There are so many airlines throughout the world that trying them all seems like an impossible feat. I have flown with over 25 airlines in my life time, some of them no longer fly (such as TWA), and some have merged into others (AirTran). I am glad to have flown all these airlines, but as an #avgeek, I long to try new airlines every time I can.
For the past month, I have been seeing how many of my friends who graduated this year from college have been trying out new airlines. In their many, different graduation trips, they have encountered airlines as commonplace as British Airways, to somewhat obscure such as Malindo Air (of Indonesia). That got me thinking of which airlines I would love to try at least once. Here is a list of some airlines I want to travel on, and hopefully will be able to.
The Icelandic low cost carrier has always intrigued me. On paper, it seems like a terrible airline, but a few of my friends flew them on their way to Europe, and they said they got great value for money. One of them even flew their version of Premium Economy. Since I would love to fly to Iceland, WOW Air seems the logical choice, especially on price. It would also be pretty cool if I could try out Icelandair on the return, but that’s not as critical as trying out WOW. They have been expanding super aggressively, so I hope they will being flying to Philadelphia or Houston soon.
WestJet is Canada’s largest low cost carrier. The airline has a fleet of 737s, 767s and Dash 8 Q400s. However, a few months ago the airline unveiled a drastic rebranding, where they will add a full business class, with life flat seats, and transform their economy class to a full frills model. I would love to try out both versions, first the low cost carrier that currently is, and once their 787s are delivered try out the full frills version. The airline flies to many leisure destinations throughout the US and Caribbean. They also have a few flights to London and Hawaii on their 767s. I am more interested on their 737-600 because then I would have flown all the 737NG aircraft.
Oman Air, similar to Gulf Air, are two of the niche carriers in the Gulf states. They have much smaller operations that their counterparts Etihad, Qatar and Emirates. However, they all offer solid business class products. Oman Air, however, offers the only fully enclosed suite on the 787-9. Their First Class looks solid, and I would love to try them. They offer good fares from Asia to Europe and spending a few days in Muscat would be a good stopover option.
I’ve been to Hawaii once and I had a good time. I flew on American Airlines, and their service was meh. Hawaiian Airlines seems like a really fun carrier, like the tropical version of Southwest. Their A330s now have lie flat seats, and their service appears to be much better than those offered by American. I would love to return to Hawaii and take Hawaiian Airlines front the West Coast to the archipelago.
Although I am not a fan of Chinese carriers, my experience with Air China was average at best, Hainan Airlines consistently gets called the best carrier in China. What makes me want to fly them most, however, is the current situation of the HNA Group, their parent company. The conglomerate is on the brink of collapse, and I can’t imagine Hainan Airlines surviving without the help of their parent company. This raises the urgency of flying them, and the questions of who will take over their network and routes. Although I may be jumping ahead of myself, Hainan Airlines is the most urgent to fly on. They partner with Alaska Airlines, and offer reasonable amounts of award space to the US. Hopefully I will be able to travel with them soon!
I have many more airlines I want to try at least once in my life. These are simply the tip of the iceberg, and the easiest to fly on (except for Oman Air). I am excited to try new airlines, and hopefully I will be able to be on one of these sooner than later. A new airline is always a new adventure, and even if they don’t meet my expectations, it’s always good to give airlines a chance (assuming they have a good safety record*).
What do you think? Which airlines are you dying to try? Are these some of the ones you want to fly? If you have flown on these airlines, what was your experience? Let us know!
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