Favorite Airline & Why?
To clarify, I have no idea why I'm making this post. Honestly, I think I'm still riding off this high from my most recent trip. Absolutely unreal experience, fuckin' loved it.
Wanted to get WSO's opinion on their favorite airline or airline group, and if they had any best-experience or worst-experiences on 'em. Whether it's personal or business travel, private-first or economy, anything in between. Figured I'd drop my own experience below:
Yesterday I got back from my London trip, I guess it was half-business. Gotta say - planning impromptu vacations around business events is the absolute way to go. Can really save big on some parts, and while you're not gonna get an all-expenses-paid stay for everything you do, it's nice to rack up some of the stuff that's covered regardless. I'm not at the position in my firm to say FUCK EVERYTHING WE GOING BIG ON THE COMPANY CARD without getting screamed at by Accounting and HR, but I definitely try to push some stuff in there when I can. Highly recommend.
Anyways, I'll give a brief spiel: Delta Premium Select, round trip from DCA - LHR. Wasn't able to get a direct flight due to booking late, but only had a one-hour layover in Boston on the way out, 90-min on JFK for return flight. I'm not an 'aviation geek' but I've always thought airports are cool as hell so I was good w/ it. PreCheck paired w/ Global Entry makes everything worth it - GET BOTH OF THOSE. Cannot recommend it enough, even if you use them like once every ten years it's so damn worth it. Strolled right through customs both times, zero line & nothin' involved. Pairing that w/ PreCheck is phenomenal. I pulled up to Heathrow about 30 min before boarding and the time from shutting my Uber door to sitting in my plane seat was about 20 min max. For an airport the size of LHR or DCA, that's unreal.
"Premium Select" is basically just business class for Delta, so that's what I was offered. I'll be honest - I probably could have gotten a Delta One suite (first-class, they just make up names at this point) without catching any flack from my superiors, but didn't want to start anything and I am PERFECTLY okay with business class. Due to the lovely nature of booking literally 24 hours prior to my flight taking off, I think that ran me $6,900-ish round trip, while first would have been $11,500-ish. Oof, but hey - shout out business expenses.
Side note - unless your firm doesn't allow this (which I have recently discovered is quite frequent), I got no idea why you wouldn't chargeback instead of using company card. Yes, company card is great for no hassle and whatnot, but I earned 39,000 miles on my personal account which I can put to great use in the future. I got an Amex Plat so all the lounge and 5x miles is also just fuckin' great, and Platinum offers you a 10% return on their own airfare purchases. WHOLE LOTTA SAVINGS.
Flying experience was great. Killer service, seats were comfy as hell, and it just seemed like all they wanted to do was make those hours I was in the air as good as possible. Pilot cracked some joke about slamming an 'airplane' bottle before takeoff and I was loving it. Plane was brand new (A330 I think? Avgeeks help me out here please) and clean as it could possibly be. Really thought they went above and beyond to make sure my experience was amazing. Free meals and as much booze as I wanted as long as I pretended to act sober. I think by midway over the Atlantic I felt like I was back in college after the amount of vodka I had in me. Met some old dude next to me, guy was a career consulting dude who recently retired and was now an EMT full-time because he wanted to help people - how fucking sick is that?
Overall, best flying experience I've ever had, both departure and arrival. I've always flown Sky Alliance (which I believe is Delta, KLM, Air Frane, &) w/ rare exceptions, but really understood why people I meet are so loyal to their airlines now. Would love to hear some stories from the rest of the community if they had a similar experience.