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I’ve seen a few other travel bloggers write posts about the exotic and obscure airlines they want to try in 2023. I’m not looking for anything crazy. I don’t see myself flying through Africa or on a carrier no one has ever heard of before. Living in Florida for the winter, I plan to stay close to home for the next few months with a few short domestic trips planned.
I am waiting to hear if I made the cut for Global Services renewal on United and plan to renew my Platinum Medallion status on Delta (and possibly push this to Diamond). I strayed a bit from United and Star Alliance last year and plan to check out some others this year as well. Here are three that I have booked in the next few months.
1. Breeze Airways
The airline was founded in 2018 by David Neeleman. He previously co-founded Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul Linhas Aereas. Its headquarters are in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. This low-cost carrier continues to expand its network and I have not read many reviews. We’re going to fly from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). We have a stop (a “Breeze Thru”) in Huntsville International Airport (HSV), but the total time of a little over six hours is not too bad.
Breeze Airways has two cabins and three fare choices – Nice, Nicer, and Nicest. We’re flying Nicest and selected seats in the bulkhead (row one). The seats in Nicest are domestic first class seat and are in a 2-2 configuration for rows one and two while the rest of the plane is in a 3-2 configuration. Included with the Nicest fare is a carry-on bag (this normally costs $35 each) as well as two checked bags (these would cost $39 for the first and $40 for the second).
2. Silver Airways
Silver Airways is a regional airline that is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’ve flown them before to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. The flights are pleasant and most of the route network is focused on the Caribbean with a few Southeastern destinations also in the mix. We’ll be flying them from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Key West International Airport (EYW) in February for a long weekend. I like that they offer a nonstop short flight as the drive from Tampa takes quite a while (especially once past Miami and heading through the Keys). The flight is blocked for only an hour and 15 minutes. I selected our seats in the bulkhead and purchased these tickets during a sale that Silver Airways had at the beginning of 2023. Carryon bags are free, but will be valet checked and returned at the gate since the planes are small. The first checked bag costs $35 and the second is $45 on the route we’re flying.
3. Spirit Airlines
I never thought I would fly Spirit Airlines. Some refer to it as The Jerry Springer Show in the air, but we’re going to head home from Vegas on Spirit’s direct flight. We’re booked in the BIG FRONT SEATs (yes, it’s in caps on the site). These are domestic first seats in a 2-2 configuration (the rest of the plane is in a 3-3 configuration). This flight was not cheap. Once we paid for carry on bags, seat selection ($222 for this flight), and the rest of the fees, it was only a few hundred dollars less than United and Delta. The flight is direct (which is a plus) and it’s a red-eye (which is not great). I’m hoping most of the passengers sleep and we can get home without incident. Spirit is headquartered in Miramar, Florida (near Miami). You will pay for everything on this ultra-low-cost carrier. I’m kind of excited for this flight just because I never thought I would fly Spirit. JetBlue is in the process of acquiring the airline, so I also wanted to try them before they were absorbed.
Anthony’s Take: I’m excited to try some new airlines and provide all of the details around each experience here. We’ll be in row one (bulkhead seats) for all of the flights. Stay tuned for details over the next two months. I’d love to hear if anyone has experience with these airlines and what to expect.
Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: I booked all of these flights with The Platinum Card® from American Express because I earn 5x points when booking airfare from the airlines directly (up to $500,000 per calendar year). I’ll also use the card to access the Centurion Lounge at LAS when returning home. Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
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