I consider myself a bit of a frequent flyer. I am in an airport somewhere around 8 times a year, which is more than most people but less than some.
I now expect certain things from an airline, especially when I am traveling internationally. I have flown on some pretty great airlines and some pretty bad ones like this blog discusses.
Here are a few of my qualms when it comes to airlines.
1) Leg room.
I know I am not flying first class, unfortunately I do not have that kind of money. But is it really too much to ask for to have enough room to stretch out my legs? Do my knees need to be hitting the seat in front of me? I am still paying upward of 600 dollars for a ticket. I recently flew XL Airways, a French airline, and the seats inspired this gripe. I barely fit into the seat and my knees were pressed into the seat in front of me even before they reclined. Can I get a few inches for my legs? I am an average size person so I can’t be asking for too much. If the person in front of me reclines into my lap and I am then trapped in my seat for the remainder of the flight there is something wrong.
When I am on a long flight keeping myself occupied is really important to me. It ranks just under my comfort. I am one of those people who have a lot of trouble falling asleep during a flight. That is fine if I am taking a 2 hour flight to Florida but when you are in the air for over 8 hours being awake can be an issue. I do not expect the airline to do everything. I bring a book, my Ipod and my writing but I would like a decent movie selection. It really annoys me when the flight picks the movie for you. I am sure you have been on one where there are just a few TV’s spread though out the cabin and then a movie comes on. It is always when I am finally falling asleep. I try to to choose an airline where I know I will have my own TV. That way I am not stuck watching one movie at an inconvenient time.
Maybe it is stupid to expect anything great on a flight. I need nourishment on a long flight. Please do not give me something gross. When I was flying Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong they slipped little menus into each seat. You got to choose from a few different items. The food was really good. They continuously came by with beverages/snacks every few hours. Maybe this doesn’t seem life altering but when you are stuck in a seat for 16 hours it is nice. My recent flight they charged you for beverages! Water was complimentary but you couldn’t even get a class of soda. Yeah I am looking at you XL.
Can I be in control of how cold I am? I know there is such a thing as cabin pressure and they most likely need to regulate the temperature. I am also aware that I am not the only person on the plane. I have been on flights where they have air above you that you can turn on and off. Just a little bit of AC can really change how you feel. I don’t need to spend an entire flight freezing or sweating.
5) Rude Staff.
I have been a waitress for nearly 10 years. I notice a large amount of flight attendants who act as if everyone is bothering them. They are either really short with people or sometimes just plain rude when asked a question. I understand how annoying the general public can be. I have on more then one occasion wished it was standard practice to reach across a table and smack an unruly customer. That being said, it is my job as a customer service representative to be pleasant and get through it. I believe you are on this flight to do the same. If you do not want to work with the public you may be in the wrong line of work.
With all that being said sometimes it is worth paying extra to not have to make a connecting flight, it is also worth flying on an airline that may cost a little more.
If you know that say Swiss Air or Cathay Pacific is flying to your destination but its a 100 more dollars, fly them. You know what you are getting (free bars of chocolate!) I love bargains and saving money when traveling but some times your comfort is worth more then the money you save. You can make up the savings somewhere else. Eat a few meals from a street cart opposed to dropping those extra Euros on dining out.