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Friday, May 06, 2011

My Discrete Choice Model…

When I am traveling there are very clear and specific choices that drive me. The main priorities are based around flying and the actual travel part of the trip. Since I have been traveling for so many miles I have gotten used to certain things, but now airlines are becoming more and more crowded.

Here are my priorities for travel and wish the airlines would use this when booking my flights… Note – price is the overall priority in all of this and making sure I can actually get to the airport without having to drive 100 miles. I usually will choose from the price that is appropriate for the flight (based on what else is available) and then choose within a budget range from these selection criteria…

The Seat – I would rather sit in the back of the plane than sit in the window or the middle seat. The reason is because I am so large (aka fat ass) and when I get in the middle or even in the window seat and some real fat guy gets into the middle I am in trouble. I love the aisle as I can stretch out, go to the bathroom whenever I want to, and can get up whenever I want. I also can get on the plane at anytime.

Internet access in the hotel – I will only stay in a hotel that has broadband access in the hotel. The only reason I stay at Hilton hotels is because I know they have wireless or broadband access. This is critical!

Airplane Class – First class is great, but I have actually flown first so often I really don’t see it as that great anymore. It is nice to have the extra space, but I can actually enjoy the economy plus as much as long as I have a nice aisle seat. I still do think class is important enough to put in the top 2 in my list.

Airline – I will choose a certain airline over others, such as United or JetBlue because of frequent flyer miles and/or the service. I love JetBlue and Midwest Express. These are such great airlines I wish I could fly them everywhere. I don’t like flying American or Delta as much, and I hate Southwest and Independence Air (they are no longer.)

Airplane seat with no one next to me – again this is all around the space, as I really like to have the middle seat next to me open. This allows for me to stretch out and have room to put my stuff.

Time of flight – this is important as I really don’t like to take the Redeye or take a flight at 5am. I end up taking these flights most of the time, but I would prefer not to actually take these flights.

Hotel Neighborhood – the hotel I stay in should at least be in an area where I don’t have concerns for my car or even myself. I did stay in a hotel in Atlanta that was $60 per night, but I was really worried for my life.

Car rental close to the airport – I have rented cars where you have to travel miles to go pick-up the car. It is such a pain in the ass! I really don’t like the Oakland airport because of this it is such a pain! I would rather rent from Joe’s rental if I don’t have to travel far from or to the airport.

Airplane type – I really enjoy the larger planes, such as the 777 or 747, but most of the time I end up on an Airbus or on a 737. It is so nice to actually get to fly on a triple seven once in awhile! I don’t like the regional jets at all, unless they are like the nice United Express or Midwest Express planes with the leather seats.

Team – I do think the people that work for the airline, hotel or rental car agency are very important to my selection. One of the reasons I choose Enterprise rental car is because the people are so great! JetBlue also has great people working for the company and it is enjoyable to deal with them. United, the airline I fly the most, is probably the worst overall in this criteria, but there are some of their people that are great. They need to treat their people better it will make them better customer service people.

Car type – the type of car I get is really not a big deal, though I would prefer a car that is clean and has unlimited miles. I once rented a car and it was so junky the owner of the car rental place gave me his car, which was not much better.

Airport Connections – I really don’t mind connections, though I don’t like the smaller planes and I really don’t like to connect when I am traveling with the kids.

Those are the main decision criteria I use. When it comes down to it the one that is most important is the trip that does not keep me away from my family for too long. I guess that is not really in the control of the travel companies.

Disqus for Cold Kiwi