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Sunday, March 09, 2014

best airlines for long haul flights

So how do you determine which airline is the best for a long haul flight. Most experienced economy class travellers would state that it’s all about the room offered to you on the flight. However, business class travellers would not really bother too much about the room offered, but would prefer to have added services and amenities. Moreover, when it comes to overnight and overseas flights, the space offered isn’t the only thing which makes an airline ideal for flying. You also need to look at other aspects such as the services offered and the in-flight entertainment activities available. Comparing different airlines becomes even more difficult due to the fact that different aircrafts from the same airline can have different seating facilities and different services. However, there are a few carriers that boast of always offering the best possible experience, irrespective of the aircraft you choose or the route you travel. To make things simpler for you, we have broken down the best airlines for long haul flights based on the geographical locations you need to fly to.

Flying to the US

Virgin America might be the most popular airline in the US, but we would not suggest passengers to choose the airline when it comes to long haul flights due to the cramped up economy class seats. In fact, contrary to popular opinion, the American Airlines still ranks among the top airlines when it comes to long haul trips to the US. Each and every business class seat of the new A380 offers aisle access and the economy class seats aren’t all that bad either. However, what clinches the deal in favour of AA is its magnificent in-flight entertainment options. The American Airlines offers its passengers exquisite audio and video selections and their channel selections is quite clever as well. The airline is also known to invite guest DJs to curate the music from time to time. Another option worth thinking about is JetBlue. There is simply no beating the extra economy class leg room space, the in-flight TV sets and the brand new looking planes that JetBlue offers.

Flying to Canada

Having recently been named as the Best Airline of North America in the 2013 Skytrax awards for the fourth consecutive year, flying to Canada simply doesn’t get better than Air Canada. The airline is the largest domestic and international full service airline of the country and offers passengers with connections to more than 175 destinations across 5 different continents. Air Canada is also a member of the Star Alliance and offers direct services among 59 cities in Canada, 67 airports in Europe, Middle East, Australia, South America, Caribbean and Asia and 53 airports in the US.

Flying to Latin America

Most people who travel to Latin America end up choosing one of the major North American airlines due to their wider reach and easier connections. However, airfares to Latin America are known to be extremely expensive and choosing one of the Latin American airlines can help people save hundreds of dollars. LAN is one of the best options when it comes to flying to South America. LAN is an airline which is based out of Chile and boasts of excellent and comfortable interiors. Most of their aircrafts are in excellent conditions and LAN is also a part of the One World Alliance. Aeromexico is another airline that is extremely famous for offering magnificent Latin American connections. It offers a 34inch pitch on its 777 aircraft and one stop connections through the Mexico City.

Flying to Western Europe

Value for money might not be one of the strong points of Lufthansa, but it definitely boasts of some of the best connections in Europe. The airline also receives poor reviews for its interiors due to the dinged service and 31 inch pitch seats in the economy class which makes long haul flying quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, Air France boasts of offering one of the best flying experience when it comes to flying to Western Europe. The new A380 offers 32inch pitch seats and luxurious seating arrangements as the seats have been arranged in a two – four – two pattern. The business class seats offered by Air France are known to be among the best in the market and the overall service and connections is quite good as well.

Flying to Eastern Europe

The Turkish Airlines is by far the best airline when it comes to flying to Eastern Europe. The A330 and A340 flights offer passengers with 33inch pitch seats and offers direct connections to a number of connections to numerous destinations in the world. Other facilities offered by the Turkish Airlines include audio/video outlets for each A330 and A340 seat and 110 volt outlets in each of the A330 seats.

Flying to the UK

The best airline when it comes to flying to the UK is British Airways. The airline has constantly featured amongst the top airlines of the world and is known to offer excellent services, great in-flight amenities and comfortable seating arrangements for its passengers. Virgin Airlines is another option which is quite popular.

Flying to the Middle East

The Emirates is not only one of the best options to fly to the Middle East, but is also known to be one of the best airlines in the world. The A380 offers passengers with magnificent 34inch pitch seats. However, its real focus for offering luxury is in the business and first class sectors, which are known to be among the best in the world. Travellers would be well advised to avoid the 777 aircraft flown by the Emirates as the seats are extremely narrow and uses the 10 across seat concept. Although the Emirates do not belong to any particular alliance, it has forged code share agreements with a number of airlines and offers magnificent connections all over the world. Other amenities offered by the Emirates include USP ports on each seat, audio/ video access, 110V outlets on selected seats and on-board WiFi.

Flying to Asia

Despite being known to be the best airline in the world for god knows how many years, the Singapore Airline looses out to a few Asian airlines in terms of on-board comforts when flying to Asia. That being said, the iconic airline has always been the first preference for most passengers flying to Asia and rightly so. The best airline for long haul flights to Asia is the China Southern Airlines. The A380 offers magnificent seating options with seats that boast audio/ video outlets and a pitch of 35inch or 37inch. The services offered are quite decent as well. Korean Air also scores excellent marks with its 34inch pitch seats found on-board the A380 and 777 aircrafts. The A330 aircraft run by the airline is also known to be quite luxurious. The airline is also a member of the SkyTeam Alliance.

Flying to Africa

When it comes to flying to Africa, there is hardly any competition for the South African Airways. The airline offers passengers with 33inch and 34inch pitch seats on a number of its aircrafts and offers excellent connections from various destinations in Africa. The airline is a member of the Star Alliance and also offers audio/ video outlets at each seat. Other airlines which might be worth considering are EgyptAir and Royal Air Maroc.

Flying to Australia and New Zealand

The best airline in the South Pacific region is Virgin Australia. The airline’s 777 carriers offer passengers with 32inch pitch seats on their long haul flights and partners with a number of airlines for domestic connections in various countries. All seats also have dedicated audio/ video access points.

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