Saturday, May 24, 2008

Foreign Air

With so many of the airlines going bankrupt, merging, and losing any kind of competitive pricing or service features, traveling by air can be a gamble, or worse yet, a nightmare. But there are airlines which offer you a winning solution if you are willing to try another kind of airline.

Sometimes flying with a foreign airline is the best way to go somewhere, even for flights within the U.S.; Virgin America started flights within the U.S. and offers a coach class that rivals most business class seats for $500 round-trip, and first class round-trip tickets for under $1500 including the applicable taxes and fees. The infamous Richard Branson has branched out from his Virgin Atlantic venture to offer flights between East and West Coast cities while offering first class quality at prices below some coach fares. The seats all have entertainment screens so you choose what entertains you instead of the airline selecting your movie for the flight. Nice lighting touches, connectivity at your seat for your electronics, and a sense of humor (one of his planes is named after Stephen Colbert), make this airline a top choice for those who want modern conveniences and value for their flight dollars.

Want to go somewhere exotic on your flight? How about Tahiti? I have traveled to Tahiti and her islands about seven times (so far) and the last three times I have traveled with the Tahitian airline Air Tahiti Nui. It's wonderful to be greeted with a tiare flower (frangipani) and have the island spirit embodied in the flight staff as they welcome you aboard. Remember that Tahiti is actually east of Hawaii, just further south of the equator, so if you are willing to fly to Hawaii, why not take your passport and go where there are as many visitors in a YEAR as there are in Hawai in a DAY. Who says it's too expensive? Air Tahiti Nui has packages with air and hotel for $846. This airline also has the individual seat screens and though a bit cramped in coach, they still offer more leg room than Delta in the same class. Air Tahiti Nui also offers flight to Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and a world pass, so there really is no limit to how far you can go once you get a breath of foreign air (travel).

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