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When choosing an airline to fly with, what factors influence your decision?

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1st is price than route followed by comfort for the majority of my flights. I try to avoid too many connections as well ... especially through the US.

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service above price always do not like the frowning bad mannered qantas staff i prefer JAL,Air New Zealand for going down under and Singapore Airlines for going to Europe, fortunately unlike sakurala i get to fly direct to down under so no connections unless going on jet star, which is not advised if traveling with kids under 5, but ok for singletons

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Route, first of all, since many airlines have cut back their services to and from Japan since the earthquake. Then airfare, although I find that there isn't a lot of difference in airfares quoted to me by travel agents like H.I.S. and what I see advertised online. I'm more apt to go with an airline that advertises the fare including the fuel surcharge. As for other factors, seat comfort and food aren't a factor since I am stuck in economy class, and I doubt whether they differ much from airline to airline.

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Non-stop flights, time of departure and seat location. United has many grandma flight attendent that are close to retirement and they serve you well. Asiana has models.

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Whichever airline I can get a bulkhead row or emergency exit row seat.

They're the only seats I can afford AND where I don't get my knees crushed.

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I go through a checklist and make sure the airline isn't Northwest, United, Continental, Delta, Korean, Malaysia, or Lufthansa, and only accept Qantas in absolute emergencies.

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Lowest price and not Aeroflot. Strangely the cheapest airline seems to be different every time I fly. Emirates was probably the best so far, but usually cost twice as much as other airlines.

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Service as in the high quality of the air staff.

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1) Route: I want to get to Manchester usually, but can't be doing with Heathrow: nasty place, nasty people.

2) Cost: Korean, Finnair, Lufthansa all good.

3) Seat: Can I reserve it when I buy the ticket online?

Overall preference: 1) Finnair 2) Korean 3) Lufthansa or KLM

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What someone looks for depends on the class of service they fly. For instance I would never fly Delta (formerly Northwest in Japan) in coach. Older 747 cabin straight out of the early 90s with service to match. On the other hand the experience in Business Class is quite competitive in terms of hard product and cost. Since I only fly business class or above I'm a lot more forgiving with most airlines. Be that as it may, I'm under no illusion about what I'm flying. Typically JAL and ANA have superior Business products than any US based airline, but they also cost 30-50% more. All that being said, when ANA, JAL and Continental will have the 787 soon. That might be a game changer for me on ultra long hauls.

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Delta (formerly Northwest in Japan)

Delta has always been Delta, well actually in 1928 it was called Delta Air service, so one cannot say it was formerly Northwest in Japan, especially since Delta began its flights across the Pacific in the 1980s--a merger happened; Northwest has become a part of Delta.

Always like flying business class with them, but don't care for the extra security hassel in Atlanta after the long NRT to Atlanta flight.

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When we are talking about domestic flights within Japan, I look at the price first. Unfortunately, compared to European airlines, I still have to pay the double price and get no sandwich and no drinks. When talking about international flights, I look at the airport first where I have to transit and avoid nightmare airports like Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt where the walking distances to get from one terminal to the other are just enormous. Then the most important factor is whether I can take my surfboard for free. Then I want to watch good movies and eat good food and have good snacks and friendly service and have a nice handsome guy sitting next to me and sleep quietly. So, considering all this, there is only Korean Air for me. Plus, immigration in Korea is extremely friendly. They always give me a warm welcome with a nice smile. If I can't fly Korean Air, Turkish Airlines and Malaysian Airlines are also really great.

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Forgot to add: I have flown about 100 times not and my favorite by far is JAL. I have had nothing but great service from them. I was upgraded to business class on my first flight with them. And recently I had a horrible cough when I was coming back my honeymoon in Germany but the attendents made sure I always had water and some candy to help soothe my throat. They even brought me extra ice cream! Lufthansa was also good about the water on a shorter flight but the check-in at Amsterdam airport was disasterous.

The worst was a tie between united and American Airlines going from Japan through Seattle up to Canada. My husband and I had to recheck baggage in a short period of time because the flight (as always) was late arriving. No appologies, small seats, bad seat pitch and very disguisting food. Not recommended.

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I will be as upfront about this as possible.

Number one is desirable destinations available. The second would be price. These two points being said, there has been, in approximately the last 7 years or so, a stronger leaning towards the most comfortable accumulation of award points that can be transferred. Points have been modestly accumulated in the form of products and services from partner organizations. Gallons of gas to flowers, hotels, wines and varied services. I like the feeling that I am building something.

