Airlines compete for student business over spring break


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Students travel home during the spring semester for spring break. Different airlines vie for their business during this busy holiday.

With spring break on the horizon, many students at Tulane have booked flights for their various vacations. Some, however, find the task of planning trips to be a challenge. Students on campus have found a wide variety of approaches to navigating this process and have their own unique priorities for booking their flights.

For freshman Isaac Koffman, convenience is one of the most important factors for determining which airlines to book. Though Koffman occasionally flies JetBlue, he said he prefers Delta because it is better equipped to handle delays.

“Delta has a lot more flights in and out of New Orleans, so even if one gets delayed you’re a lot better off,” Koffman said. “JetBlue has two flights a day, and you can get screwed if something happens.”

Additionally, Koffman said he believes that because Delta has more equipment, it can more easily handle inclement weather compared to JetBlue.

“In the middle of the winter, if there is a snowstorm in New York, JetBlue is dead because they don’t have the same equipment levels as Delta,” Koffman said.

Koffman also prefers Delta because it offers more options for in-flight entertainment. With JetBlue, passengers must have an Amazon Prime account to access in-flight entertainment on a mobile device, while on Delta it is accessible for free. Delta also includes backseat consoles for in-flight entertainment on more planes than competitors.

Sophomore Sam Nerpel also prefers Delta over competitors such as Southwest because the airline allows passengers to reserve their seats prior to boarding the plane.

“I like knowing where my seat is going to be ahead of time because with Southwest you just show up and you board and choose your seat when you get on, and I’m not a fan of that,” Nerpel said.

Some Tulane students, however, prefer Southwest’s approach of choosing your seat after entering the plane.

“The seats are a lot easier to get on, just based on when you board and not pre-planned, so I like that,” sophomore Ty Josloff said.

For many students, price is the most important factor for choosing airlines for flights.

They say they prefer lower-budget airlines because they believe the perks of more expensive airlines are not worth their value.

“If flying Spirit will save me $100 or more dollars, it’s only a two-hour flight, so I don’t really care,” freshman Zev Citron said. “Even though I may not get like a snack or a drink, it’s only two hours so it doesn’t really matter.”

Other students similarly believe in flying the least expensive airline available but disagree over which one offers the best prices. Some think Southwest offers the best prices compared to Spirit when taking all factors into account.

“The fees on Southwest are better even though Spirit claims they have better fees,” freshman Tommy Williams said. “They really don’t because if you want to bring a bag they charge so much money.”

According to Koffman, the competition amongst airlines is a dynamic that makes the airline system in the United States unique compared to other parts of the world.

“In most other countries, like if it’s intercountry, [the flights are] budget, very quick, and everyone’s economy,” Isaac said. “[In the US] there’s a lot of competition, and it’s not like anything else which is why there are so many options.”

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