Airplane taking off

With air travel getting more expensive and airlines offering less and less, find out where you'll get the best deals and perks and most comfortable flights both within the U.S. and abroad

Fly in style

It used to be that air travel was a classy, lavish affair where everyone got dressed up and airlines treated passengers like royalty. Today you're lucky if you get a meal and don't have to pay for baggage. There are still some airlines today that try extra hard to make your flight a pleasant experience.

Domestic travel

JetBlue

The original stylish budget airline, JetBlue continues to be one of the most comfortable domestic airlines. As they say on their website, "JetBlue Airways is dedicated to bringing humanity back to air travel." They've done this by ditching the idea of first class all together, bringing more legroom to every seat and just being nice. They offer one free checked bag per person, as well as 36 channels of free, on-demand DIRECTV and 100 channels of XM satellite radio on all flights. Passengers on red eye flights get a complimentary "Snooze Kit" with sleeping mask and ear plugs. They do not offer a hot meal, but they're not stingy with the drinks and snacks. While there's already free Wi-Fi at their airport terminals, JetBlue is also working on getting Wi-Fi on all their flights, so stay tuned!

Virgin America

Another stylish airline that often has great deals, Virgin America offers many of the same great amenities of JetBlue and about the same amount of legroom. They offer a range of on-demand, in-flight entertainment from newly released movies, live TV, music and even games. While they also don't offer a meal, they do have a range of snacks and meals available for a small price, all of which can be ordered through the touchscreen. Passengers on overnight flights get an amenity kit with sleeping mask, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste. For those needing to work on the plane, Virgin America has Wi-Fi on every flight (also for a small fee) and convenient power outlets at every seat.

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International travel

Air France

What better way to start off your long flight than with a glass of bubbly? Air France offers a glass of Champagne to every passenger, both in economy and first class, with unlimited free wine available for the entire flight. Plus enjoy hot, French meals like croissants for breakfast. Most international flights include one checked bag free, and they will contact you by phone or email to keep you abreast of flight delays.

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Turkish Air

Voted the best airline in Europe in 2012 by Skytrax, Turkish Air makes you want to fly. With comfortable seats even in coach and decent legroom, this airline has it all and then some. You can check two bags for free on international flights, they carry golf and skiing equipment free of charge, and not only is food and drink plentiful on the flight, it's actually good! They have incredible in-flight entertainment with hundreds of old and new movies and TV shows available on demand. And, for the ultimate perk, if you have a daytime layover of more than eight hours in Istanbul, they offer free tours of the city including lunch and entry to the major sites.

Tell us

What's your favorite airline? Share in the comments below!

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Tags: airlines

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Comments

Comments on "The best airlines for domestic and international travel"

Dotty2travel September 13, 2012 | 5:41 AM

I have flown with Turkish airlines on a number of ocassions, both long haul and short haul. Personally is amazes me that they are members of the Star alliance. Service is poor, having said that, seats in the economy class can be spacious and comfortable but it depends on the age of the plane. Sometimes there is an excellent choice of in flight enterntainment with your own screen and remote control while other times there is nothing, just head phones and a choice of 9 music channels. If my company were not paying then Turkish airlines would not be my first choice. Good points with Turkish airlines- The online check in opens 24 hours before the flight and you can select your own seat.

Amy August 14, 2012 | 10:47 AM

While air travel is getting more and more stressful, it is nice to know that these airlines are committed to offering comfort, amenities and friendly customer service. Given that flying basically involves being sealed in a pressurized tube for 7 hours, one would think that every airline would offer these things. I have flown on JetBlue several times and I can vouch for it being by far one of the best domestic airlines. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for some of the other domestic carriers. The Turkish Air airline looks like a party in the sky. I will try to remember looking into their service the next time I fly to Europe.

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