Archive for the “Airlines” Category

Airline Review: Air Berlin

Many, many years ago I caught a cheap flight from Berlin to Bangkok on a carrier called Air Berlin. It was a joyless flight. Back then, Air Berlin was a budget airline that offered the bare minimum to fly people internationally. You had an uncomfortable seat, no movies, and food only if you bought (or brought) it. The nine hours to Bangkok were hell, especially since this was before I discovered the wonders of Ambien. But over the years, Air […]

Why Your Airplane Ticket is So Expensive

A few months ago, I was speaking with the folks from Singapore Airlines and we ended up talking about the public perception of the cost of airfare. Everyone is always looking for the cheapest flight. And while there are ways to get cheaper airfare, the age of rock bottom prices are simply over. If you’ve been flying for at least the past few years, you might have noticed ticket prices, even the cheapest ones, seem to be going up and […]

When Your Plane Drops 20,000 Feet and the Oxygen Masks Come Down

Last week, I woke up at 4 a.m. to begin a long journey to Eleuthera, Bahamas for a quick 4 day trip. It was going to be a long day on very little sleep. First, Boston to New York, then to Fort Lauderdale before taking my final flight to the Bahamas. I was flying United, my least favorite carrier, but the ticket was free so I had little choice in the matter. Shortly after I boarded my plane in New […]

15 Reasons Why Flying United Airlines Sucks

When I decided to move to Sweden, I switched airlines. Normally, I’m a loyal American Airlines traveler and member of the Oneworld alliance. I like American Airlines and their Oneworld partners (except Finnair – that airline sucks!). However, the main airline in Sweden, SAS, is part of the Star Alliance network. Not wanting to lose my elite flier benefits, this year I switched to United Airlines (the main US Star Alliance member) in order to earn elite status so when […]

Airline Review: British Airways

The first time I flew British Airways (BA), I used 100,000 miles I received from signing up for their credit card, redeemed the points for a first class ticket, and enjoyed serious luxury on the way to New York City from London. I remember asking if I could go walk around the plane to see what the other cabins were like, and our flight attendant (first class has their own) said to me, “Matt, you are first class. You can […]

Don’t Be Loyal to Frequent Flier Programs

A few years ago, I wrote a post about joining frequent flier programs. At the time, I was in the process of picking one to join, but now I feel the post is a bit dated, and my thoughts on the subject have changed as I’ve started to get more into mileage programs and accumulating frequent flier miles. Which means it’s a good time to write a new post on the topic. Back in 2008, I was going to join […]

Airline Review: American Airlines

North American airlines always rank among the worst in the world. In any survey, Asian and Middle Eastern airlines are always among the top 10 airlines in the world. But as an American, it’s easier for me to join the frequent flier program of an American carrier because I can get a branded credit card and rack up miles. We have four major choices: American Airlines, United, Delta, and US Airways (Continental doesn’t count because it merged with United). Out […]

Why I Won’t Take the TSA X-Ray Machines

Lately, the main travel news in the states has been about the TSA’s new Advanced Imaging Technology (X-ray machines) and the overzealous pat downs that accompany them. I’ve used the X-ray machines twice in Boston: once in September when they just started rolling them out and once last month. I’ve seen them in a lot of airports since then but I’ve either gotten to go use the regular line or the X-ray machines weren’t being used. Now that they are […]

Airline Review: US Airways

North American airline carriers are among the worst in the world. They are the worst for service, quality, comfort, food – you name it. They simply suck. On a recent trip to Canada, I had the chance to fly US Airways, which is usually named the worst of the worst. No one likes US Airways and after flying with them I can see why. Typically, I fly American Airlines but this flight was part of a press trip and they […]

Airline Review: Qantas

This wasn’t my first time with Qantas. I flew from Sydney to L.A. in 2008 but my recent trip with them from London to Bangkok and from Bangkok to Auckland gave me a chance to look at them with fresh eyes. Qantas maintains a good reputation around the world among fliers. They have never crashed (though parts of their planes have exploded in mid air), they have above average food, and their entertainment system has more choices than you will […]