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Best and Worst Airlines?

I don’t know who this company is (apparently something to do with baggage handling?) but Fodors thought their ratings are reliable enough to put in their newsletter.

https://usebounce.com/blog/airline-index

I don’t get why Delta is top-rated in domestic airlines—-they have over twice the number of complaints as Alaska Airlines (494 vs 211). They do better on on-time flights and inflight entertainment, but that’s all.

I see both carriers to Japan that fly out of Seattle are way up in the list—-ANA and JAL. Hope to get there someday. . .

And I see British Airways did not make the top 20 for international carriers. Most of them are Asian, as expected (Singapore has always been way up there). The only European airlines in the top 20 are La Compagnie at #10, then Austrian, Swiss, Finnair, KLM and Lufthansa (just barely, at #20).

Never even heard of La Compagnie.

We don’t go to Europe often like some here, but when we did it was on British. Now I might take a look at Swiss for our next trip (whenever that might be), but they don’t fly out of Seattle so that gets complicated.

What’s your favorite?

Posted by
3281 posts

Knowing who is top-rated is worthless if they don’t go from where you are to where you want to go and in a fairly direct manner. It is also important to know what methodology the rater used to come up with rankings. That being said, my experiences are as follows.
United has execrable customer service, but their code-sharers, Swiss and Austrian are ranked high, according to the op. Go figure.
We had a pretty awful experience a few years ago on Lufthansa, dreadful food, broken seat in front of me, which put that passenger practically in my lap when he reclined, attendant refused to quiet loud, drunken passengers on overnight flight. Yuk! Having FRA as a hub compounds LH’s badness. That airport is too big for easy transfer; and, again, food choices are dismal.
For domestic travel, we prefer Alaska when it works for our itineraries. Southwest, which flies many of the same routes, has gotten much more expensive of late. Their no seat reservation policy is flat out stupid imo.
We have had good experiences with Delta, often Air France code share flights, though transferring at CDG can be challenging. They and United are the basic choices for traveling to Europe out of SFO. I’d always choose Delta over United, unless the flight is actually a code share.

Posted by
8265 posts

La Compagnie has only two planes, all biz class 74 seats each, so percentage wise they have plenty of complaints. The big ratings that came out this week put Air France business at #10.

Posted by
3040 posts

La Compagnie is small French airline that operates all business class flights between Paris and New York.

I don't know how Fodors reasoned but I'd say that this rating is close to useless. Airlines are awarded a score based on reviews, but when you look closer at those reviews many airlines have their score based on very few reviews. Brussels Airlines gets their score based on 10 reviews, Icelandair based on 11 and Aer Lingus based on 8 reviews. In the first three quarters of 2021, Brussels Airlines carried over 2 million passengers, and you can't rank them based on the opinion of just 10 of those passengers. Especially since many of those reviews are old.

Posted by
89 posts

We fly a lot with Delta and find them to be pretty solid.

I live in New York and use JFK - no one I know uses Alaska unless they are going to, well, Alaska. Or the Northwest. Delta is used a lot, as well as JetBlue, Southwest and United (out of Newark). Complaint numbers are also relative. I would wager Delta has a fleet twice the size of Alaska.

Posted by
8413 posts

no one I know uses Alaska unless they are going to, well, Alaska. Or the Northwest

Californians might be surprised to learn they are "the Northwest"

Posted by
5398 posts

Such rankings rarely have much value.

Delta focuses intently on meeting their on-time numbers, in part because 1) business travelers value that a lot, and 2) because it's a very simple, easily quantifiable statistic (how do you quantify "comfort" or "good service"?) and 3) ratings exactly like the one you saw tend to focus on it. I've never heard of that particular blog before and don't care if they rated root-canals as one of life's great pleasures. Blogs = amateurs trying to look like experts; take all with a grain of salt.

La Compagnie is an "all-business class" airline that flies a very limited route (I think only NY to Paris). And while I'm sure it's better than rock-bottom basic economy class on many airlines, IIRC their business class seats are nothing to rave over (compared to other more posh biz class on some airlines).

Here are some rules-of-thumb I go by...

