I don’t like traveling by plane, especially with all the hassles of getting in and out of airports and dealing with rude TSA agents. I don’t really like traveling much at all these days and I think the biggest reason is how long it takes to get from A to B. I’ll be traveling back to the US (Phoenix) next month (November 2012) and the things I don’t want to deal with are layovers and switching airlines en route. Since my mother-in-law (who’s 77) will be traveling with me, along with my younger son, if there’s anything I can do to make my trip less of a hassle, that’s a good thing.
Choosing an Airline
When I last traveled to the US in 2008, I considered Philippine Airlines to be the best choice. I was traveling alone, so the change of planes and the layover in Los Angeles wouldn’t be a big deal. Unfortunately, they were on strike or something and the only flight I could get, that I could afford, was with Continental Airlines. That was a mistake and I paid for it with layovers in Guam, Hawaii and Texas. Philippine Airlines was the best airlines for travel to and from the Philippines at the time but it wasn’t one of my choices.
Since then, my wife has flown to and from the Philippines on both Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. She didn’t like Hawaiian Airlines due to some odd policies they had at the time, although the flight was cheaper than she could get with Philippine Airlines. She didn’t like the fact, in particular, that she had to pay to get a blanket. Now, people at Hawaiian Airlines told me that it wasn’t the case later on, but I’m not going to call my own wife a liar when she didn’t have any reason to do so.
Over the years, the people in my family (including my mother-in-law) have flown on Northwest Airlines (which merged with Delta Airlines in 2010), Continental Airlines (which merged with United Airlines in 2012), Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The only airline that flies directly to and from Phoenix, Arizona to Manila, Philippines is Hawaiian Airlines, regardless of how many stops there are.
My Choice this Time
This time, I’ll be traveling on Hawaiian Airlines, even if a one-way ticket via Philippine Airlines is cheaper (which I didn’t even check for) — the difference in price isn’t worth the difference in hassles. Our flight has only one stop on the way, at the international point of arrival in Honolulu (which is where we’ll deal with customs) and the one-way price is reasonable for each passenger. I’ll be the only one of the three of us returning in January and I don’t know the date in advance, so a one-way ticket for myself makes more sense right now.
I’ve flown on more airlines than I can remember since the first time traveling on a plane in 1974. Let me see if I can remember the names of all of them:
- Aloha (passenger flights ended in 2008)
- America West (now a part of US Airways)
- Continental (now a part of Delta)
- Northwest (now a part of Delta)
- US Airways
- Western (now a part of Delta)
I’m sure there are more that I don’t remember. After all, 38 years is a long time. It doesn’t matter. I don’t want to deal with plane changes and long layovers anymore and that’s why I chose Hawaiian Airlines this time.