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I would consider Air India and of course British Airways if you are flying between London and Asia.

In US, I felt AA stewards are pretty bad.
 
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Flying to and from US and UK, Id recommend Aer Lingus. You clear passport and immigration in Dublin instead of on US soil, so you can get trolleyed on the way over without having to be sober for the immigration officials

Worst airline: Delta. Ugh.

An aside: when I entered the US on a fiance visa last year, I went through Newark international airport. At immigration I was taken aside to have my visa verified. No problems there, its routine business. I was placed in a waiting room with other families, waiting to get their details verified as well. As we were all waiting for the one guy to stamp our visa's, one of his colleagues walked up, slapped him on the back and pronounced "Nothing like the sweet smell of refugees, huh?". Sitting there, I was shocked, but what could I do?

Im not singling out US immigration, Ive heard similar stories in other countries, particularly people going through immigration at Heathrow. Never figured it would happen to me tho.
 
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It depends very much on what you are after and which class you are flying, heres what I've learn in my many trips between Australia and UK:

1) Value for money BA/Qantas economy prices are TERRIBLE - they have less legroom than competitors and the flying stock seems to be older and more "tired" (some planes still dont have individual TV screens for example).

However, since my credit card only allows me to accrue reward points for Qantas, I still use them and am taking the family(3) from Brisbane to London this June for free!! - So in that respect Qantas dont seem too bad!

Business class is a different kettle of fish altogether and its quite possible that the BA/Q "skybed" services are better than competitors for a closer price than expected (I wouldnt know since paying over $5000 for a return flight is a little too extravagant for me!)

2) Garuda (Indonessias national carier)- have excellent value for money offers from time to time - but are not an airline of choice if you are in a hurry! A ticket from Brisbane to London costs about 50% the cost of a BA/Q flight but instead of a 1hr stop in Singapore and total time of 24hrs you have to go via Jakarta/Singapore/Amsterdamm - total journey time of >36hrs. They have also had several near bankrupcy scares over the years, so insurance is probably a good bet if these guys are your choice! If you really dont care how long it takes and you want to go as cheaply as possible - this is the airline for you!

3) Emirates - small _fast_ planes means the journey takes 24hrs again but goes via Singapore and Dubai - having 3x8hr flights seems nicer than 10+14 - but the increased stops does mean increased chance of delays (as my parents discovered recently when they got to the airport to check in and were told to come back the next day as delays had occured somewhere in the world....
Prices for Emirates seem to be very competive - and they do offer a slightly different timetable than most of the SEAsian airlines flying the "kangeroo route" - So you can arrive at your destination at 9pm rather than 7am. This may not sound like a big deal but when you arrive at 7am theres always the struggle to try and stay awake and get your body in sync with the local time when all you really want to do when you arrive is SLEEP (which would be reasonably appropriate at 9pm!)

4)Cathay(Hong-Kong), JAL (Japan), Korean, Malaysian, Singapore - All run near identical services from Australia to UK so theres nothing to chose between them apart from price - which varies depending on when you book... just shop around.....

5) Royal Brunei - Another fine airline with reasonable prices.. Only downside is being a strict muslim carrier, there is no alcohol on board - So you gotta go a full day on planes without the single-serve G&T, mini-cans of beer or munchkin-size wine bottles that might otherwise serve to break up the horrendous monotony of long-haul flying!

On the whole I'd summarise that there doesnt seem to be much to chose from between the very best airlines and the absolute worst - so the comparison usualy boils down to little more than timetable/price differences...
 
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Long haul flights - I like Singapore airlines. This is my favorite now - the food is not too bad, and I usually have a choice, the seats are reasonably comfortable for a person of my height, and the IFE is pretty good.

My second choice would be Cathay Pacific and Malaysian airlines. Some people don't like the 8-hr stopover (to India). But I like it, because either they arrange a hotel with a free meal, or I can spend a little money and use the airport lounge. I like being able to take a shower, a nap maybe, and not look like something the cat dragged in when I reach home.

Lufthana was okay, except that their IFE sucks. No individual tv screens, and they don't offer choices in their menus.

