The Best and Worst Airlines Revealed

6th February 2013

Airline pilot at the airport

Your flight is an essential part of your holiday and can’t really be avoided. We all know it isn’t glamorous and for the most part, your airline experience will be vastly the same regardless of who you travel with, but there are some airlines which do their passengers no favours. So without further ado, here’s a look at the best and worst airlines from the past 12 months as collated by the consumer group Which?, so you know what to expect before boarding.

If you tend to holiday in Europe, the good news is that your flight shouldn’t be much longer than 5 or 6 hours absolute tops. That is no excuse for poor service however so here’s a look at the best and worst options for short haul flights in the coming months.

Best short haul

Swiss and Turkish Airlines came out top trumps in terms of best short haul flight for their staff and customer service although with both airlines only flying to Switzerland and Turkey respectively, your choice of destinations is limited. If you are flying elsewhere, it might be worth choosing Lufthansa and Aer Lingus who received ratings of 75% and 74%, ranking them the next best choices.

Worst short haul

It doesn’t take a genius who got a double thumbs down with an extra-large pair of foam hands! Shamed by 8,000 people in a survey, they were slated for, well, just about everything and managed a score of just 34%! Customers’ main gripes were in regards to their shameless extra charges and their tactics of automatically ticking ‘optional’ extras. That said, Thomas Cook Airlines were only marginally better, scoring just 36%. Can you guess who it was?

The longer you are in the air, the more important your in cabin experience is, and the airline’s ability to route your luggage correctly too, so here’s a look at the best and worst long haul airlines for your next adventure abroad.

Passenger airplane landing on runway in airport.

Best long haul

Competition is actually quite stiff for long haul operators with Air New Zealand receiving the top score of 86% but Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines weren’t far behind with scores ranging between 84-81%. When you are spending more than a few hours in a seat with limited leg room, awkward sleeping positions and strangers who are keep elbowing you over the arm rests, experience expects decent on board service!

Worst long haul

Some of the worst offenders for long haul flights are those which serve the USA which American Airlines and United Airlines frequently receiving bad press for cancellations, delays and loss of luggage. If you are stickler for time keeping, it might be worth giving them a wide berth on your next trip across the pond if possible!

Sometimes it’s the little things in life which are the most important so when it comes to other aspects of your on board experience from flight food to entertainment and of course safety, here are some other airlines which topped the awards boards…

Best safety record

If the stats are anything to go by and you have ever seen the opening scene of the film Final Destination, you might want to avoid China Airlines. Figures suggest they have had 8 losses of aircraft and a staggering 755 fatalities!

Best in flight food

Airplane food has often suffered from criticism but on a cheerier note, things are definitely on the up at 30,000ft! Turkish Airlines, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have all received a pat on their back for their sumptuous offerings and with airlines like British Airways and Air France bringing in the hands of top chefs to craft their menus, things can only get better. (We hope!)

Best in flight entertainment

In 2011, Emirates won the best inflight entertainment award at the World Airline Awards which collate votes from more than 18 million passengers around the world. They were followed by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airlines so if you are heading long haul and entertainment is your cabin air, these are the top choices!

This is just a quick look the best and worst airlines; after all, there are many different parameters for judging airlines but as long as they get you from A to B safely, most of usually have no complaints.

After reading this though we know you’re dying to dish the dirt so go ahead and tell us, what’s your best or worst airline experience?

By Kerri Ware from Economy Car Hire

Click HERE to book car hire now!

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