Smart Travel Tips To Help You Choose The Best Airline

Seasoned travelers are well aware of big names such as Delta and United when it comes to air travel, but each year, the number of small airlines popping up seems to be on a rise. Many of these more affordable and lesser known airlines go out of business in just a few short years or resort to offering charters only. With that being said, they can still suit the needs of the budget traveler while they're still around.

In order to choose the best airline company, it's wise to do some research first. Here are some great tools to help you get started:


1. Check Out Officially Blacklists

The United States and European countries are actively updating their blacklists to help travelers stay safe. This list contains countries that are unsafe in terms of travel and their airline safety standards aren't up to par.

Nations that are found on the United States' blacklist aren't able to offer new travel opportunities until their standards are improved. Likewise, European countries blacklist entire airlines that are deemed unsafe for tourists. Though the list only pertains to Europeans, it can aid in worldwide recognition of poorly performing airline companies (usually Asian and African in origin).


2. Ignore Opinions Of Others

The fact is, reading a review now and again is a good idea, but do so with great caution. Forums on Tripadvisor and other travel sites often outline horror stories that took place and mar the reputation of otherwise reliable airline companies. Every company makes mistakes on occasion, so it's important to be fair in your personal evaluation.


3. Focus On Safety

Every traveler, of course, wants to know the level of safety risks involved with choosing a certain airline. If the airline in question hasn't been blacklisted or didn't win any awards, it's best to refer to the AirSafe website. The website has an up-to-date compilation of safety-related incidents and crashes that have taken place since it has been in business. It's important to pay attention to the dates, as an airline may seem unsafe due to one incident that took place over 20 years ago.


4. Scope Out The Fees

Low-cost and privately owned airlines often have strict rules that govern baggage allowances and associated fees. It's important to consider these fees, as Ryanair, a European airline, charges low air fares, but they don't allow very much baggage either. You may save money on the price of the ticket, but will be forced to make up for it elsewhere.


5. Compare Seating And Amenities

Seatguru is a great resource for helping you narrow down your options. When in doubt, the website allows you to see the ratings associated with seating comfort, food, and entertainment. You will undoubtedly discover a number of shocking details that allow you to rule out certain airlines.

Airplane tickets are generally non-refundable, so it's important to purchase them from a reliable airline company. Most airlines that continue to provide quality customer service are also award-winning, therefore, easier to find.

Jonathan Leger is a freelance writer and small business owner. He runs a popular question and answer website with a section dedicated to travel at  AnswerThis.co.