  1. You really have to do your homework. I can't emphasize that enough.
  2. Business class (or first class) is always better than sitting in steerage. On any airline. Of course.
  3. The quality of the seat/travel experience is (usually) directly proportional to the price people (maybe you) are paying for that seat. So on discount airlines, or on "basic economy" tickets, keep your expectations very low. Expect a bit more (maybe just a bit) in Premium Economy (or whatever the airline calls it), expect something clearly a cut above for Business class, but the quality of business class varies a lot between airlines, even between specific aircraft cabins (eg: United has some perfectly nice business class seats, and some that are no better than premium economy). See Point #1 above.
  4. You decide how much (or how little) it's worth to you to have comfort, good service, etc.
  5. In my experience, national flag carriers (the big names) from Asian airlines usually provide service that is way better than we have come to expect from airlines. Often (not always) their seats are better, too, sometimes even in coach. That goes for many of the long-established Asian carriers, but not for new-ish discount Asia-based airlines. Business class on many/some of these carriers can be spectacular.
  6. Long-established, national flag carriers of European countries is much more hit-and-miss. Some are good, even great, but not all. There's a lot of variation. Some clearly try hard, others not so much.
  7. Most legacy US airlines do not stack up well when compared to overseas carriers, but there are definitely exceptions.
  8. How much does it matter to you? The longer the flight, the more it matters. For me, if I expect to sleep on the flight, it matters. From the US east coast to London, the flight is barely long enough for a snack, a quick look at the in-flight entertainment, and a short nap. For a flight to Southeast Asia (or beyond), I'm going to need to get some solid sleep. If anyone thinks flying to Europe is a long ordeal, I recommend you fly to a small place you've never heard of in, say, Indonesia (three flights past Jakarta). After that, flying from the US to London goes by in the blink of an eye...

Favorites? Depends entirely on the destination. No simple answers.

For crossing the Pacific there are simple answers: fly business class on a Japanese Airline, and you will be very happy.

From Seattle to Europe, it's much more complicated. There are a LOT of airlines, and LOTS of ways to get from SEA to Point X.

And honestly, many people just do not care about any of these things at all, they are perfectly happy to suffer for a day in an awful seat if it saves them some money. Who am I to say they are wrong? Different priorities.

Posted by
306 posts

Aleska v Delta on complaints is not really a fair comparison, unless it is complaints per X number of passenger-miles. Delta carries more people than Alaska, I'd expect more complaints. Compare Delta to United on complaints.

But to answer your question: I favor Delta: first because they go where I want to go and with reasonable connections (or none at all). I also find they have excellent customer service and I have the impression they hire experienced pilots (for example, ex-military). But what has really sealed the deal for me has been the compassion and flexibility they showed when i needed to fly next-day when i needed to be with mother next-day when she was ill and again at the end of my mother's life. In each case, the representative was able to be flexible in allowing multiple changes to my return dates, as I did not know when I would return home.

Their flight crews are reliably good as well.

Posted by
12929 posts

Alaska and Horizon are so closely tied I am surprised they were rated separately. Horizon does not have its own website for booking, and many of their planes are painted with Alaska livery. Remember this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Horizon_Air_Q400_incident

Alaska is very useful to the whole west coast, not just the Northwest. From Seattle and SFO, they serve many destinations all over the US, including Hawaii and Alaska, plus Mexico.

And their mileage program (which probably was not included in that rating) gets high marks. It has been very good to us, with flights to Australia (on Qantas) and Japan (on JAL) in first class, plus business class flights to Switzerland and Italy on British Airways. We also scored business class tix on Emirates from JFK to MXP, just days before that partnership ended. That trip is in March, and may or may not happen. But I was happy to find that flight so we could fly directly from the US to Italy, without a transit stop at LHR or other European airport, complicating the covid testing situation.

Booking reward flights is very easy on the Alaska website. (I had a heck of a time using American Airlines miles to book our flights to South America—-their tiered system is rather complicated and the Saver flights so highly competitive I had to get up in the middle of the night to snag the seats we needed.

They have come a long way since the 1970’s when I lived in Fairbanks, and my boss called the airline Elastic Scarelines. No Alaskan would fly them by choice in those days—-it was Wien Air for in-state and Pan American or Western to fly to the lower 48, or to Hawaii. None of those exist any more—-but Alaska is doing well.

Posted by
3140 posts

My two cents: My husband thinks that gate agents for Delta have more power to make independent decisions than those at the other large US airlines. My husband recently flew Jet Blue from Charleston to NYC and loved it. Virgin has the best premium economy.