I was worried I would buy excessive services or products, but according to my budget just the opposite has happened. I found I saved a little more. I felt more comfortable in my purchases and felt a sense of accomplishment. I purchased a bouquet of roses for the next six months for my beloved, and I unabashedly love it.

I was raised around planes and airports and don't feel the urge to be catered to. I know enough to know how brutally difficult airline/airport jobs are. Not just can be, but are.

Perhaps my tolerance for "the unsuitable" is high. But I prefer the long term over the short term. Flights (good, bad or otherwise) are short compared to long term benefits of partner organizations. Flights are a gamble anyway. Good crew, bad flight. Bad crew, good flight organization. It's all a gamble anyway. You pay your money, you take your chances.

I checked out a company with heavily promoted great service. There were very few partner organizations. I have not as yet flown with them.

I like to know my money is doing something. I like something that builds something for me.

I was worried it would make me spend more. Instead it helped me feel more comfortable with my choices and where I would have been reluctant to really reluctant, like flowers. I feel a little more daring. If I had wanted points, I could buy them and not risk as much on several levels.

I've found it makes me a little more romantic, maybe.

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@brotokyo When the merger happened Delta only flew ATL and JFK to NRT. NWA had been flying to Japan since 1933, and at the time of the merger the NRT operation was a hub with 21 routes. If you're flying ex-NRT you're most likely on former NWA metal with still unionized former NWA crews (instead of the non-union Delta Crews).

I agree about the third ring of hell that is ATL. It's just as bad as connecting in ORD. DTW is a slick connection but would only work if you're from the midwest.

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safety record route price does the flight have free booze or not

pretty much it.

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crew members of the fairer sex

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I go through a checklist and make sure the airline isn't Northwest, United, Continental, Delta, Korean, Malaysia, or Lufthansa, and only accept Qantas in absolute emergencies.

Hmm, I really like Korean and Malaysia.

Price is important of course - I prefer non-US airlines as the service has become so poor and all the additional fees like for drinks, checking a bag, etc are just too much. I'll take a plane change in Seoul or Taipei to fly on a decent airline like Korean or EVA (and probably get a cheaper ticket).

It's annoying to see the premium pricing from Japan. If you look at EVA, for example, the Taipei-Tokyo-SF route is much cheaper than the Tokyo-SF route, which uses little common sense. It seems to be that way from pretty much all the hubs outside Japan.

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1.if it fly out of nearest airport, in this case haneda 2.if it is not the China Airline 3.if it offer online reservation service. 4.flight time 5.price

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1 - SAFETY RECORD 2 - PRICE

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"Always like flying business class with them ( Delta )"

The difference in price between an economy class seat and a business class seat, say from Narita to New York, could pay for several nights in a nice hotel with meals, plus all the omiyage you can carry.

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a. Non-stop or one-stop to the destination.

b. Price for the route desired.

c. Legroom in the section I'm going to use.

That's it. Well, there IS one other criteria that would rank above (a.), but I've never found one that does it: Lapdances by the flight attendants. Show me an airline with that service and they'll have my business every time. XD

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1)price 2)service 3)safety I prefer Air NZ, Singapore Airlines and Cathay...would love to fly Emirates to see what its all about but they dont fly to NZ from Japan!

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Air Canada is the worst airlines I've ever used. NRT Check In counter staff are annoying and selfish. Try talking to these country people is annoying. The woman had a really serious attitude. They assigned me a seat with a mother & 2 japanese children in the back of me. The kids were so loud annoying and kicking my seat. They were sooooooo annoying that passengers were complaining in my section to have them removed and put in the back of the airplane. The passenger ( japanese lady 40's ) that was sitting next to me said to the mother, " If you don't control your kids, I will ! ! ! " THANK YOU AIR CANADA Your 1# with the bottom of my shoe !!!!!!!

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The important factors is trying to reserve a flight without bothersome children.

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Seat width, and legroom is VERY important to me. I am 6'5 (195cm) with very long legs, and sitting with my legs to the side for any length of time puts all my torso weight on the bones in my butt, causing the nerves in my legs to fall asleep; very painful.

Lufthansa has got to have the narrowest seats in the industry! And the firmest (in a bad way). I learned this from six years of business trips to Europe. For that reason I NEVER fly Lufthansa anymore. I can't believe that the seats are so narrow, considering that Europeans and North Americans have such wide hips (and overweight people are very high in number). It's almost as if the seats were designed for anorexic teenage girls.

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Departure or arrival times, price, Haneda or Narita, service, mileage.