Domestic flights within US - I dont care either way, as long as its cheap, and there aren't too many stopovers.

My cousin got to travel with UAE Business class, and he thinks they are the best.
[ January 19, 2005: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
author and jackaroo
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Worst I have flown with: China Eastern Airlines.

I have never yet caught a flight with them that was not delayed a minimum of an hour. The worst I had was a 5 hour delay (for which they gave us 1 packet of dry biscuits, and 1 can of Orange soft drink (not even a choice on the soft drink)). My collegue got delayed 25 hours!

In flight service varies from mediocre to really bad (no quality control), and the in flight entertainment consists of aging centrlised TV screens that usually don't show colours correctly. Most flights seem to just repeat a film half way through the flight rather than changing the tape over (and yes, I think they are using tapes instead of DVDs).

And this is on the international routes between China and Australia. Their domestic flights are rumored to be much worse.

As a result of the last set of problems they caused us, we have now instigated a corporate policy that we will never fly with China Eastern again.
 
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Worst of the Worst: Air India ofcourse. I know first-hand (my family and friends) enough people that had trouble. Wouldn't fly it even if its a deal (unless its a 75% off, then yeah I can consider).
Government jobs, what can I say.

British Airways (Don't beat me up) comes a close second, based on my experience.

Otherwise I look for the best deal and live with it. At the very least, these other airlines have a better information (computer) network and can research what they can do for the customer.

- m
 
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
(some planes still dont have individual TV screens for example).



I don't think I've ever flown on a plane that had individual TV screens!
 
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BA is excellent, at least inside Europe and to North America (never flown them elsewhere).

China Airlines is very bad.
Fly Airlines (of Turkey) is extreme.
Air France is pretty bad (being housed in the lost luggage capital of the world doesn't help, nor does French chauvinism and superiority complex).
Qantas is bad too.
Aeroflot is way down there (though I hear they're working hard to improve themselves).
 
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Air Deccan can also come in the list of worst.2 days back,flight departure time was 11:30 AM from Mumbai.They called me on my cell saying flight has been delayed by 3 hours.At 3:00 PM,they said ,flight is further delayed by 1 hour and finally at 4:00 PM,they said flight will depart at 5:00 PM.Finally it took off at 5:10!!.The only reason for delay they gave was some "operational issue"!
 
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Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Air Deccan can also come in the list of worst.



If I compare Jet prices with Deccan then I find Deccan much better than Jet(exception is Airhostesses )
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Air Deccan can also come in the list of worst.2 days back,flight departure time was 11:30 AM from Mumbai.They called me on my cell saying flight has been delayed by 3 hours.At 3:00 PM,they said ,flight is further delayed by 1 hour and finally at 4:00 PM,they said flight will depart at 5:00 PM.Finally it took off at 5:10!!.The only reason for delay they gave was some "operational issue"!



You mean they notified you of a delay?
That's pretty unusual, most airlines just expect you to wait and wait until they think it's a good time to depart...
Spent 5 hours waiting once at Heathrow for a flight that never departed. It wasn't until 3 hours after the aircraft was set to depart that it was announced there would be a "slight delay".
2 hours after that everyone (about 60 people) waiting were shepherded back through customs and baggage claim to a service desk where a single airline girl handed out hotel vouchers. That was 11:30PM, we were in bed half an hour after midnight. We had to leave the hotel again at 06:30AM to make the 0800 departure on our 40 minute flight to Schiphol.
No food or drink were supplied, not even an apology did we get.
The airline: KLM

On another occasion I spent 22 hours locked up in a waiting room under armed guard together with another several dozen Dutch people (tourgroup) in Alma Ata.
We had a grand total of 2 chairs and 1 toilet between us, no luggage (so no toiletries to even brush our teeth).
Everyone got a single glass of apple juice as compensation.
The airline: Aeroflot

RAM gave us a voucher for getting some food and drink for a 3 hour delay at Schiphol once, so did Transavia.
 
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
BA is excellent, at least inside Europe and to North America (never flown them elsewhere).



Gosh thank you, I was starting to feel pretty bad there for a minute.

