Do you fly: for business, for pleasure, alone and as a family? For family trips I’ve noticed a change in our decision making around choosing flights.
In the olden days, pre-kids, I’d go with the cheapest operator, cheapest times, very little loyalty.
Now, especially when flying with the 3 kids, departure airports and flight times matter!
These will be balanced against the cost. (Somewhere tucked away in my mind there is a mysterious formula for price versus convenience: there’s no way I could give you details of it, but if you present me with a scenario it’s calculated by the neurons and the decision presented on what seems like gut instinct.)
It is implementing this mysterious formula that we found ourselves flying to Sweden with British Airways.
Why did we choose British Airways over our other options of Norwegian or SAS and a number of cheaper indirect flights?
- They fly out of Heathrow terminal 5– an airport that were has many easy ways to get to.
For us from Oxford there is a regular coach service, or it is a 45-60 minute drive.
- Their timings were right- since we wanted a flight that would give us the chance to pick up the kids from school and drive straight to the airport missing the rush-hour traffic. With the evening flight we had a full weekend for our weekend visit to Stockholm.
- They serve food onboard- Not a big one to weigh in normally, but I knew getting from school to airport to plane would be tight, leaving little time to get food into 3 excited little adventurers. Once relaxed on the plane it’s nice not to have to worry about food or drink… And mum and dad can even enjoy a gin and tonic all inclusive!
- We had a big suitcase and could check that in, no extra cost. (BA have now gone and changed this! You have to pay for your hold luggage with them, just like with budget airlines).
- Price-wise our flight was about 15% more expensive than the alternatives. In this case, all the above weighed up, it was a premium worth paying.
The flight lived up to our expectations. (Though we did have problems taking a carseat on-board)
The check in process was smooth, maybe a tad slow.
I expressed my frustration on twitter over having to queue for dropping off luggage despite checking online the day before. The British Airways social team quickly apologised and explained it was due to more passengers than usual having difficulty with online check-in.
We’re getting good at transiting through the airport with relative ease with the kids. Terminal 5, the hub of British Airways, is a great airport to start a journey from. It’s well organised, with lots of outlets for food and other essentials one might have forgotten. (Forget shopping for anything else with 3 excited kids though…there’s too many sweets, chocolates and other tempting goodies for the kids to resist nagging you!)
The service offered by British Airways staff onboard was courteous and welcoming; the experienced staff are great ambassadors of British hospitality. They remind me of what the old Hungarian airline, Malév, staff used to be like; so much nicer than lots of other European airlines’ staff.
The food was simple, but good.
The flight was on time and we were ready to start a fabulous adventure in Sweden with a short walk and stay at Clarion hotel at Arlanda airport.
Do you have a favourite airline to fly with? Why?
This post first appeared on http://familymadventures.com