I thought the most basic thing behind almost every trip abroad would be a good start up post for this blog. One has to get to the destination and in most cases, if the destination is far enough, this happens by plane.
Now for me the booking of the flight is always the most important thing.
Probably also because I often do not have to do more than that… but also otherwise.
Prices, dates, times, airlines, stops, waiting hours… there is just so much to take into consideration and I could write books about it! Literally.
Personally I look most at the airline, which most of my friends seem to find weird, as we are poor students and have to turn every cent.
Still, for me it is an absolute no-go to fly with the very very cheap airlines, like for example ryanair. I really do hate ryanair, I flew with it only two times, but that was enough.
Starting with the fact that there is no specific seat for each ticket, so it is always one big hurry to not end up next to the emergency exits, which I personally dislike a lot.
When you end up there still and point out to the flight attendant that it makes you feel very uncomfortable, they tend to not care at all, even though they are supposed to reseat you. So ryanair, not an option for me, even though it is very cheap.
Wizzair is about the same price class and well, same story: no seat numbers, no snacks, no drinks. At least for them the service was a lot better than in ryanair, so I’d take rather wizzair if I had to choose one of them.
I normally use a German price comparison site, especially since Finnair was so nice to cancel all direct flights to Stuttgart from Helsinki. I still totally don’t get that. They used to fly that route twice per day and the planes were always full! No idea what has gotten into them, but probably they have their reasons.
So now my preference is Lufthansa that goes straight to Frankfurt.
I don’t necessarily have a problem with a stop in between and changing planes, I did in fact fly a lot of times with airberlin via Berlin or Düsseldorf. It is always okay, as long as the waiting times are not too long. Then again, in the winter it often gets really stressful, when the planes are delayed due to the weather and when one finally departed, you still have to worry about catching the connecting flight.
Also I dislike flying, especially the take offs, that everyone loves so much. Brrrr. Worst feeling ever. So I appreciate having to sit through that only once per day. 😀
That slight fear of flying, even though it got a lot smaller during the years, is also one of the reasons why I rather spend 50 euros more and get a better airline and service. If I feel good and comfortable on board, the whole flight gets a lot nicer.
I want to point out that I do know that cheap airlines do not save money in safety! Still, they do in service and that is already enough. 😀
So I decided to have a little “top 5” of airlines… 😀
Of course again only in my point of view, everyone may disagree. ^^
I think I flew with them only once so far, from Helsinki to Frankfurt (not even back, as my boyfriend and me came by car), but it totally blew me and the next flight for December is already booked with them.
The on-board service was just absolutely fantastic. The way the pilot keeps contact with the passengers, the flight attendants, the quality of the snacks and drinks. It is outstanding in my opinion!
I am convinced there are many more flights to come. 😀
Of course. 🙂 “Only 2?” some might wonder, but well, I am out of the phase where everything Finnish is holy… for quite a while already.
Plus: Finnair might be the overall number 2, however, I don’t feel safer with any other airline. Not just cause the statistics say it is one of the (if not THE) safest airline, but also in general. I had the smoothest take offs and landings with Finnair, no matter if in horrible snow storms, on icy runways or whatever.
The service is also great, even though Lufthansa just tops it a little.
It tells enough that I dared to sit through a 10 hour flight to Japan with Finnair and I must say it was one of the best flights so far. Or well, two of them, there and back. 😀
3) Japan Airlines
Only two very short flights with them between Tokyo and Fukuoka, but still I saw enough.
If looking only at the service brought to the passenger by the flight attendants they deserve the first place actually. But this way of extreme politeness is just something Asian.
Also, it was so extreme it creeped me out a bit, so that’s why only number 3. xD
I mean, picture a flight to Fukuoka. Who, that is not Japanese, has anything to do in Fukuoka?
So of course I was the only foreigner all over the plane. (On the way back, there was one friend of mine, whom I didn’t know yet back then, but he does not count, he speaks Japanese. xD)
You might know that Japanese people in general do not speak very well English, only a few do, so I expected worse, especially on a domestic flight, being the only one who knows nothing but “arigato!” xD
But to my suprise, they spoke English to me instantly, very well English even and in the same level of friendliness as to the Japanese passengers around me.
Just imagining being the only foreigner on a domestic Finnair flight and trying to ask the flight attendant something in English. xD
Sure they would understand but probably still react in a way like “What are you doing here and how dare you speaking English?” ^^
I can’t actually say much. First flight ever was with them, via Amsterdam to Helsinki and back. Might tell enough that I dared to put a foot in a plane again after that.
It is 6 years ago, so I don’t remember too much, but I do remember, that there was nothing to complain. 🙂
Second most flights with them after Finnair.
The service on board is good, the food and drinks are okay…
What I totally disliked was the behaviour of the people behind the airline in the winter chaos. They just simply refuse to rebook your flight to another destination, because “it is not officially canceled yet” (they literally said “yet”, because they knew as well as I that it would be) and rather risk you sitting on an airport for the third night.
But I won’t go deeper into that, I have written about this odyssey in my other blog once, in German though, I think.
That they are still on the list at all is due to the cabin crew that me and the friend I made during those days of being stuck at airports met when we finally could fly to Berlin from Stockholm. They were super nice and had a lot of sympathy and understanding for our situation. They treated us with extra drinks and snacks during the flight, too. Thumbs up!
So much to that, I think that was enough of blaa! 😀
Feel free to share your experiences as a comment, I’d be very happy to read other opinions. ^-^