Airlines

The Best Airlines for Travel with Kids

As a mother who frequently travels the globe with her two children, I have had the fortune (and in some cases, misfortune) of flying on many of the world’s major carriers.  Over the years, I have certainly made my picks for best airlines to travel on with kids and do my best to book tickets on those airlines, particularly for long journeys.

A couple of notes before we start:

Duration Matters:

For flights under three hours, I will usually just go with the cheapest, most reliable airline with most convenient flying times. It’s over three hours that service starts to matter.

Status Helps:

Due to my husband’s work travels, we are Star Alliance Gold members which makes it hugely convenient because we can check in extra bags for free, use the lounge, and check in at the business class counter even when traveling economy. In today’s world of zero customer service on airlines, it’s nice to have an airline be nice to you.

The Best Airlines for Travel with Kids:

(In no particular order):

Singapore Airlines:  Singapore Airlines understands that children are part of our society and that it’s in everyone’s interest to make them comfortable on a flight. SQ traditionally has been a leader, flying the newest and swankiest planes, which means that the kids get the best pick of movies and video games, in addition to toys, coloring, and other activities.  Their Yummy! Meals service is exclusive to kids and allows them to choose from a range of popular favorite and healthy dishes.

The customer service is excellent too. They once damaged my stoller and the reimbursement process was absolutely painless. There is much to be said for an airline that is not trying to short change its customers. With the Kris Flyer program, kids can start earning precious miles at 2 years of age.

Emirates Airways: The Young Flyers section on the Emirates website will show you just how important kids are to them. Emirates is know for its state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, their child-friendly customer service, and their loaner strollers at Dubai Airport. Always a pleasant journey.  Skysurfers can earn miles and get special privileges like preferred seating.

Lufthansa Airlines: German carrier Luftansa goes above and beyond for families. I was once traveling when I was pregnant and the stewardess made it a point to check on my frequently and to give me a large bottle of water to ensure I stay hydrated. Lufthansa’s website details tips for families, including specific travel regulations by country, which I have not seen elsewhere.

Etihad Airlines: Etihaad’s “Flying Nanny” service puts it a notch above the rest, showing parents that this airline understands their needs for rest and comfort too. Kids are also treated to an entertainment pack, tons of movie and games options, and nutritious meals. Etihad’s miles program, Etihad Guest, was designed with families in mind, letting families’ pool together all their miles for anyone’s use. Makes you wonder why all mileage programs aren’t structured like that.

So the next time you are traveling with kids and have the opportunity to fly any of the above airlines, take it! You’ll see how it makes a world of a difference!

Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan is the founder of Momaboard.com, a website that specializes in family travel.

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The Art of Landing Cheap Airline Tickets

The airline business is brutal. Airlines have to deal with seemingly ever rising fuel prices, rise in material costs, shifts in Geo-politics and increased personnel costs. Add to that the fierce competition among airlines and you can see why airfares seem as volatile as the stock markets.

Why is that relevant you ask? Because the costs get passed onto your the traveler. An airline has to consider all those factors into the price of your ticket.

Let’s face it, airfare forms the lion’s share of all your travel related expenses. The good news is, you can still get cheap airline tickets even when the airline cards are stacked against you. It will just take you some time and a bit of flexibility. It’s as simple as that. So let’s explore some of the ways you can land some cheap airline tickets.

Sign Up For An Airline Miles Credit Card

Frequent flier miles program allow you to accumulate points for each mile you fly. Additionally, you can earn miles for purchases charged to the card or earn points from partner programs. You can then use your miles to get upgrades on a flight or a cheap airline ticket to your destination depending on availability. You can even redeem your points for free hotel stays and meals.

How do you accumulate miles faster?

  • Shop at your program’s member stores. Most airline miles programs have partnerships with major retailers to allow you score miles for each purchase.
  • Charge everything to the airline miles card. Whether groceries or mortgage payments, simply charge it to the card. These are expenses you would have incurred anyway, you might as well earn some points while you are it.
  • Sign up for airline mailing lists and watch for deals, offers and bonuses. Sometimes airline offer super cheap deals on flights or easy ways to earn miles that you can take advantage off. Sign up to receive the alerts.

Fly Budget Carriers and Secondary Airports

Airports charge airlines landing fees among other charges. The bigger and busier the airport, the more they charge. Smaller airports on the other hand charge lower landing fees and the savings are passed on to you, the consumer. You can get a cheap airline flight by flying a budget carrier to a cheaper secondary airport.