Posted by
5398 posts

Lola - Alaska owns Horizon, it is a subsidiary. Used interchangeably on shorter routes with smaller passenger loads.

Agree with your other points above. Alaska is a great airline. East coast folks might be surprised to learn how much of a player they are -- mostly west of the Mississippi, but with flights to Hawaii, Mexico, and selected cities across much of the US. Consistently good service IME and coach seats that are not as cramped as the other US legacy airlines. (I've spent a lot of butt-in-the-seat hours flying with Chester...).

Prediction: at some point in the next few years, I suspect we will see Alaska flying nonstop to some European destinations (over the pole, it's not that far from SEA to northern European destinations), and also possibly deeper into the South Pacific (ssshhhh: French Polynesia...), and further into Latin America and the Caribbean. They will just need some planes with longer legs eventually, which are readily available from their friends in Everett whenever they want to order some (Alaska has always boasted of being "proudly all-Boeing" though that has not always been strictly the case and recent aviation events have strained that relationship - but sticking exclusively to one brand does simplify maintenance and keep costs down...I won't be shocked if AS picked up some 787s for longer routes in the next few years...).

Years ago, Alaska bet big on Hawaii service from all over the west coast, and that bet has paid off very well for them. They remember that leap they took, and they know there are more tropical islands and other leisure destinations just over the horizon, and there isn't that much competition to a lot of those places (nonstop flights from Seattle to Europe are relatively scarce -- there are some, but not many). Alaska is always cautious about their expansion plans, but I'm sure they would like to take a crack at some of those places when conditions align.

Posted by
13392 posts

I travel to Europe 2 to 4 times a year (even during COVID), and after flying just about every transatlantic carrier several times I settled in with Turkish Air when ever possible.

With all the flight cancelations the past year I am not aware of any Turkish Air cancelations (but I presume there was a few).

Customer service on the phone and in person has been remarkable; i could bore you with a number instances where they went way out of their way to be accommodating and hold time never exceeded a few minutes.

I dont know if there is an airline that flies to more destinations so that helps; the cost of their Open Jaw tickets, and standard tickets, is very competitive and the Istanbul airport is a breeze despite its size (and the smoked salmon meal in economy class is very good).

Economy is economy and if you want an upgrade to something like Premium Economy, you just buy better seats flight by flight; works well.

I returned last week from an international trip where I had to fly United; what a disaster; 5+ hours on the phone (mostly on hold) dozens of text messages and a chat forum and they still had the flights screwed up; but the ticket agents in the airports were understanding and helpful (but we had to repeat the madness going and coming back as no one at he airport could actually fix the issues .... they just looked the other way as I boarded the plane).

Posted by
5467 posts

Emirates did a great job quickly rescheduling our return flights from Sri Lanka just before lockdown in 2020 and I would certainly use them again.

My brother pre Covid regularly used Thai, Qatar and Etihad to get from Australia to Thailand and the U.K. and described them all as excellent, but none of these are of much relevance when considering America to Europe routes.

Posted by
2118 posts

I have cycled through a lot of carriers but now we mostly fly Delta. It’s really because when we fly to Europe on Delta, we end up with a lot of frequent flier miles. Delta offers way cheaper mileage flights than the other carriers - especially Alaska (my other local go-to airline).

For example, I am flying round trip to San Diego in the next few weeks. Total Delta mileage cost for the round trip? 8000. We went to Arizona last year for 7000 miles each.

By contrast, we bought a mileage ticket to Palm Springs for a family member this week on Alaska. 37,500 miles. And we had to take the 6am departure out of SeaTac or the ticket would have been 50,000 miles.

I am sure there are exceptions but I do a lot of searching and domestic frequent flier tickets are much cheaper on Delta - especially if you are flexible with your travel times. Delta mileage tickets to Europe are expensive and I don’t even really research them anymore as I have never found a great deal. I used to be able to get 40,000 mileage to Europe using Alaska miles on American flights but I have checked that recently…while it lasted, it was great.

