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by Laura Quarantiello

The latest headlines are often what many travelers use as
benchmarks to help decide which airline to choose.
Recent accidents, crashes, mechanical problems, labor
disputes, delays, financial difficulties and so on, are hot
fodder for the media. No one planning a trip wants to go
anywhere near an airline that is having even a hint of
these kinds of troubles. Any odds maker will tell you that
a recent accident makes the chance of that same airline
having another accident anytime in the near future a
remote possibility at best. An odds maker will also tell
you that a labor dispute among baggage handlers might
make the probability of your bags being lost greater than
it would normally be. But we don't want to play the odds;
we want to work with facts.

There are four main things that we passengers are concerned
about when flying: Our safety, our comfort, our possessions
(baggage), and our time. That gives us four questions to answer
before booking a flight on a particular airline. (The web link
after each of the questions is a site you can check for info.)

1) What is the airline's safety record?
2) Do they have many consumer complaints?
3) Are they known for baggage irregularities?
4) What is their on time record?

Let's face it. no matter how we crunch the numbers, there are
simply no guarantees that the flight you take won't be late, that
your baggage won't be lost or mashed like a leather potato.
The facts and figures you turn up on the web can serve as
a general guide, but they can't provide you with a hard and
fast answer. You can easily go a little nuts trying to juggle all
those statistics. After all, perfection is hard to come by -
especially in the airline business! The information you turn
up on the web can improve your chances of having an easier
and more comfortable flight, but there are absolutely no
guarantees. So no matter what the numbers may show, the
real choice of which airline you pick probably comes down
to just one question: how much is that ticket going to cost me?

Laura Quarantiello is the author of a number of "how-to"
books, including "On Guard: How You Can Win the War
Against the Bad Guys" and "Air-Ways - The Insider's Guide
to Air Travel." Get more info about these and other exciting
books at:

This article courtesy of

You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.

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