BA have never claimed to be anything other than an premier service airline, aimed mostly at premium customers (business and first class). However, I've flown economy a few times with them (even before I worked for them) and found there seats to be a hell of a lot more spacious and comfortable than other airlines, particularly on long-haul. Service is second to none too. They also have a premium economy cabin on most laung-haul planes now which is a brillian combination of Eceonmy with Business class.
Their Business Class Flat Beds though are amazing.

I've flown American, Air Lingus, and a number of smaller charter airlines of the years and I've never had anything come close to BA.
 
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Best == Buddha Airlines. They fly furthest away from the mountains of all Himalayan carriers. Otherwise they are pretty basic, but priorities people, some things are important

Worst? Would have to be the Alaskan carrier who gave my friend Matt a job. They must be bad. Having sat in a car with the man, for purely self preservation reasons I'd never get into a plane with him
[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
BA is excellent, at least inside Europe and to North America (never flown them elsewhere).



You have to fly BA in other routes and you will see the marked difference. When I tried them couple of times, US to UK was decent and it was real shocker from UK to India(in both directions). It almost seems like intentional and a passenger does not need to take that crap.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:


I've flown American, Air Lingus, and a number of smaller charter airlines of the years and I've never had anything come close to BA.



You have to fly Singaport Airlines, then you will understand what is consistent quality. I would personally consider BA 10 rungs down the ladder compared to them(huh.. even conde nast traveller agrees with that and Singapore is hands down number 1 for almost 7 years)
 
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:


BA have never claimed to be anything other than an premier service airline, aimed mostly at premium customers (business and first class). However, I've flown economy a few times with them (even before I worked for them) and found there seats to be a hell of a lot more spacious and comfortable than other airlines, particularly on long-haul. Service is second to none too. They also have a premium economy cabin on most laung-haul planes now which is a brillian combination of Eceonmy with Business class.
Their Business Class Flat Beds though are amazing.

I've flown American, Air Lingus, and a number of smaller charter airlines of the years and I've never had anything come close to BA.



Good to know that they treat their employees very well.

- m
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


You have to fly BA in other routes and you will see the marked difference. When I tried them couple of times, US to UK was decent and it was real shocker from UK to India(in both directions). It almost seems like intentional and a passenger does not need to take that crap.



Maybe that's ONLY to India. Given the large number of lowbudget travellers between the UK and India they may well decided they'd better not invest in putting the latest equipment and best people on the route.
Given that the only competition comes from Air India they don't even have to as it's supposed to be extremely bad so pretty much anything will be better
 
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I have travelled with only 4 airlines. Out of the 4, Air France was the worst. Air hostess was barking at people and the service was very poor. Delta and Lufthansa ranked next. The service is ok but the planes suck. No individual TV (IMHO, Lufthansa is overrated). Singapore airline was the best. SA's Service was good, food was good and there was a TV monitor in front of everyone. The only drawback was, I had to wait 8 hours in Singapore.
 
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Best: Jet Blue

Worst: Carnival air and ATA air. It's a tie.

Mark
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


Maybe that's ONLY to India. Given the large number of lowbudget travellers between the UK and India they may well decided they'd better not invest in putting the latest equipment and best people on the route.
Given that the only competition comes from Air India they don't even have to as it's supposed to be extremely bad so pretty much anything will be better



If that is the case, that means they are still managing BA with old british empire mentality.

More than half the passengers towards the india sector are on transit, and they do have other choices like Virgin(which flies to Delhi), Delta and Lufthansa when you think of transit through Europe.

BTW most of the passengers flying to UK round trip from US in economy pay around $425(on average), where as if you are flying US to India via UK usually you pay around $1100+(there is not much difference in travel time from US-UK and UK to India if you are flying from central US). I am not quite sure which plane has more budget passengers in that case

I did check with UK to China and it seems that is the same case as indian route.
 
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I have flown with various companies but the best is Korean Airlines. Excellent food and service. EVA airlines is also very good.

American Airlines and Delta have horrible service and food.
 
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US Air and Northwest airlines are amoung the worst I've flown.

