Fish got to swim.
Birds got to fly.
And people, well, they don't have to do anything. Athough they might be more inclined to fly given the appropriate alignment of the cosmos--and a direct flight.
This week, ZAGAT unveiled the results of its annual survey of frequent fliers and travel professionals, and it turns out travelers judge airlines most on their number of direct flights.
According to the survey, the top five things airline travelers take into account when choosing an airline are:
• Direct routes (65 percent)
• Ticket price (55 percent)
• Past experiences (50 percent)
• Time of day (48 percent)
• Seat comfort/leg room (46 percent)
For the third straight year, Continental earned top honors for premium seating among large domestic carriers. JetBlue was ranked No. 1 for economy seating. Virgin America ironically proved anything but inexperienced when it came to servicing its clients. It earned the top spot for best frequent flier program.
Southwest Airlines ranked No. 1 among domestic carriers for its value, on-time estimates, luggage policy, check-in experience, and website.
One category winner did surprise me a bit. Among domestic carriers, the title of best in-flight entertainment went to JetBlue Airways--although with the incomparable amusement of flight attendants like Steven Slater, how could that spectacular prove anything but first-class.
The most amusing part of the survey was the outtakes from respondents. Among my favorite reviews of the airlines, one passenger likened his experience to "a cattle call, except the cows are mercifully slaughtered at trip's end."