Help me pick an airline

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Which airline?

JetBlue
5
36%
American
0
No votes
AirTran
0
No votes
United
1
7%
Alaska
2
14%
Southwest
3
21%
Northwest
0
No votes
Continental
0
No votes
US Airways (Codeshare with United $120 price premium)
1
7%
Delta (Codeshare with Alaska $150 price premium)
2
14%
 
Total votes: 14

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wing
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Help me pick an airline

Postby wing » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

I'm going on a trip this summer, and I'm in the process of booking all the requirements.

I've more or less narrowed it down to either American Airlines, or JetBlue based upon pricing, seat dimensions, legroom, and amenities consideration. However, I am unable to make the call as to whether everything extra JetBlue gives me is actually worth the $78 extra.

Flight parameters:
Depart: Wed Aug 6, 2008 Prefer morning
Return Mon, Aug 18, 2008 Prefer redeye
1 adult passenger
Washington DC area to LAX or Long Beach and back.

About me: In the past, I have made the same flight fairly comfortably in a 17" wide seat with 31" of legroom on a United 757.

About my destination: The person I am visiting lives PRECISELY (+- 30 seconds travel time) equidistant between LAX and Long Beach. Long Beach is slightly preferable because the whole airport is roughly the size of one terminal at LAX :P

I'm personally leaning towards JetBlue, for the following reasons:
-Slightly better traffic to be on time for departure
-Significant amounts of extra legroom
-Leather seats
-Half an inch wider seats
-If I so desired I could bring a freaking huge carryon
-FREE FOODS!
-Better music selection
-Usable video entertainment (just in case it's overcast - also handy on the return redeye)
-LAX kinda sucks, I'd like to try something new.

JetBlue
Dulles-Long Beach
7:45 AM depart, 9:57 AM arrive
Long Beach-Dulles
9:30 PM depart, 5:20AM arrive
$437.00
Legroom 34"
Seat width 17.8" **Leather seat!
Carryon 1 56" bag, 1 personal
Checked 2x 50lb 62"
Food: Free snack, free drink.
Entertainment: Individual TV/Movie (DirecTV!) + XM radio (decent selection)
Equipment: New Airbus A320

American
Dulles-LAX
9:20AM depart, 11:30AM arrive (flight 149)
LAX-Dulles
10:05PM depart, 6:00AM arrive (flight 74)
$359.00
Legroom 31"
Seat width 17.2"
Carryon 1 45" bag, 1 personal
Checked 2x 50lb 62"
Food: Paid snack, free drink.
Entertainment: Shared Movie + Custom radio (crap selection - why have airlines never heard of rock music?)
Equipment: New Boeing 737-800



Other airlines in the spoiler. Not all information is complete, because they were removed from the running before I bothered looking certain items up.
Spoiler:
AirTran
BWI-LAX
8:49AM depart, 11:44AM arrive (Flight 81)
LAX-BWI
10:05PM depart, 6:05AM arrive (Flight 84)
$347.00
Legroom 31"
Seat width 18"
Carryon 1 bag 55" 1 personal
Checked 1x 50lb 61" (must pay $50 extra to accomodate my luggage needs due to being 1" oversized)
Food: Free snack, free drink.
Entertainment: XM radio

United
BWI-LAX
7:20AM depart, 9:45AM arrive (Flight 961)
LAX-BWI
10:15PM depart, 6:16AM arrive (Flight 308)
$399.00
Seat 31x18
Carryon 1 bag 45", 1 personal
Checked 1x 50lb 62" (must pay $50 extra to accomodate my luggage needs)
Food: Free snack, free drink.
Entertainment: Limited XM radio (nothing good), ATC (depending on pilot - rare lately), shared movie.

