Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Skytrax vs the BOOT - airline of the year rankings

Every year Skytrax publishes the results of their Annual World Airline Awards survey, Most years since the launch of the BOOT I follow up by ranking my top airline choices against the Skytrax winners. [here are my 2006 rankings and 2008 rankings].

This year I have the added content weight of 10 airline seat reviews to draw on (all here). On to the list

Skytrax top ten Airlines of the Year 2010

  1. Asiana Airlines
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Qatar Airways
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Air New Zealand
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. Qantas Airways
  8. Emirates
  9. Thai Airways
  10. Malaysia Airlines

[notes SQ down a place, CX down two places and Qantas down 4 place]

The BOOT's top five airlines
  1. Cathay Pacific (up 3 places due to new herringbone seats)
  2. Virgin Atlantic (steady)
  3. British Airways (steady - despite crew troubles their flat bed seat is still a winner)
  4. Qantas (up a spot)
  5. Singapore Airlines (down 4 spots - I don't like the new seat. Too wide, not long enough).
Where do you stand?

Update (check out the Professor's rankings here)

Update 2 - why Cathay just beats Virgin Atlantic in my rankings in a post "Cathay Pacific vs Virgin Atlantic business class - the battle of the herringbone seats"


Anonymous said...

What, no United ?

Kurt Knackstedt - The "Travel Barista" said...

Tim - given V Australia has pretty much the same product as Virgin Atlantic, do they get spot "2a" in your ranking?

Penny Arabiata said...

VA & VS product are quite different at the pointy end, I reckon.

Both great, however.

VA benefits from being just so shiny and new. And their Premium Economy is lovely.

Still, hard to beat the VS herringbone config and seat for a guest in Upper Class.

I reckon that's the one big failing of CX's herringbone layout. They're splitting people up but not giving them the opportunity to sit face to face.

Picky, I know. But it's a valid point, methinks.

Tim Hughes said...

@kurt and @PennyA - my company have a deal which means all my transpacific flying is on United so have not had a chance to fly VA. Also means dramatic drop in my long haul QF flying. [not to mention Anon quip about a lot of time in United]

On the herringbone layout I have heard this argued both ways. My preference for the CX vs VS herringbone is that I dont see other people but I have heard others like PennyA say that is a downside.

Will write a post called "the battle of the herring bones" with why I think CX is just a little better than VS. stay tuned

Fly Hub said...

As long as the best is also the safest I say... Then it does not really matter does it?

farm and cottage holidays said...

I would agree that as long as the best is the safest, thats the main thing

Jason said...

Just interested...why did Qantas deserve a boost in your rankings?

Back in March on T-list you listed a lot to not like about them.

Tim Hughes said...

@Jason. Fair question. It is not so much that QF got a boost but that SQ dropped. I do not like the new SQ business class seat. For a 185cm guy it is just not long enough and (even though it is very wide) it forces me to sleep on an angle. The QF seat is a fantastic size for me so is now ranked higher on the BOOT than SQ (even though SQ service is much better than QF).

As to Qantas generally I have very strange relationship with them. I spend a lot of time on this blog criticising them and many interpret this as saying I am not a fan - even go so far as to say I hate them. Fair enough that people get that from my posts. But the complicated truth is that I think Qantas is truly one of the best airlines in the world. The problem is that too often they do not live up to their own hype. So while they are a fantastic carrier with world class seats, amazing lounge and keep their frequent flyers well served and happy, they also let me down constantly by promising a level of service or product that they do not deliver. Here are a couple of examples

1. In mid to late naughties they issued press release after press release claiming to have the best on board entertainment system in the world. Yet the product was clearly inferior to those available at the time on CX, SQ and BA. Most critically is broke on almost every flight I took for for three years.

2. Then there was advertising about how Business Class was all about on demand service and about me. But once on board I found that if I pressed the button to call for service during a designated sleeping time (ie 4 hours after leaving Sydney on route to Bangkok) the staff were grumpy and upset about having to look after me. Another example of this. When I reached top of the top tier on SQ I was sent a gift and invited to a cocktail party. When I reached the top 1% of QF flyers I got a subscription to Air magazine. Which I am sure they are selling ads in at a profit. In other words my reward for being top of the top at QF was to have my demographics sold to advertisers at a profit.

3. Then there is the gouging they do. Fighting like dogs to protect the Pacific route (AU to US)from entry from Emirates and SG. Doing it so that they can keep their rev per passenger km on that route 40% higher than the Kangaroo route (AU to UK). Fair enough they should fight for business. But dont fight to charge me more while telling me that it is in my best interest.

So dont get me wrong - QF is a great airline. I would fly them over every other airline bar three (note have not yet flown Emirates) but they need to do so much more in living up to the brand promise and customer commitments they make to turn me from a willing customer to a fan.

Jason said...

Fair enough. I know its your national airline and thought you maybe a little forgiving for that reason, I know I can be but only if I see them trying to get it right.
For me Emirates is definitely up there #2 for me...if the seats were a little wider #1. I look forward to your review of Emirates one day.