Most of us, when booking flights for a trip, just book the next available or the cheapest option without giving any thought to what kind of airplane we’re boarding. In this article, we tell you why knowing this information could make the difference between a good trip and a bad one.
Knowing your plane is important whether you’re a frequent flier or whether you take to the skies only as a matter of exception. This is important because the type of aircraft you board will have a big effect on the type of experience you have flying. The quality of your trip will depend on what airplane you flew with.
Here are a few things you need to pay attention to when booking your next flight, whether domestic or international.
In general, the bigger the plane, the smoother and less jumpy the ride. Let’s face it, no one wants to go through a flight and feel as though they had been riding a horse. If we put the physical discomfort to one side, every time an airplane jumps, everyone in the flight are scared that this will be the time when the plane will nosedive to the ground.
Go with: A380, 747 and 787 models
Avoid: small regional jets and turboprops.
There are two things you need to take into account when looking at seating: one is the front-to-rear space, also called ‘legroom’. This defines the amount of space you have to stretch your legs, and whether or not you can read a newspaper while the seat in front of you is reclined all the way back. The other space is the side-to-side spacing, which also depends upon the airline and the plane model. The two nominal widths are 18 inches and 17 inches. And yes, the extra inch does make a difference!
Go with: 18-inch nine-across seats in 777 and 787
Avoid: 16-inch seats in A330 and A340 models
3. Premium Economy
If paying full price for business or first class is not in your budget yet, check if the airline you’ve chosen is offering a ‘premium economy’ class, which is mid-range between economy and business class. These have five inches of extra legroom, and seats that are two inches wider than their economy counterparts. Go for a 757 model offered by OpenSkies, or book a ticket in the eight-seats row in the 747 or the 777.