I have taken several airlines to travel from Southern California to Euorpe (American, Bristish Airways, Delta, Lufthansa, KLM). Do I have any favorites? Is there one Airline company that is better than the other in terms of airplanes used, service, food, on-time schedule? In my experience, there are some differences between airlines in the comfort level and service. My favorites: British Airways and KLM. They are the most comfortable (as far as Economy class goes which is the only way I fly) and service.
– I prefer to pick flights that are on 747 jets which has the two aisles and a 2-4-2 configuration. I find that I'm less likely to become motion sickness on them and I feel less claustrophobic. Remember that this is about a 10+ flight from the West Coast of the US to Europe. It is torture just sitting in your seat for that long. I need to get up and walk around and it is better doing that on a big jumbo jet.
– Airfare: I usually start searching for airfares about 4 months out and I use a very popular search engine called Kayak.com. It brings up all the fares (categorized by cost, stops and airlines). Once I find a price that I like, I'll go directly to the Airline company to make purchase my tickets.
– Choosing a Seat: I really try to get assigned seating as well to secure an Aisle seat which for me is really critical. I need to be able to get up and move around without feeling bad about making someone get up for me to do so. I don't mind getting up for someone else but I feel much better not asking someone else to do it for me. I use a internet site called Seat Guru.com to find the configuration for the flights that I want to purchase so I can get the seat layout. Once I find that information, I'll call the airlines to book my reservations and ask for my seat. I'll actually print out the seating map and add it to my i-Touch using Airsharing, just in case they decide to change my seating. I'll know which seats to ask for. I also prefer to sit on the Aisle on the right side of the plane in the middle column. I think I have a better chance of getting an empty seat next to me rather than on the window side. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it does work, it is heaven! 😀
SEATGURU.COM – Great resource in finding out the seat configuration for most Airlines.