Airline Route Favorites: North America
There is A LOT to be said about people’s favorite airlines, best point perks, and of course, travel routes. Personally, we love bloggers like The Points Guy, Johnny Jet, Mrs. O Around The World and Airfare Watch Dog for those fine details but of course, we have our opinions (lots of them).
There is A LOT to be said about people’s favorite airlines, best point perks, and of course, travel routes. Personally, we love bloggers like The Points Guy, Johnny Jet, Mrs. O Around The World and Airfare Watch Dog for those fine details but of course, we have our opinions (lots of them). And we will of course add to this list here and in other regions, highlighting certain experiences on this blog too.
*These routes all originate from the U.S.A. – in particular, New York City and Los Angeles where we are based. We have a love/hate relationship with LAX, JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airport.
Delta: Face it. They go everywhere and have better planes & routes here in the U.S., tend to have a better ‘leave on schedule’ record than the rest (sorry American Airlines, but true story). They also lead with the points game too, and have the best options for redeeming them
Virgin America: A fave. Great modern planes, frequent sales, and convenient routes from to an from a few major Cities if you frequent them BUT limited. BUT growing. And when they announced new destinations like Denver and Hawaii, they launched monster deals. *Also, they just sold to Alaska Airlines which could spell trouble but fingers-crossed, nothing changes.
Jet Blue: Once the cool kid but has faded a bit. Still hip with a decent fleet of planes, and a newly launched “Mint” first class. Favorite new route from NYC to Charleston direct.
Random Tip: Notice how Minneapolis keep cropping up as the place to go? Does it seem like friends have recently moved there given some big industry & advertising based there? Us too. Guess what: The airline Sun Country (basic) is based there and regularly offers crazy cheap deals to come & go. Last trip there from NYC was $190
Need some fixin’ : AA, United, Frontier, Alaska
*Word of advice: If you are flying to Canada from the U.S.A., book direct as much as you can. Connecting through the main hub in Toronto can lead to delays or in the winter months, missing your flight completely (kind of like Chicago O’Hare).
Air Canada: Largest Canadian airline, easy to zip up the coast from California to Vancouver, though sometimes it’s on their tiny ‘Rouge‘ line planes (honorable mention: Alaska Airlines & West Jet does too) and connects all of Canada, and good (but not great) international flights. Multiple flights all day to Toronto and Montreal leave from LaGuardia in NY but…
Porter: Best option for short haul from NY to Toronto (about event o Montreal). This airline flies into the small airport downtown so it’s heavily favored by business travelers making day trips.
West Jet: Large airline as well, better customer service, pretty decent routes to California, and connecting within the east coast of Canada. Seasonal longer haul routes within north america.
Cathay Pacific: Best flight from NYC to Vancouver direct, used to be secret now everyone knows! One of the best airlines in the world, they make very few stops in North America, but they fill this route up before stoping in Vancouver en route to Hong Kong. It’s a great flight and is practically guaranteed to leave on time. Book direct!
Honorable mention: Delta & United both do direct flights now to Vancouver too, and other places…demand for travel to Canada from the US is climbing fast
Aeromexico: The clear winner. Yes, most of the US airlines will fly to Mexico given the volume of tourism there, but you will find good planes, deals, and a lot of routes. Last time we had a breezy flight from L.A. to Mexico City, and another later to Puerto Vallarta. They offer frequent flight deals, so it’s worth checking their website directly.
Jet Blue: Again, multiple American airlines fly to destinations all over the islands but Jet Blue has expanded their reach, and their sales, to this region (*Tip: A recent favorite two-stop has been spending a few days in Tulum – cheap flights in to nearby Cancun – before flying onwards with Aeromexico into Havana, Cuba…though multiple US airlines are scrambling to add flights to the latter, so stay tuned for updates on that front)
Have a safe and great flight everyone! Remember to collect points everywhere you go (you can track them all easily on Points.com) and lay off the relaxers…
Author: Carrie Mitchell
Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)