How to Get the Best Out of Your Money and Have a Comfortable Flight

We are always looking to either save money, or at the very least get the best from it, but the old adage of you get what you pay for always holds true.

Searching on the Internet for ‘Cheap Flights to Las Vegas’, or for that matter, any other place in this world of ours throws up an endless supply of prices and advice. So how do you know if you are getting not only value for money, but more out of your money compared to others paying similar prices? Although things differ between airlines and web sites, a few tips can help you do just that.

Seating

A lot of the cheaper end sites and cheaper airlines do not give you any option to select a seat, some airlines do but charge a premium, while some, such as those I deal with, offer you the opportunity to select the seat on the aircraft.

On large aircraft, such as the 747, sitting in the 2 seat rows at the back can be a bonus, with a bit more leg room, but the opposite is true on smaller aircraft, and the seats are also not as wide. Sitting by the doors usually results in colder temperatures in the area, but not because they are slightly open!!

Also if you want to see the ground view, do not sit next to the wings.

Some airlines that have media screens have the control box under the seat in front of you which can mean less legroom (US Airway, etc), especially if the seat only has 30″ or less to begin with. You should be looking for a minimum legroom of 31″ (Virgin, etc). Generally speaking, the cheaper the airline the smaller the legroom.

Smaller legroom is not a problem on short flights, but on long haul such as the UK to Las Vegas, you soon get uncomfortable. Although I have nothing to do with the site, Seat Guru is the best on the Internet for finding problem seats on an airline/plane basis. Some people like to sit near the toilets for convenience, as I do, but if someone does have a bad dump, remember, you can’t open the windows!!

Food

If you are using a good site to book your airline, then as well as allowing seat selection for free, they should allow you to select ‘special’ meals in advance. These are mainly for people with dietary or religious needs so please do not abuse this service, but if you know in advance you do not like the food on the airline, you can book a special meal.

Surprisingly, although I mentioned US Airways earlier for being a little short in legroom, the food served is some of the best I’ve had, and I fly often. So if you are off to Las Vegas, at least you know you’ll be fed.

However, I always ensure I take crisps, sweets, a sandwich, etc with me just in case. Just remember, in most countries you are not allowed to take food of the plane, especially fruits and animal products. My wife once got pulled up for trying to ‘smuggle’ a banana into San Francisco!! Some airports have sniffer dogs, and you may think it is barking because it has picked up the scent of cocaine, but it will turn out to be that ham sandwich in your backpack!

One new trick I use since the ban on liquids is to take an empty flask, and once past security buy a large coffee (or tea) and fill it up, as the coffee on most airlines is disgusting, and it can be a long wait before you get any. If you are going to do this though, when you pass through security, take the flask out of your bag and open it when it goes through the scanner, otherwise you will be pulled up.

Summary

So with a little work and thought on your part when booking, the guy in the cramped seat, gagging for a coffee, and starving as he didn’t like the food and paid $ 500 for the seat to Las Vegas, will be trying to figure out how you have a good seat, with a window view, nice food, and plenty of coffee even though you only paid $ 500 as well!

One last, and VERY important point is to check the Duration of the flight and how many Stops, the more stops, the longer the flight, the cheaper it is. A cheap flight to Las Vegas from the UK should only be around 15 hours with 1 stop, any worse than that pay the extra. If you want the quickest flight, go direct. Thomas Cook from Manchester (although legroom is only 28″, and you have to pay extra to pick a seat), and from London Virgin fly direct to Las Vegas, and British Airways start in October 2009.

BOLA TANGKAS