Share on Facebook

13 Red Flags You’re About to Book a Bad Airline

The price is right and the destination looks incredible but something just doesn't feel right about the flight you are looking to book. We've all been there. Here are 13 red flags you're about to book a bad airline.

a typical white passenger jet plane/ regional airplane is waiting for boarding passengers, staying in the airport, side viewArseniy Shemyakin Photo/Shutterstock

Too many boarding groups

If there are more than a handful of boarding groups, you are booking less a seat for a flight and more into a 30,000-foot caste system. The result of too many boarding groups may be disgruntled passengers, havoc at the gate, and an unpleasant travel experience. Here's how airlines are lying about the real cost of flights.

Close up on clockwise.face of silver antique vintage grandfather clock. Supawadee56/Shutterstock

On-time performance data isn't provided

A reliable airline will want you to know the on-time performance data of their flights during the booking process. A bad airline, not so much. Check to see if the flight you are booking is regularly on-time. American Airlines' on-time arrival percentage, for example, is based on arrival within 14 minutes after the scheduled arrival time and is reported monthly to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Keep in mind these 13 things even the best airlines won't tell you.

Close up heap of one hundred dollars, selective focus. Dollars, the us money background.noicherrybeans/Shutterstock

Unreasonable change fees

Things happen and sometimes you will need to change your plans. Before you book your flight, check the airline's policy and fee schedule for making changes to your departure dates and destination. American, Delta, and United, for example, each charge $200 + the difference in fare for any changes made to a domestic flight before the day of travel. Alaska Air, on the other hand, manages to push those same buttons for $125. Southwest still allows complimentary changes. If the fees for basic administrative changes are unreasonable, shop around for a more understanding airline. Airlines aren't the only ones at fault for bad travel experiences—learn the 16 air travel mistakes you need to stop making.

View Slides 1-10