
Many airlines are offering what is now being called "Premium Economy". So what exactly is premium economy and is it worth the price. Every airline is different and while not an expert here is what I think and what I have experienced.
Premium economy offers a little extra leg room 2-4 inches or about 5 -10 cm. Some offer a little more width, about 2-3 inches or 5 - 7.5 cm. Some airlines have a seperate cabin for premium, others offer only the first few rows of the economy section. The cost can range from under $100 to over $500 depending on the airline, how far you are flying and the offering of the airline.
Premium has offered full food and beverage service with special seating or has no discernable difference from regular economy other than a few extra inches leg room.
Is it worthwhile? If you are over 6 feet and its a long flight it may well be worthwhile, if you are smaller maybe not. I know I book it when on a long flight or overseas if it is offered and available. It is worth the extra cost to me but that is a decision for each traveller to make.