This last week I was asked to write a brief round-up article for a travel website on the world's top 10 airlines based on an international survey conducted by Skytrax. While I didn't think this was a terribly interesting article, apparently it struck a nerve with the website's readers whose quick clicking actions made my story one of the site's most downloaded articles for the day.
Personally I've always loved flying - I love the food (yes, I really do like reheated airline dinners; they heighten my sense of excitement about the fact that I am doing something out of the ordinary and that I am going somewhere special), I love the movies and I love the thought of taking off to a distant foreign land. But as I have gotten older the whole experienced has dimmed. So much so, that I now spend most of my time during the flight watching the flight route map continually asking myself the question all parent's loath: "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?"
The overwhelming response drawn by this article, however, got me thinking about which international carrier was my most and least favoured airline. So here are my picks:
My favourite international airline
I agree wholeheartedly with Skytrak's survey participants here; without a doubt my all time favourite international airline is Singapore Airlines. I just love to fly with Singapore Airlines. Not only are the seats comfortable (from an economy perspective of course), but the food is superlative and the flight attendants are so sweet and lovely that it’s almost a crime to ask them to do anything for you. The first time I flew with them back in early 2000 I thought I'd been accidentally upgraded from my usual cramped position in cattle class to business class – the seats seemed bigger, I had my own personal TV with a huge choice of movies and could control what I watched and when I watched it; I even had my own telephone (not that I used it). Most of these things are now standard on almost all international airlines, but, in my opinion, Singapore was, and still is, well ahead of the competition.
My least favourite international airline
Nothing against Germans here, but I have to say Lufthansa is the worst airline I have ever flown with – and I've flown with some pretty doggy airlines over the years including a number of very undesirable and unsafe African and Eastern European airlines which I never thought I'd make it to my final destination still in one piece on. When it comes to international airlines, though, Lufthansa with its cramped, cold vinyl seats (didn’t vinyl go out with the 70s?), bland, inedible food and dour flight attendants is by far the worst international airline... All I can say is avoid if you can!
While these two are my most and least favoured airlines, I am sure there are many others out there that I haven’t even contemplated. Which international airlines do you think are the best and the worst?
Image sourced from FreeFoto.com