Perils of taking a different airline

image Today I am headed to a place where I have never been, a town where neither American nor Southwest flies. So I am flying Delta today and United home tomorrow. I know there are plenty of people who travel often and their corporate travel policy doesn’t necessarily allow them to choose their preferred airline every time. But I have flown primarily American and Southwest my entire adult life, even before I started traveling for work. So flying a different airline is a bit of a shock to my system.

While I wouldn’t call myself an anxious person–typically I am pretty easy going–something about new flying scenarios makes me nervous. Maybe it’s the fact that you can’t escape, no matter how bad it is or how underprepared you are. This morning I felt like an inexperienced, brand new traveler. Case in point: I realized I hadn’t put my trusted traveler number into the Delta system, so I didn’t get to go through TSA Pre-check. Since my airport became part of the Pre-check program, they have done away with the Premium Passenger lane. To make matters worse, today I am flying with my normal 14-inch laptop and an enormous 17-inch loaner laptop. When I packed last night I expected to not have to take them out of my purse at all! Today, it was a struggle to get them out and then back in at security.

Other reasons why I want to fly my preferred airlines? Upgrades. Early boarding. Points! Plus, knowing what to expect. I appreciated the Delta charging stations throughout the seating area, but I will be glad to be back on Southwest next week!

Readers, do you have a specific airline that you fly? How often do you have to fly a different one?


  1. I completely get it! If it’s not Delta or SW, I don’t fly it if at all possible. I have status with both airlines, and I have never flown American, USAir, Continental, or United for the reasons you mention above!

  2. haha. Delta. Haven’t flown anything outside Skyteam for 2 years (w/ exception of one emergency trip LAX-SFO on United that was obviously heavily delayed and we got stuck on the ground forEVER).

    I’m sure you’ll be fine 🙂 While the points can be pretty worthless, it’s a well-run airline imho

  3. Living in the DC area, we are served by pretty much every airline, but hub to none. So, depending on where I go, I fly a different airline. American to Miami, United to Chicago and LA, JetBlue to Boston, Delta to Atlanta. (and Amtrak to NY) You get the idea. On the rare routes where I have a choice, I try to stay off American. It’s kind of a drag having to split my flying $$, but there’s not much to do about it.

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