Wednesday, July 18, 2012

World's top airlines

Skytrax has released their airlines ranking for 2012, and it is no surprise that no U.S. based carrier is anywhere to be found in the top 20.  This list is similar to what you would expect with a few surprises.  Garuda almost inches into the top 10 despite being banned from flying in Europe just three years ago.  SpiceJet ranks higher than American Airlines.  Virgin Australia jumped 20 spots.  Royal Jordanian and  EgyptAir rank higher than Aerlingus - I have flown all three and would never have guessed that.

Kristin and I have flown over 30 of these carriers and I am left scratching my head more often than not. So how does this happen?  What is the methodology?

 The methodology is pretty vague and this is lifted straight from the website:

The study analyses customer satisfaction for the Airline Passenger Experience, across the Airport and Onboard environments - from check-in to boarding, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, IFE and staff service.

  Online Passenger Interviews
  Business Research Group and Travel Panel Questionnaire
  Corporate Travel Questionnaire
  Selected Telephone Passenger Interviews
Product and Service factors ranked by customers in the survey included :
Standard of Airline web site
Online Booking service
Online check-in services
Airport Ticket Counters
Waiting times at Check-in
Quality of Check-in service
Self Check-in options
Boarding Procedures
Pre-boarding for families
Friendliness of Ground staff
Efficiency of Ground Staff
Transfer services
Arrival services
Baggage Delivery
Handling Delays

Cabin Seat comfort
Cabin Cleanliness
Toilet Cleanliness
Cabin Lighting / Ambience
Cabin Temperatures
Cabin Comfort amenities
Reading Materials
Airline magazine
Inflight Entertainment standards
Audio / Movie programming
AVOD options
Quality of Meals
Quantity of Food served
Meal Choices
Selection of Drinks / Pay bar formats
Assistance during Boarding
Friendliness of Staff
Service Attentiveness / Efficiency
Consistency of Service across different flights
Staff Language skills
Meal service efficiency
Availability thru Flight / Cabin presence
PA announcements
Assisting families with children
Problem solving Skills
General Staff Attitudes
Staff Grooming

There is no mention of weights or safety ratings, but problem solving skills and grooming are important data points.  Don't get me wrong, I agree with the top 20 for the most part.  I have small gripes like, I think Emirates should be ranked higher than Turkish and Garuda is in no way better than Lufthansa or Korean, but most of it, including the omission of U.S. based carriers is completely warranted.

After the top 20 things fall apart a little more.  Oman Air better than the best of America (Virgin America)?  Really? Easyjet better than Virgin Atlantic, and my beloved Delta?  Air Asia better than Silk Air?

To balance, it would be nice to add data points such as safety, average pilot experience, route map coverage, and maybe, I don't know, just something other than customer survey data.

Anyways, here is the top 20.  Click the link for all 100.

For a full list, click here.


1 Qatar Airways

2 Asiana Airlines

3 Singapore Airlines

4 Cathay Pacific Airways

5 ANA All Nippon Airways

6 Etihad Airways

7 Turkish Airlines

8 Emirates

9 Thai Airways International

10 Malaysia Airlines

11 Garuda Indonesia

12 Virgin Australia

13 EVA Air

14 Lufthansa

15 Qantas Airways

16 Korean Air

17 Air New Zealand

18 Swiss Int'l Air Lines

19 Air Canada

20 Hainan Airlines


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