Posted by
2958 posts

I've done about 60 international flights on Delta and its partners over the last 8 years. Prior to the pandemic, I would have told you Delta was my favorite brand with which I interact (that includes everything -- not just airlines). I still have a positive regard for them due to great ticket counter agents, cabin crews, pilots, and (usually) gate agents. But outside-the-airport customer service is pretty atrocious (phone, Facebook, Twitter). The airline cut customer service rep jobs way too aggressively at the beginning of the pandemic and has not been able to recover. Wait times are far beyond what they are at other US airlines. I also ended up filing a DOT complaint in late 2020 when a refund for a cancelled flight reached the 4-month mark without being processed.

This year, I'm trying other airlines. I took my first non-Delta domestic flight in more than a decade recently. American's hard product (planes, seats) was actually far superior to Delta's, but the people were far below the Delta standard. I do have a couple of Delta international itineraries in the spring. I'm looking at Lufthansa/Swiss for a fall trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina... maybe LOT in October for a trip to Poland.

Posted by
7421 posts

Really enjoyed reading your perspective, Dave.

Lola - loved your old boss’s “Elastic Scarelines” comment !!!!

I don’t have enough experience on any one carrier to judge. I don’t fly enough to worry about building miles up, I just take whatever is towards the lower end of cost and gets me to where I am going on a reasonable schedule.

Posted by
3140 posts

Dave and Aimee-my husband is Diamond and Million-Miler on Delta and he is flying them less because of the service issue-he would prefer to make his changes online but cannot.

Posted by
2958 posts

Aimee... Yup. Telephone hold times are crazy. They have an artificial intelligence texting bot that generally says "you need to talk to an agent," so it is of little help. Twitter used to be a super efficient way to reach them; they shut down the Twitter messaging operation about 18 months ago, and it has never reappeared. I periodically type "Is this working now?" just to see if it is back, and I get an automated response that Delta is not currently servicing customers via Twitter.

cala... I've been Diamond for several years. I'm right there with your husband.

Kim... Thanks!

Posted by
13392 posts

Aimee

About 10 days ago i changed my Turkish Air flight on line. But for some reason it wouldn't let me make a seat reservation on one of the legs so I had to call. I was placed on hold for NEARLY THREE MINUTES, then things were sorted out in under 5 minutes.

My United flight last week was a similar thing. 5+ hours on hold, chats, texts, and still not resolved. To the ticket agent in the airport, another 30 minutes with no success (she knew I was right, but could not fix it in the system) so the agent told me to just take my carry on and get on the plane (it was about United Basic Economy vs Standard Economy ... with Basic you get no baggage and no carry on ... but I paid for the upgrade and had the receipt to prove it). Of course I had to have a brief argument with the agent at the gate. Return flight same argument, same solution. An entire day 8 hours, wasted.

8 minutes vs 8 hours? How do you put a value on that? $100?, $200? more?

Posted by
2958 posts

James E

You have me looking at Turkish Airlines for my fall trips.

Posted by
13392 posts

Dave, I dont know if this helps, but join their mileage club. When I have had to call its the first thing I have to input before I get connected. Maybe that gets better service, but I really dont know. Its not like I am one of the high ranking members or anything. Its not a very good club, I fly them three times a year and each flight has several legs but I still havent risen up to where its worth anything. Maybe the one big drawback vs Delta or the American carriers. Oh, and my ML Credit Card points program wont book Turkish Air.

Posted by
2880 posts

I believe it depends on the route and personality of the person traveling. I have requirements that make British Air my European flight of choice based on flight (day), airport Heathrow terminal 5 only, pleasantness of crew, planes. Showing my age, many of the other carriers I have flown have been sold or gone out of business except for Air France, American and Iceland air. If I had to go out of my way to reach my destination; ie, Turkish Air, no matter how good it might be…it is no good. I don’t know how Brexit will affect my flight choice in the future.

Domestically, my favorites are Delta and then Jet Blue. Although American is flown the most because it is the easiest to a location I have traveled to the most.

This all being said, I suspect I will do trains almost always in the US going forward, and trains in Europe from my first landing on the closest international flight to Boston due to global warming.

Posted by
2958 posts

James E

Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by
12929 posts

I am enjoying this discussion. . .

I have very little experience with Delta—-only one flight about 25 years ago, but that one experience was very positive. I was in New Orleans for a conference (as an “accompanying party”, not the conference attendee). We had RT tix on American, but they went on strike during the conference. While everyone else was at the meeting or on the phone (on hold) with American trying to get a return flight home, I walked a few blocks to the Delta office (remember those?) and asked if they could help us. The agent’s response was “Honey, you’ve come to the right place” and they took the American tix and converted them to seats on a Delta flight the following day. I don’t even know how that worked, but we didn’t have to pay anything.