Alaska Airlines
Reagan-LAX
9:15AM depart, 11:39AM arrive
LAX-Reagan
12:44PM depart, 8:59PM arrive
$399.00
Seat 32x17
Carryon 1 51" bag, 1 personal
Checked 2x 50lb 62"
Food: Not entirely clear, likely free drink, free snack.
Entertainment: Paid handheld movie player (crap)


Southwest
BWI-LAX
7:00AM depart, 10:35AM arrive
LAX-Phoenix-BWI
3:15PM depart, 12:55AM arrive, layover from 4:35PM to 5:35PM
$384

US Airways
Operated by United.
Schedule is identical to United.
$519.00

Northwest
BWI-Minneapolis-LAX
8:30AM depart, 1:10PM arrive, layover from 10:10AM-11:25AM
LAX-Detroit-BWI
10:00PM depart, 8:10AM arrive, layover from 5:18AM to 6:40AM
$391 (Severe minus points for website being shitty and unreliable)

Delta
Operated by Alaska airlines.
Schedule is identical to Alaska Airlines
$449.00

Continental
BWI-Houston IAH-LAX
5:40AM depart, 10:48AM arrive, layover from 7:47AM-9:20AM
LAX-New York Newark-BWI
9:45PM depart, 9:37AM arrive, layover from 6:07AM-8:15AM
$373.50
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Solt
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Location: California

Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby Solt » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

Damn nerd, just choose the cheapest flight and get on with planning the rest of the trip!

Seriously though, I love Jet Blue + Long Beach. Lines are short, you don't have to get there 2-3 hours before your flight (I've gotten there 45 minutes before and still had to wait in the terminal for a good 10-15 minutes). Also, if you're tall Jet Blue is doing this thing where if you pay $10 extra you can get EVEN MORE leg room. I'm not sure if it's on all flights yet, but I bought it and for the first time in my life I flew on a plane without my knees ever touching the seat in front of me!
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wing
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby wing » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

The rest of the trip is already planned and paid for (and optimized in every aspect) - so I have plenty of time to waste optimizing air travel!
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lorenith
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby lorenith » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:21 am UTC

Don't feel so sure you have plenty of time, if you wait to long the prices are likely to jump up on you without warning. Everyday counts sometimes, I've had the cost of a flight randomly jump up overnight before. (Much to my annoyance).

I can't really vote on this because I'm biased to cheapest most desireable times, that also give the most amount of time wherever I'm visiting. I care little about food or how much leg room I may have on the flight.

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Nath
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby Nath » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:47 am UTC

I'd go with the cheaper one. It seems silly to pay $80 for 'free' food (a $5 snack) and slightly better entertainment (bring a book :)). Can't comment on seat comfort, though; it isn't a big deal to me, but some people seem to care a lot about a couple of extra inches.

(That's what she... never mind.)

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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby goblin_subway » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:51 am UTC

Sorry, I voted Delta out of reflex. That is the carrier my company uses, and we have never been late. Our company requires people to be in a certain place at a certain time, so that they can synch up with a truck shipment. Delta has never failed.

EDIT: Delta... expensive, but always on time.
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Cornelius
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby Cornelius » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:59 am UTC

go Jetblue.

it's got boomerang on the tv, you can watch cartoons from the 1960's, when they were good.
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wing
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby wing » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:17 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Sorry, I voted Delta out of reflex. That is the carrier my company uses, and we have never been late. Our company requires people to be in a certain place at a certain time, so that they can synch up with a truck shipment. Delta has never failed.

EDIT: Delta... expensive, but always on time.

That would be a compelling argument if that were even a Delta flight :P

It's just the Alaskan airlines flights with the Delta logo printed on the boarding pass and a huge markup.

Nath wrote:I'd go with the cheaper one. It seems silly to pay $80 for 'free' food (a $5 snack) and slightly better entertainment (bring a book :)). Can't comment on seat comfort, though; it isn't a big deal to me, but some people seem to care a lot about a couple of extra inches.

(That's what she... never mind.)


Very good points. Considering this, I may need to consult the airport parking price oracles to see if that swings things in one direction or the other.
lorenith wrote:Don't feel so sure you have plenty of time, if you wait to long the prices are likely to jump up on you without warning. Everyday counts sometimes, I've had the cost of a flight randomly jump up overnight before. (Much to my annoyance).
Oh, believe me, I know. I've been burned severely before.

The actual purchase will happen later tonight - "plenty of time" is relative.
I AM A SEXY, SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!
Akula wrote:Our team has turned into this hate-fueled juggernaut of profit. It's goddamn wonderful.

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rockintom99
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Re: Help me pick an airline

Postby rockintom99 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:41 pm UTC

The only commercial plane I've flown on is Alaska, and I have no beef with them. *shrug*
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