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Airlines

LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
Because I am currently grounded from flying, mostly all I can do is think about flying, so it got me wondering what people's favourite airlines are and who better to ask than people who fly on a frequent basis? What are the most overrated airlines? The worst airlines? You can even rank them if you're bored enough, because I know how much everyone here loves ranking the most mundane things :rolleyes: .

Favourite- Delta, because I have flown with them probably the most and they have been the most consistent. Their staff is always friendly whether on the ground or in the air, I haven't had any significant delays that I can remember (even in that "big winter storm" of 2010 that shut down pretty much all flight into and out of England), and they are usually reasonably priced. Plus, I live 20 minutes away from one of their very large hubs where there is a whole terminal dedicated just to Delta so I guess that could explain some of the favouritism.

Overrated- Cathay Pacific is the first one. I flew with them twice in 2016 and was so excited only to bet let down with how average they were. First, it was the only time I ever had a bag lost in my life. It somehow ended up in Dubai and it took 3 days to get back to me, plus I was only given about $60 to buy new clothes for the duration of my stay in Hong Kong. The actual flights were fine but nothing amazing, I'd even say they are pretty comparable to Delta but the fact I heard so many good things and paid a lot for the flight left a lot to be desired.

Worst- Is it fair to use budget, no-frills airlines in this? If so, I'd say WOW was pretty bad. The flight attendants were so beautiful and the staff were so friendly but the seats were so uncomfortable and they charged FIVE ACTUAL DOLLARS for a small bottle of water. They were usually on time but, obviously couldn't have been very good if they went bankrupt. Ryanair is actually probably worse though but I haven't flown with them enough to really know, although one of the longest delays I've had on a flight was with one of my two Ryanair flights.
 
My favourite airline is actually Ryanair, because they have enabled me to travel all over Europe multiple times a year, for the price of visiting UK parks. You know what you get, nothing glam, but they’ve actually been 100% reliable for me, in all the times I’ve used them, no delays, cancellations or issues at all.

I also really like Norwegian, modern seats allow you to stretch your legs out under the seat in front, no need for upgrades, free wifi, free entertainment...
 

Benenen

Member
I too have a soft spot for Ryanair, I do 3-4 trips a year with them and haven't been let down in a while. I was stranded in Basel for an extra night due to a strike in 2017 and the compensation was pretty good. All extra hotels, food and bevs in the bar were reimbursed plus a £80 voucher. Can't say fairer then that. Pretty sure I had some comp money transferred to my account too but my memory is hazy, the strikes were quite big in the UK press at the time so this was probably above and beyond the typical Ryanair service.

Your risk of a delay or cancellation is slightly higher than with a higher end airline but it's fairly negligible in my eyes. Like Nicky said getting return flights to Europe consistently between £20 and £60 is a godsend to us goons and it allows so many parks to be cheaply accessible. If it weren't for Ryanair I'd be at Thorpe or Towers for 90% of my theme park trips.
 
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MouseAT

Active Member
I'm fine with a budget airline, although they do sometimes make the experience of flying with them more of a pain in the ass than it needs to be. If you only look at the cost of the flight, then they can be an absolute bargain; I've flown Stansted to Gothenburg, followed by Stockholm Skavsta to Stansted for around £35 before, and Manchester to and from Barcelona for around £50, but that's only part of the picture, depending on where you live.

If you don't live near a major hub airport, the value proposition can drop through the floor, depending on your destination. Take Gothenburg for example - if you want a direct flight from the UK, you've got a grand total of two choices for flights: Stansted or Edinburgh. Either way, you're looking at a 3-4 hour drive from Yorkshire on the UK side, and probably an overnight stay before and/or after the flight, jacking up overall cost of the trip substantially. Once you take into account travel time and expenses, many budget flights suddenly aren't so cheap any more when compared with the cost of taking a KLM flight from a local airport to Amsterdam, and then an onward connection from there.

Talking of airlines that get it right, whilst I've only flown with them a few times in 2019, I must say it was a refreshing change to fly with KLM after years of dealing with Ryanair irritations. It's was such a refreshing change to be travelling without excessive hand luggage restrictions, required add-ons, short yet mandatory online check-in windows, or constantly being advertised to during the flight. I've also developed a real liking for the Embraer E-series jets that KLM use on their less popular routes, as they're a lot nicer than the 737s that Ryanair subject everyone to.
 