The one airline pilot we know was a senior pilot (recently retired) for Delta, on international flights. He spoke highly of the airline and the way they treated employees.

But back to Alaska. . . I agree with Valerie that Alaska miles are not all that useful for their domestic flights——they have become quite “expensive” in terms of the number of miles required. Especially if you book late rather than early. Ten years ago I took 6 people to Alaska for my 12-day-long birthday celebration, for a total of 150K miles——25,000 each for the roundtrip, whether from California or from Seattle. Can’t do that any more. So generally we pay for our domestic Alaska flights (using a 2-4-1 companion certificate for the more expensive ones) and earn miles to apply to our foreign trips.

As for the agents, I have found both the gate agents and the telephone agents to be very kind and helpful, both to us and to others at the airport who needed assistance—-like the woman near me at the Boise airport who was going to miss her Emirates flight to Mumbai because our Horizon flight was slightly delayed (a good lesson in not booking short connection times). The gate agent spent a good 30 minutes looking for alternate flights on partner airlines that would get her to Mumbai as quickly as possible, without waiting in Seattle for the following day’s Emirates flight.

Posted by
13392 posts

Wray, absolutely. They dont serve a lot of airports in the US:
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

And Istanbul is a bit out of the way for connections. I do always look at total flight time. They have so many flights out of Istanbul that most of my layover are 1.5 to 2.5 hours; and the airport is such that those are doable layovers. If I go through Heathrow the flight is shorter but the lay over is longer so its a wash (and I have to deal with Heathrow). I travel for sheer pleasure and I look for the most pleasurable manner to do so.

And no tricks with luggage and carry on. You get two bags to check if you want and 8kg carry on and a personal item on every flight. But they dont have "Premium Economy". If you want a roomier seat, you pay for it. Actually you pay for all seat reservations. Transatlantic its $14 minimum up to about $65 for an exit aisle seat. Or pay nothing and get where they put you. Everyone, regardless of economy seat, eats the same food (and its actually good).

I have also been impressed with their open jaw tickets, but remember I go to strange places. But last year I purchased a flight IAH to IST (change) to KBP then ODS to IST to IAH. That ticket was a few dollars cheaper than my daughter's IAH to IST round trip (we met in IST did some traveling then flew home together). Both about $900. My 3 times a year trip IAH to BUD is $750 to $950 generally; in 17 hours (I could do that in 15 with other carriers with good flight options). And because the flight out of IAH is a red-eye I show up in my final destination by noon usually.

The kindness and willingness to help this old fart has been amazing over the years. Not once in dozens and dozens of flights have I met anyone working for Turkish Air that wasn't everything I would want or expect. These guys are well trained in Customer Service. Its why I brag on them so much.

But its just my opinion, experience and preference. I suspect most of the staff with most of the airlines are good too.

Posted by
5398 posts

Turkish is indeed often very good. Sometimes, excellent. Biggest airline in the world by some measures, and one that clearly is trying very, very hard to please customers. They are certainly worth a look.

IME, as long as things are going smoothly, Turkish is a good (maybe great) choice for getting to/from places around the eastern end of Europe and beyond. However, if things go sideways and you need helping fixing something, Turkish can leave you going in circles, hitting "sorry, not my department"-style responses, leading to shrugs and a circle of finger-pointing, with you left twisting in the wind. As long as things go as expected, it can be awesome. I had a mix of great and abysmal customer service from Turkish when I was in Istanbul. They did come through for me in the end, but my expectations have been tempered a bit. OTOH, I have experienced estimated phone hold times up to 20 hours(!) with American Airlines in recent months (and sat through 4+ hours listening to their hold music once) so I probably need to cut Turkish more slack.

