Once you choose where to go, you need to choose how to get there. With three major airline alliances (OneWorld, Star Alliance, and Sky Team) and many regional airline options the choice can be daunting.
- Is a small decrease in flight cost worth a taking a local carrier for the first time?
- Which airline alliance should you choose, and should you stick to it?
- Will a local airline fly from the airport you are staying closest to?
- If you choose a new airline, will the service be comparable to an airline you are used to?
For me, even after 100,000 miles in the air and one-off flights on other airlines and networks, the answer is still American Airlines and OneWorld. Here is why:
Price is an important component of booking travel, and often the least understood. Everyone may have different requirements when traveling, so optimizing for price may change based on what you find important.
For me, I have a flexible travel schedule meaning I can choose the best day to fly. American Airlines consistently has great prices available during non-peak times to the destinations that are important to me. For example, I consistently fly to San Francisco from Chicago in January or February for less than $230 round-trip.
Internationally American Airlines has great prices too. I bought a round-trip, non-stop ticket from Chicago to Tokyo for $560. Getting this kind of deal relies on multiple factors.
Reliable and Safe
A constant fear when traveling is being unexpectedly stuck in a terrible experience you can’t get out of. A small aircraft during heavy winds or constant hotel-construction can easily ruin the moment.
Some of the responsibility lies on us, the travelers. Choosing the right flight, the right hotel, and reading reviews to stay up-to-date are important to ensure our travel experience will match expectations. When traveling frequently, being confident that your plans will go well is key to staying calm and enjoying the experience.
Over many years, American Airlines has delivered a reliable and consistent flying experience. For each ticket I book, from a 2 hour flight to Boston to a 14 hour flight to Tokyo, I know exactly what to expect and I am confident that I will have a great experience.
Elite Rewards and OneWorld
Flying consistently on the same airline can quickly earn you elite status. On American Airlines, this means earning different tiers in the AAdvantage program.
To be useful to you, elite status needs to be achievable and valuable:
- Gold status, the first tier of elite rewards, is achievable for a non-business traveler like myself
- Gold status provides perks like priority boarding which are valuable to me because I save time and my back (from standing with a heavy backpack)
For me, Gold status actually completely changed my flying experience. To learn how to achieve Gold status and how status changed my flying experience, check out Why American Airlines Gold Is Worth Earning.
If you earn status in the AAdvantage program, you will also earn the associated status within the OneWorld airline alliance. This means when traveling internationally on any of the 13 member airlines you will receive similar status benefits as American Airlines AAdvantage tiers.
🍺 To The Next 100,000 Miles On American
With many places remaining on my bucket list travel, and therefore flying, will continue to be a big portion of my life. With consistently great prices, great service, and achievable elite status I have been very happy with my choice to fly on American Airlines this far.