I'm fine with a budget airline, although they do sometimes make the experience of flying with them more of a pain in the ass than it needs to be. If you only look at the cost of the flight, then they can be an absolute bargain; I've flown Stansted to Gothenburg, followed by Stockholm Skavsta to Stansted for around £35 before, and Manchester to and from Barcelona for around £50, but that's only part of the picture, depending on where you live.

If you don't live near a major hub airport, the value proposition can drop through the floor, depending on your destination. Take Gothenburg for example - if you want a direct flight from the UK, you've got a grand total of two choices for flights: Stansted or Edinburgh. Either way, you're looking at a 3-4 hour drive from Yorkshire on the UK side, and probably an overnight stay before and/or after the flight, jacking up overall cost of the trip substantially. Once you take into account travel time and expenses, many budget flights suddenly aren't so cheap any more when compared with the cost of taking a KLM flight from a local airport to Amsterdam, and then an onward connection from there.

Talking of airlines that get it right, whilst I've only flown with them a few times in 2019, I must say it was a refreshing change to fly with KLM after years of dealing with Ryanair irritations. It's was such a refreshing change to be travelling without excessive hand luggage restrictions, required add-ons, short yet mandatory online check-in windows, or constantly being advertised to during the flight. I've also developed a real liking for the Embraer E-series jets that KLM use on their less popular routes, as they're a lot nicer than the 737s that Ryanair subject everyone to.
I’m quite lucky there, especially for Ryanair, I live 20 - 30 mins from East Midlands, less than an hour from Birmingham, and within a 2 hour drive of Manchester, Luton, Stanstead and others. So no UK overnight stays necessary, although I have stayed overnight near Stanstead before, particularly for Gothenburg flights, as they’re so bloody early, and I’m lazy 🙈😂
 

LiveForTheLaunch

Well-Known Member
I'm fine with a budget airline, although they do sometimes make the experience of flying with them more of a pain in the ass than it needs to be. If you only look at the cost of the flight, then they can be an absolute bargain; I've flown Stansted to Gothenburg, followed by Stockholm Skavsta to Stansted for around £35 before, and Manchester to and from Barcelona for around £50, but that's only part of the picture, depending on where you live.

If you don't live near a major hub airport, the value proposition can drop through the floor, depending on your destination. Take Gothenburg for example - if you want a direct flight from the UK, you've got a grand total of two choices for flights: Stansted or Edinburgh. Either way, you're looking at a 3-4 hour drive from Yorkshire on the UK side, and probably an overnight stay before and/or after the flight, jacking up overall cost of the trip substantially. Once you take into account travel time and expenses, many budget flights suddenly aren't so cheap any more when compared with the cost of taking a KLM flight from a local airport to Amsterdam, and then an onward connection from there.

Talking of airlines that get it right, whilst I've only flown with them a few times in 2019, I must say it was a refreshing change to fly with KLM after years of dealing with Ryanair irritations. It's was such a refreshing change to be travelling without excessive hand luggage restrictions, required add-ons, short yet mandatory online check-in windows, or constantly being advertised to during the flight. I've also developed a real liking for the Embraer E-series jets that KLM use on their less popular routes, as they're a lot nicer than the 737s that Ryanair subject everyone to.
The thing with budget airlines is that the experience can still be good. Just because you're budget doesn't mean the planes have to be constantly delayed or the seats have to feel like cardboard boxes. I love Easyjet and Air Canada Rouge was good ($200 CAD to Scotland, that's unheard of). Ryanair is notorious for delays and whatnot but there's no excuse for it. On a long haul flight I would rather pay for a decent experience but for a flight that's an hour or two I am fine with budget.
 

MouseAT

Active Member
The thing with budget airlines is that the experience can still be good. Just because you're budget doesn't mean the planes have to be constantly delayed or the seats have to feel like cardboard boxes. I love Easyjet and Air Canada Rouge was good ($200 CAD to Scotland, that's unheard of).
I'm sure that's true. I've only flown with EasyJet once, and I remember having a decent experience with their flight, but so far I've yet to fly with them a second time. That's not a reflection on the company, but down to most non-Ryanair budget airlines not flying the routes I want to travel. Given the choice, I'd much rather fly with EasyJet (or try just about any other budget airline) in preference to Ryanair, but that rarely seems to be a convenient option for me.