Their business class is good or great, depending on the aircraft type (older business class cabin, which I prefer, is showing some age, but there is so much leg room you can get up in your seat and jog back and forth - really; newer business class seat is beautiful and sleek, but foot-room is a bit cramped). Their service in business class is over-the-top: includes not one but TWO on-board chefs, quite an impressive spread of decent food, charming little touches like individual candles (electric) on your dinner tray, and more. Their business class lounge in IST is huge, filed with all sorts of free goodies, and is like a vacation destination in itself (my wife groused that we only had a couple to spend there). If you have a business class ticket on TK and a long layover in IST, they offer a FREE hotel night or a free guided city tour, your choice (some conditions apply, and I don't know how these options may have evolved with COVID, but it's a pretty generous benefit). Turkish is viewed by some as "the fourth Middle East premium airline" (Emirates, Qatar, Ethiad being the three that most people see as crazy over-the-top, if you are in a premium class).

Turkish already has a surprisingly extensive network in North America, with nonstop flights to: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, and DC, plus Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

And, -- in The Best Travel News I Read In 2021 That Wasn't About a Vaccine -- Turkish has announced it will begin nonstop flights between Istanbul and SEATTLE in Spring 2022 (they are also adding Detroit). SEA-IST flights are supposed to begin March 9, but they have not been loaded into the system yet (not bookable), and there's no word on frequency or other details (likely a 787-9, which is what they use to Vancouver), so right now it's just an announcement without a lot of details to back it up, and as we know things do change in the age of pandemics. Still, for those of us up in Rickland, this will be an awesome new option to the far end of Europe and beyond, once it starts up. I'll be watching this one closely.

Posted by
1667 posts

Interesting info on Turkish, David (already knew how much James likes them). I booked a fall trip with miles via United and what came up has me flying Turkish back from Budapest to DFW. Side note: I will also be flying Emirates and Qatar in April (also Royal Jordanian), so will compare. I have flown Emirates before but not the other three.

Posted by
6238 posts

As my favorite city on the planet is London. I try to visit each year. My favorite airline is Virgin Atlantic. Take the overnight flight LAX to LHR. Good service, food and entertainment options.

Posted by
13392 posts

Travelmom, i suspect you are flying Turkish to Istanbul and then United to DFW.

Posted by
1667 posts

James, you may well be right and would certainly know more than me. :) . I guess I will find out. But I do have a Turkish Air flight # for both flights. Doesn’t mean it’s Turkish metal, although I can keep my fingers crossed…..

Posted by
13392 posts

This is where Turkish Air lands in the US:

Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Posted by
5398 posts

Turkish also (allegedly) serves DFW -- or they used to/plan to. Lots of schedules have been adjusted during the pandemic, and routes get suspended and restarted, so things in the real world today may not exactly match what the internets tell us. I'm not going to tell a Texan what airlines fly to their state, but I see DFW listed as one of Turkish Airlines' US destinations, and online articles claim that TK started nonstops between IST and DFW on September 24, 2021. Google also tells me (and will sell me a ticket) on that TK flight 191 allegedly going from IST to DFW four times a week (MWFSu), departing IST at 2:10 pm, arriving DFW 8:25pm (return flight is TK 192). It's a 787-900 with new interior. Travelmom may be on that.

@ Travelmom, look at your booking (if you booked via United, you should be able to pull up the reservation on united.com). If you have a nonstop flight from Istanbul to Dallas (or somewhere else in North America), then you're on a Turkish Airlines plane (United does not fly to Istanbul). If you have a flight from Istanbul to some intermediate point in Europe and a connection there, then you are almost certainly on Turkish for the leg coming out of Istanbul, but after the next connection (Frankfurt would be a likely example) it'll probably be all United metal. If your flight from Istanbul does not stop somewhere in Europe, then you're on Turkish.

Get out your Fes hat, crank up some They Might Be Giants, and get ready for a little Turkish delight.

I think.

Posted by
13392 posts

David, that would be great news. I can either do DFW or IAH, but in the past only had the IAH option. When I booked my flight about 3 weeks ago, DFW didnt come up. But I hope you are right. Thanks

Posted by
5398 posts

James, check the day of the week. I did a search on Google Flights and it found them. It's possible they (google) could be in error, or the schedule may be suspended/revised, but I saw posts on FT from people who had flown the DFW-IST flights in October, saw online photos of ribbon-cutting ceremonies, so if it's not currently running, at least it was a real thing not so long ago. Maybe omicron scrambled things again, but I'd assume that's temporary. TK is expanding service to North America, which is a good thing IMHO. I am hoping the promised SEA-IST service does materialize as expected (then again, lots if churn is just the way things are now). We will see.