Budget carriers are “no frills” airlines. Don’t expect the normal perks offered by the major airlines. To make up for that they charge lower fares. You get to travel more for less, albeit not so much comfortably 🙂

Additionally, ensure the secondary airport isn’t too far out from your ultimate destination. In some instances, the savings on airfare might be swallowed up by cab fares.

Be Flexible On Routes

You can land cheap airline flights by flying indirectly to your route.

How does that work? You take a flight to another city or hub near your destination and from there either take a train or opt for a budget local carrier for the remainder of your journey. International long distance flights are expensive. Domestic flights tend to be cheaper. So you break down your journey and enjoy the local travel benefits.

There are drawbacks to this method. It takes more time to get to your destination. It also takes time to put together you cheap airline flight itinerary. You have to research and compare various flights and ensure you are getting the best deal for the slight inconveniences.

Be Versatile On Travel Dates

Data collected over time by airline data outfits point to some cheap days to fly. For example, airfare tends to be more expensive in August when more Europeans travel and when North Americans wrap up their summer vacations. You can get a cheap airline flight immediately after a major holiday or smack in the middle of the week. Hello Wednesday 🙂

Did you know that you can land a cheap airline ticket if you travel early in the morning or deep into the night? It turns out that people love convenience and those awkwardly timed flights attract less takers making them prime for you, the budget traveler.

Conclusion

Getting onto a cheap airline ticket is an art. It requires flexibility on when, where and how you are willing to travel. Research and planning are essential in getting the best deals and stringing a smart itinerary. It calls for patience and comfort sacrifices at times. But it is possible. At the end of the day, you end up being the guy or gal who paid the lowest for that ticket. But more importantly, you get to travel more for less.

Here are some more ideas on how you can reduce your travel related expenses:-

How To Rock Travel On A Really Tight Budget

5 Ways To Save Money On Vacation

10 Tips to Save Money While Traveling

Be smart, fly cheap!

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Airline You Prefer to Travel With and Why?

In this series we’ll be asking some of our favorite bloggers their opinion or advice on a specific question. This way instead of just getting our thoughts on the topic, you can read a diverse range of views from some great bloggers.

If you’re a travel blogger and would like to take part in this series in the future, please contact us.

This week the question we asked bloggers was:

Which airline do you prefer to travel with and why?

Audrey Bergner at That Back Packer

I had the chance to visit Istanbul several times this year, and many of those flights were aboard Turkish Airlines. Their service was excellent! I like that even though I was flying economy class, they still made an effort to provide the best service possible. This included handing out hot towels to freshen up, providing a menu before the meal was served, and even treating passengers to sweet treats in the form of Turkish delight. It’s the little things that count!

Stephen Lioy at MonkBoughtLunch

Turkish Airlines is one of my favorites. Part of this is just convenience. I spent much of my time these days based at a somewhat our of the way airport (FRU), so Turkish has by far the most connections from here. They’re also a Star Alliance carrier, though, so my United miles can take me far. Add to that the comfy seats, decent in-flight entertainment, and pretty tasty food and I’m always happy to be boarding flights with them instead of the other options I have to choose from.

Norbert Figueroa at Globo Treks

I prefer to fly American Airlines, not because I think it is a great airline, but because I have the most frequent flyer miles with them. But, two airlines that I truly like because of their service are Asiana and Etihad. Would fly with them any day.

Auston Matta at Two Bad Tourists

Our favorite airline to date has been Singapore Airlines because they really make service a priority. We flew economy class from Tokyo to Los Angeles and didn’t even mind the 10 hour flight. The highlight was receiving complimentary champagne within 5 minutes of boarding, even in economy. But since we don’t travel to Asia often, we more regularly fly US and Europe airlines. Of those companies, we most prefer Lufthansa because they also focus on service and really go the extra mile to please their customers. The Lufthansa airport lounges also happen to be some of the best in Europe.

Jan Ross at Wanderlust Wonder

Our favorite airline so far has been Air France. The seats were much more comfortable and roomier than domestic airlines, we were actually served meals, and the service was impeccable.