Continental is bare bones and cheap, the seats are uncomfortable, but the service is ok. If it wasn't so cheap I'd rate it worse.
 
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


Maybe that's ONLY to India. Given the large number of lowbudget travellers between the UK and India they may well decided they'd better not invest in putting the latest equipment and best people on the route.
Given that the only competition comes from Air India they don't even have to as it's supposed to be extremely bad so pretty much anything will be better



Jeroen,

IMHO, you are so ill-informed on this issue.

First, the travellers to India are no low budget. I don't even know/understand what you mean by low budget. :roll:
You call some travel agents, ask for price of a ticket and buy the ticket with money (US $, UK Pound, Euro, whatever). What's low budget about what currency you use?

Second, if BA thinks their ONLY competition is Air India, well that's their problem. And FYI...Delta, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, America (some tie-up), Singapore, Malasian (and more) fly to India everyday. Oh, Air India too, ofcourse.

Given the breadth of competition, if BA selects only Air India to be their competition, well that sets the tone for their standards.

- m
 
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My favourite is Lufthansa. The most pleasant thing in Lufthansa's planes is, you'll always have really handsome German young gentleman staffs, polite and hospitable...
Here's the news letter I just received:

Dear Ms Zhao,

This month we'll give you information about more routes on which you can
get on the Net during your Lufthansa flight with the broadband internet
access service FlyNet�. In addition, you can earn extra award miles with
AVIS at the beginning of the New Year.

Sincerely,

Harald W. Eisenaecher
Vice President Marketing
Deutsche Lufthansa AG



As for which is the worst, I agree with Andrew. Even in the domestic market, China Eastern is the worst airline I've experienced. Shame, shame.
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
... and found there seats to be a hell of a lot more spacious and comfortable than other airlines, particularly on long-haul. Service is second to none too....



Sorry Angela - Just did a bit of research [http://www.choice.com.au]on seat pitch on flights into Sydney(distance between rows) - measured in inches:

BA - 31
Qantas - 31
United - 31
Singapore - 32
SriLankan - 32
Alitalia - 33
Cathay - 33
Malaysian - 34
Air New Zealand - 34
Thai Airways - 34

Dont know how up to date or reliable these numbers are - but it pretty much backs up what I said about BA/Qantas being the most cramped!
 
kayal cox
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While on the subject of flights, make sure you read this. Heard it about it on the radio, and googled for the article.

Contaminated airplane water

Yuck!
[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
While on the subject of flights, make sure you read this. Heard it about it on the radio, and googled for the article.

Contaminated airplane water

Yuck!

[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: kayal cox ]


That explains why I was feeling stomach cramps after drinking just water during a flight couple of years ago
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Madhav Lakkapragada:


Jeroen,

IMHO, you are so ill-informed on this issue.

First, the travellers to India are no low budget. I don't even know/understand what you mean by low budget. :roll:
You call some travel agents, ask for price of a ticket and buy the ticket with money (US $, UK Pound, Euro, whatever). What's low budget about what currency you use?

Second, if BA thinks their ONLY competition is Air India, well that's their problem. And FYI...Delta, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, America (some tie-up), Singapore, Malasian (and more) fly to India everyday. Oh, Air India too, ofcourse.

Given the breadth of competition, if BA selects only Air India to be their competition, well that sets the tone for their standards.

- m



Low budget compared to tickets to say north America and Japan. If a ticket to India from the UK costs 300 pounds and a ticket to Japan 600 pounds (for example) BA would be crazy to offer more service to the passenger to India than the passenger to Japan (as the cost per passenger to get them to Japan isn't twice the cost of getting them to India).
It's simple economics, you get what you pay for.

And I was referring to the direct routes. Many people will not want to fly from the UK to India via a third country...
And the number willing to take transfers is decreasing.
 
Angela Poynton
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


If that is the case, that means they are still managing BA with old british empire mentality.

.....

BTW most of the passengers flying to UK round trip from US in economy pay around $425(on average), where as if you are flying US to India via UK usually you pay around $1100+(there is not much difference in travel time from US-UK and UK to India if you are flying from central US).