Posted by
1667 posts

Well, I am now “delighted”. 🤣

I am scheduled direct Istanbul to DFW on the flight David mentioned - and the internet tells me Turkish started flying that route at the end of September. Now, whether I will still be flying that route in October is anyone’s guess - but given that TA doesn’t seem to cancel many flights, I can be hopeful. I still fly United if it is cheapest, but it hasn’t been much fun the last couple of times - and the meals have shrunk between 2019 and 2021 (I don’t like to bring food on the plane…..) My miles stretched to business over but only economy back - which is why I was happy to think it might really not be United on the way home.

Posted by
89 posts

{Californians might be surprised to learn they are "the Northwest"}

While Californians aren't considered Northwest by geographical standards, hardly anyone from the east coast flies Alaska to the major CA cities out of JFK/LGA. JetBlue, Southwest, and the legacy carriers have the most routes and are often the cheapest. I say that as someone who has a lot of friends and family in CA and who also does everything she can to avoid LAX.

Posted by
13392 posts

TK is expanding service to North America, which is a good thing IMHO
Me too. Thanks again. Now instead of the 3.5 hour drive to IAH, I can choose a 5 hour drive to DFW! Excellent!

Here is an example.

Last trip (November) i got my test done at one of those rapid labs. By the time I reached the airport the test still hadn't arrived in my email. No problem I thought, I could get the test done in the airport in Istanbul and be set for Hungary. So I went to check in. I told them the deal, they were very apologetic. If the flight had been on two tickets, no problem, but on one ticket they just could not let me on. But I could go to the reservations desk and split my ticket. It was about 60 minutes till boarding and I was paranoid so I said I would do it and be back. They stopped me and said to relax, go to the end of the line and start calling the testing lab. The line was a mile long so that would buy me lots of time; then, if nothing else they would split the ticket. I did as instructed and 5 minutes later had my test results. I held up my phone in triumph so the ticket agents that had been helping me could see (because they seemed generally concerned), next thing I know two of them are coming to the back of the line and they escorted me to the front of the Business Class line and gave me my boarding pass. We all noticed that the test results didn't have a time stamp on them, but with a wink and a nod (and a whisper to call the lab again), I was on my way to the gate. About the time i boarded i got another test result with the time stamp.

Think how this could have gone. They bought me for life.

Travelmom, if you want a better return seat, just buy it. Maybe $85 for an exit row. Good thing is you only have to buy the upgraded seat for the long haul. Cheaper that way.

Posted by
1667 posts

Turkish seat reservation for the long leg made - my travel hopes and dreams are alive and well. :) Thanks, James and David! I do enjoy comfort, but I still also enjoy new experiences of many kinds. So I am even excited about flying LOT on one leg of this trip. Lol. I am pretty sure they didn’t make the best airline list.

Because of where I am, I don’t wind up on Delta very often (and not at all post 2019). But I flew economy Lufthansa back from Prague (Prague-FRA, FRA-DFW) in December and it was such a nice upgrade from United or American economy…… As I get less concerned about transit in Europe, my choices open back up.

Posted by
6510 posts

These kind of polls are good as conversation starters, but are pretty meaningless unless you actually have the option to choose. For many of us, flying to Europe means Delta, American, or United, and, if lucky, their codeshared partners. Surveys wont help make those decisions, just choices of favorable connecting cities, arrival times, and fares. Domestically, Southwest is always my choice (unless not available) because they fly everywhere I need to go from here, and they have great policies for cancellations and checked bags - things that matter more than meals and entertainment.

Posted by
13392 posts

I love Southwest. I grew up with Southwest. I had a choice for my last international trip some weeks back between them and United and for some ignorant reason I chose United ... what a disaster.

Posted by
2396 posts

Articles like this are great clickbait, because look at the reaction it's gotten!

I don't think you can generalize about airlines anymore, any more than you can talk about "Ford dealers" or "Target employees." Every single interaction these days, it's YMMV. Especially in steerage. Up front, well the folks at Frequent Flyer keep track of that stuff.

As for La Compagnie, I've looked at them several times. Their fares from the East Coast to France are appealing and most of the reviews are good, but as noted, they only have a few planes. So if there's a technical or weather issue, they can't just put you on the next flight - there IS no next flight. FWIW they also plan to expand to Milan in the near future.