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Direct flight, price, flight time. Finnair is OK as is also SAS. BA is quite horrible. And I try to avoid Charles Le Gaulle in Paris as a transit airport, as they are notorious for loosing the highest amount of luggage in Europe.

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Civility!

Worst experiences with BA Best with Cathy, Singapore.

Overall surprise and dark horse Aeroflot (if the windows don't pop out)

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Price,Legroom,Reputation all in that order..Absolutely!!

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Simple ordering online and you pick your exact seat so you know where you are on the plane. No more stupid random seating.

Direct flights, zero wait time, nice comfy seats at a good price, jovial professional crews. Yes they do exist.

Brown bagging it on meals and a plug in on my seat and I'm GTG. I've had it where ordering (the free drinks) on the menu was from the screen rather than waiting for someone to walk by. I didn't have to disturb my sleeping neighbour.

I thought Virgin America was the comfort and service I wanted without the frills I really didn't need.

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I just booked my summer flights. The first suggestion of the travel agent had me saving a few thousand yen by flying through and changing planes in a third country. And had me spend more time in the air, by going past my destination and back again, rather than have a five hour wait at one airport in my home country. When I suggested that alternate route, they wanted to make sure I was aware of that long stop-over. Even with it, I started my journey an hour later and arrived 15 minutes earlier.

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bigricebowl, agree with legroom, although you don't have to be 6 foot 5 to complain about it. I'm only 5 foot 10 but my legs are extremely long for my height (the length of my pants is 34 inches or 85cm) so my knees are constantly in contact with the seat in front of me.

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Anything with legroom. I just want the blood in my body to circulate. Is that too much to ask? (I know I'm leaving myself open for a wisecracker)

Next, safety and price. Food sucks on almost all careers so I don't consider that an issue.

Now that I know a bit more about planes I do consider what model it is. You can charge your Ipod on some routes with USB in Economy. You really have to do checking if you want to be sure about that.

Being able to charge your portable devices makes a HUGE difference on long flights. If you know in advance you can bring your 3DS or PSP, or even charge Ultra-Portable laptops. That's becoming a major factor for international flights.

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Hahhaha, what a typo. It should be carriers

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Anything with legroom. I just want the blood in my body to circulate. Is that too much to ask? (I know I'm leaving myself open for a wisecracker)

Next, safety and price. Food sucks on almost all airlines so I don't consider that an issue.

Now that I know a bit more about planes I do consider what model it is. You can charge your Ipod on some routes with USB in Economy. You really have to do checking if you want to be sure about that.

Being able to charge your portable devices makes a HUGE difference on long flights. If you know in advance you can bring your 3DS or PSP, or even charge Ultra-Portable laptops. That's becoming a major factor for international flights.

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I've never had a bad experience with Southwest Airlines or ANA. The staff is always so kind and helpful and what they provide for the customer usually makes those long trips more tolerable. United, on the other hand, was the absolute worst. My first time using a blanket and earplugs on any flight was going back from Narita to Chicago on a United flight. It was just downright awful.

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I don't choose much. Due to share code, I get a ticket and I discover later what company it is. My criteria are route/schedule, price, and the possibility of changing my reservation. I don't care if I book for 3 days to Seoul this week-end , but for a longer and further trip, it's important. I pay a little more to be sure that I can reschedule a trip I booked 6 months in advance in case of personal problems. Or after 2 months in Europe, I can ask to change my flight back from Monday to Tuesday, or leave from Amsterdam instead of previously planned Paris. I don't care about food (I don't eat), entertainement (I sleep) nor comfort (I'm short). Cathay was my worst experience ever, but nothing really bad. Just been stuck 24 hours without food nor air-conditioning in old Hong-Kong Airport, and they hardly apologized.

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I go with whoever has the best looking air hostesses. Always manage to get a neckrub and some flirting in, flash some cash and always a tip on which hotel bar they'll be drinking at after the flight.

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ANA's flight attendants are total professionals and are always friendly, helpful and they do their best to make passengers comfortable. I can't say the same for Delta or United.

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Bicultural - I have 37" inseams so my knees ram into the person in front of me, and they push back. Also, my toes touch the bar under the seat in front so I constantly have pressure against my thighs and hips, which leads to quite jumpy and painful legs on the long hauls. I guess if I want more leg room I could pay double or triple the price for business class...

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Safety,Service & price- I no longer fly JAL but I took a chance on Continental and was happily suprised at the professional staff & service , a 10 in my book!

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