1. I think you're assuming a very bad thing in your first statement. The Mentality is not one of empire, it is one of business. We primarily cater to premium passengers (business / first class). Also if I understand it the older planes that were being used on our Indian routes are being phased out and newer planes added in.

2. I think your figures are wrong (but if you can give me an independant reliable source I'll accept them, I don't have time to look up). There is a heck of a lot more people travelling in the premium cabin to the US than India, therefore I expect the total profit per head is a lot higher for Trans-Atlantic routes.

As for BA treating their staff well, I think they could do worse but since 9-11 / SARS and the war like most arilines we're fighting to stay afloat, hence low / delayed pay rises and general low moral.
My comments were based on my experiences as a passenger rather than an employee.
 
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International Airlines (Ranked by experiences):
1. KLM Royal Dutch
2. Continental
3. Air India
3. Northwest

Domestic Airlines (Ranked by experiences):
1. Jet Airways (India) -- by far the best. I hope they go international soon.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7. United Airlines
8. Continental
9. Delta
10. US Airways
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:


1. I think you're assuming a very bad thing in your first statement. The Mentality is not one of empire, it is one of business. We primarily cater to premium passengers (business / first class). Also if I understand it the older planes that were being used on our Indian routes are being phased out and newer planes added in.

2. I think your figures are wrong (but if you can give me an independant reliable source I'll accept them, I don't have time to look up). There is a heck of a lot more people travelling in the premium cabin to the US than India, therefore I expect the total profit per head is a lot higher for Trans-Atlantic routes.

As for BA treating their staff well, I think they could do worse but since 9-11 / SARS and the war like most arilines we're fighting to stay afloat, hence low / delayed pay rises and general low moral.
My comments were based on my experiences as a passenger rather than an employee.



If 1 is correct that will be nice. I think they understood what they are loosing to Emirates Airlines, due to better equipment and service. And they also likely realised how they lost last couple of years to Lufthansa on the transit via Europe.

Hay I took BA to London from Dallas for my European trip last year. I payed $425 including taxes for roundtrip. I took BA to india(via London) about october last year. It costs me $1200. So, that means the price on london to india route is far expensive compared to one from us to london, for a economy class passenger. You have to understand that original discussion with Jeroen is based on economy not on someone flying business/first class.
 
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


Low budget compared to tickets to say north America and Japan. If a ticket to India from the UK costs 300 pounds and a ticket to Japan 600 pounds (for example) BA would be crazy to offer more service to the passenger to India than the passenger to Japan (as the cost per passenger to get them to Japan isn't twice the cost of getting them to India).
It's simple economics, you get what you pay for.

And I was referring to the direct routes. Many people will not want to fly from the UK to India via a third country...
And the number willing to take transfers is decreasing.



Re your first comment, that is so cheap of BA. While we can't impose any logic on the price of air tickets (atleast from what I know, hopefully others agree), we can say with a reasonable common sense that a ticket to a place that is 200 Kms (will be) is expected to be cheaper than say a ticket to a place that is 2000 Kms.

Read further if you agree -

Now that we agree on that, if BA chooses (as you said) that flights to places that are say less than 200 Kms (you can substitute your distance, 200 is what I am using as an example) are 'low-budget' so we can treat them 'differently' that's just....well you know! :roll:

The reason a ticket to Japan will be priced more is, in part, because its probably longer distance and that they have to spend more resources (number of hours * number of staff * pay; fuel; food; entertainment etc etc). Your logic of saying that since passengers to India pay less (low budget) so they should be treated as low budget is not really holding well.

Has anyone ever taken a BA flight from UK to Europe ?

According to the 'low budget' logic above, I imagine they should be treated 'much differently' :roll: than those passengers to Japan or even to India for that matter. Oh! Please.

I think based on this logic I should change my opinion that the worst airline is BA, not Air India. Only thing is, I didn't hear this logic from a BA spokesman (I am assuming of course Jeroen is not a BA spokesperson) so I will stick with AI.