Savi and Vid at Bruised Passports

Even though we have had our encounters, good and bad, with airlines ranging from budget to the top-rated over the last six years, Emirates has to be our favourite. Since we fly out of London, Emirates offers excellent connectivity to pretty much any corner of the world on extremely comfortable aircraft and usually at very competitive prices. Vid is an aviation geek so he loves flying on the Airbus A380. The seats, personal entertainment, food, and the service have always been top notch whenever we have flown with Emirates. What’s more, the connection times are usually small and if someone is interested in exploring Dubai, Emirates makes getting the 96 hour UAE visa quite easy. We have flown with them quite a few times now and have had only good experiences.

Susan Shain at Travel Junkette

Since I live in Alaska during the summer, I fly with Alaska Airlines a lot. And they’re just the best. They have amazing customer service and are always on time.

Lauren Juliff at Never Ending Footsteps

Virgin America. I love the super-friendly staff, the colourful cabin lights and the fact that they allow me to keep the window shade down during take-off and landing (which prevents me from having a panic attack)!

Annette at Bucket List Journey

Whenever flying internationally, AirFrance is my preferred airline. They have comfortable foot rests, personal entertainment monitors so I can control my own movie schedule during the flight, free wine and pretty good meals. I even had a delicious vegetable orzo salad on my last trip. I have never used the words delicious and airline food together before this.

Which is your favorite airline? Why is it your choice? Share with us in comment box below.

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Loopholes To Get Unlimited Miles On Travel Tickets

There are many stories that goes around the globe of how people in once case or another have used loopholes to gain airline travel miles and cheap or free tickets. At times such incidences happens when there occurs human errors or a system failure.

When people realizes such an issue, its a jackpot for them to gain massive mails on low costs or entirely for free! Such beneficially may escape with their tricks while others got themselves in a fixed state when airlines realizes and decides to dishonor their tickets or denies them airline travel miles.

United.com Incident

Last year, Mashable reported visitors to United.com were able to “trick” the site into thinking they had more frequent flier miles than they actually did. By booking a reservation in two different tabs of a browser, customers could game a loophole and redeem unlimited miles.

The loophole allowed customers to purchase tickets at insane prices, with a roundtrip fare from Newark, N.J., to Dublin, for example, coming to just $49.40, the cost of taxes.

International Business Times succeeded in reserving a last-minute roundtrip flight from Newark to London’s Heathrow Airport, normally priced at about $1,278, for virtually no cost.

After an incident sometime later resulted in substantially reduced fares through United.com, the airline decided to honor the tickets, many of which had been sold for between $5 and $10 each. A Wall Street Journal article at the time argued United’s decision to eat the cost of those tickets was a smart move, though the airline could have challenged their validity if it wanted to.

However, subsequent month’s tickets were sold for next to nothing because of human error; specifically, incorrectly entered information!!

Source of the story.
Have you ever had an incident where you earned free miles or at a relatively low cost due to a loophole?

Please share with us your story in the comment box below.

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Best Airlines Stewardesses

Stewards are members of an aircrew employed by airlines primarily to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard commercial flights, on select business jet aircraft and on some military aircraft. With the competition surrounding Airline industry, different airlines are hiring beautiful, charming and well dressed stewardesses to attract customers. The airlines with the best cabin crew may be setting themselves apart.

We’ve put this poll together to figure out which airlines with best stewardesses. You are most welcome to vote in the poll and share your experiences in the comments below.


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There’s still some kindness in the world.

For most of us, traveling is a nightmare, especially when traveling by plane. For one man who was flying Southwest this week, it was a godsend.

Sources have shared this moving story of a grandfather who was trying to get to his gate at the airport so he could say goodbye to his 3-year old grandson. The poor boy was brutally body-slammed by his daughter’s live-in boyfriend and the doctors were preparing to take him off life support. The story goes that this poor, grieving man struggled through the airport security, despite arriving early, with none of the TSA agents offering him assistance in making his flight. After he finally made it through security, he ran for his Southwest gate, in only his socks, hoping to make it in time to board. He was 12 minutes late.

Here’s where we expected the worst for this man, but ended up remembering that there are still decent people in the world. According to the man’s wife, who shared the story with sources, when her husband arrived at the gate, he was informed that the pilot knew about his loss and had held the plane for him so that he could make it to see his grandson. As the man boarded, he was greeted by the pilot, who said to him, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

When asked to comment on the story, a Southwest rep said they were “proud” of their pilot and stood behind his decision.

Amazing. Just when you’re sure the world has given up on compassion for others, you hear a story like that.

We send our condolences out to this poor man who lost his grandson and our thanks to to pilot who gave the man the chance to spend those precious last moments with him.

Click here to view the story source.

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