And on the second comment, I don't think BA will limit itself to flights and/or passengers originating from UK alone. They are in the international business with all major other major airline companies. So they competition is global. Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that passengers should take multiple flights. I was talking from the airline business point of view, not the passenger point of view.

- m

ps:

Angela, I was just kidding about the Employees comment, no hard feelings there. Just a little humor. I know your comments were based on your experiences.
 
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Let's make a side-list for the airlines with nuttiest headgear for their stewardesses.

1. Emirates (just daft)
2. BA (the poor, poor girls)

to be extended...

Btw. both definitively don't belong to list of the worst airlines in my eyes.

cb
[ January 22, 2005: Message edited by: Chris Baron ]
 
Angela Poynton
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Originally posted by Chris Baron:
Let's make a side-list for the airlines with nuttiest headgear for their stewardesses.

1. Emirates (just daft)
2. BA (the poor, poor girls)




Are you referring to the old headgear or the new one for BA!
I quite like the new one.
 
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From my own experience, this is the order, from best to worst!

1) Emirates
2) Jet Airways
3) Air France
4) Kuwait Airlines
5) Ryanair (brilliant value for money)
6) Aer Lingus
7) British Midlands
8) British Airways
9) Air India
10) Aeroflot

Of all the airlines that I have been with, Emirates wins hands down - they have the best aircrafts on all routes (personal screens and game consoles on not only London-Dubai, even Dubai-Cochin flights). They also kept us very well fed, amused (30 or so channels, new movies, games, shopping etc) and merry (oversupply of drinks)!

Short flights within Europe (< 3 hours) are normally very poorly equipped, with a random music like a local cabbie, and most of them will even charge you for food and drinks. Ryanair is the cheapest, but overall their service is very good value!

BA and BMI (British Midlands) Delhi/Bomabay/Chennai-Heathrow is definitely not BA�s favourite route and they have the crappiest flights on the route, once the concealed television above my seat rattled so much, I had to ask for a different seat, just to get a shut eye � reminded me of old battered public buses in India!! In-flight service was Okay though.

Kuwait Airlines was nice, but slightly snobbish (may be its just me) and there were a few delays and hiccups when I flew with them, and also a silly no-drinking policy too!

I wouldn�t fly Aeroflot, they are okay as such, but their services, facilities (especially that airport in Russia) are extremely depressive, and their hours (waiting etc) are really bad � wouldn�t fly if I had a choice!
 
Ellen Zhao
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
Of all the airlines that I have been with, Emirates wins hands down - they have the best aircrafts on all routes


I remember about one year ago there was once a local TV programme introducing Airbus A380. In year 2001 or 2002 (I forgot), when Airbus A380 sounded just like a hype and most air companies in the world kept questioning and watching, Emirates submitted an order of 10 Airbus A380. This remarkable deal was the first contract Airbus A380 got. Kudos Emirate!!!
 
Chris Baron
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
Are you referring to the old headgear or the new one for BA?
I quite like the new one.



I refer to daft, darkblue round strawhats

cb
 
Jeroen Wenting
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OK, from my personal experience for a top 10...

1) BA
2) KLM
3) BMi Baby
4) Northwest
4) Transavia
4) Delta
7) RAM
8) USAirways
9) Lufthansa
10) Air France
11) Aeroflot

and yes, that's a shared 3rd place
and indeed there's 11 airlines in the top 10

I've flown others, but not enough to give a decent impression (usually only one or two segments).
 
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Swissair was the worst I flew with - the arrogance and poor service of the staff was staggering. No wonder they went bust.

I flew to Oz on Malaysian, but via Malaysia, and the seat pitch felt like about 24 inches, so they're on my list too.
 
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My list

1) Lufthansa
2) Emirates
2) Jet Airways
3) British Airways
4) Air France
5) Indian Airlines
6) American Airlines
7) Ryan Air
8) Alitalia

Lufthansa ranks very high in the list, mainly because, I have always travelled in the Business class / First class, when I fly Lufthansa.
British Airways loses points mainly in the baggage handling. Somehow, they always manage to screw-up the checked-in baggage. It goes to a wrong destination or it arrives late (in another flight).
 
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