I won't deny there are bargains to be had though - as I said, I've had my fair share, and you can't argue with the price you've quoted for a transatlantic flight!
 

JammyH

Member
Easyjet is the worst airline I know. Ryanair and wizzair are much better, at least their planes actually take off from the airport.

Easyjet will find any excuse to cancel your flights and then not refund the money. :(
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Yeah I'm joining in with the Ryanair love, of course their charges are outrageous but that's only if you're an idiot and don't read properly. If it wasn't for Ryanair I wouldn't have visited half the places I've been able to do. ****, I got to Luxembourg and back for less than a tenner. They're punctual, they don't **** about getting you onto the plane and they fly at perfect times to make the most of short breaks. Their new planes are brilliant too, lots of legroom, cool lighting and plenty of overhead space. Food and drink is about average but not horrendously priced. They get a bonus point for having an amazing fare finder feature too - a few times we've literally just booked the cheapest flights available on a set date, and it's something I've not seen other budget carriers offer (and Skyscanner isn't always accurate for it).

Easyjet are alright - haven't really had a bad experience with them but they're often more expensive than Ryanair and have worse flight times.

WizzAir are the worst budget carrier I've used, **** me. Scam of a website, scam of a company, disgusting planes, rude staff. Outright refuse to fly with them.

British Airways were a monumental disappointment. Slow as **** to turn the plane around, staff were shambolic, planes were cramped and the lack of information about delays was embarrassing.

KLM were incredible - but then it was business class so I kind of expected that. But honestly, their planes were clean and spacious, the food my god the food. Staff were mostly polite, and the little ceramic houses you get were an amazing touch.

Air France were the opposite - maybe spoiled by how good KLM's business class was but their seats and layout were horrible, on board entertainment pants, but the food. Just, I don't care how nicely you've folded that slither of fish, could you do me the decency of cooking it first rather than storing it in the sole of the pilot for half hour?
 
I’m gonna be careful with what I say about Easyjet, as we have Easyjet cabin crew here on the forum, who I believe will tell you that they are a much better company to work for than Ryanair... To be fair not had an issue with them, but as a budget airline, they’re not that cheap, and you don’t get any more for your money... My cheapest flight with them was around £100 return to Amsterdam... My cheapest with Ryanair was £9.80 return to Cologne!!!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Never had a problem with Easyjet and have happily flown with them numerous times before. The only time I've been delayed was (properly) bad weather leaving Barcelona last December. Think pretty much every flight out the airport was delayed that day so no issue.

Aer Lingus also very good for transatlantic flights, especcially with the US immigration prechecks at Dublin. Saves a lot of time on arrival in the US. Should have been flying with them this past May before this lockdown, need to contact them to see whats happening about my voucher refund...

Flew with Delta once on what must have been an older plane. No in-seat entertainment for the the transatlantic flight, only 1 one screen at front of plane showing a pre-selected film... That and the 3-4 immigration queue at Atlanta causing us to almost miss our connecting flight didn't make for a very enjoyable experience. The connecting flight (Atlanta-DC) was fine though.

Flybe were incredibly average as well. Felt like a budget airline charging full-service prices. Not particularly surprised they've folded...

KLM also good. Haven't tried their long haul flights but the short hop Bristol-Amsterdam was decent enough. Not cheap but flights worked out at much more convenient times than the equivalent Easyjet flight.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I’m gonna be careful with what I say about Easyjet, as we have Easyjet cabin crew here on the forum, who I believe will tell you that they are a much better company to work for than Ryanair...
If you're thinking of Mushy, I wouldn't worry. He's been around these forums plenty long enough to see us all take jabs - he's knows it's never a personal attack on him, and I suspect (as he's a smart chap) he knows the airlines he's flown for aren't perfect.

Flow with loads over the years, so going to group them into tiers of the ones I can remember flying with or were particularly notable.

Top Tier
Virgin
- Have never had a problem with them, and have always been impressed by their staff, planes, efficiency and entertainment.
Philippine Airlines - I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I was really impressed. Longest single flight I've done (~13hrs), and was nervous that it was going to be grim - it was actually really quite good. Plenty of legroom, comfortable seats, good entertainment, friendly staff. They did have a delay on the way back, but that was a result of a big storm north of Manila so hardly their fault, although they were a bit slow in explaining the issue. They did have a stupid policy at MNL, where you aren't allowed to take any liquids >100ml onto the aircraft. Even though you've already been through security and dumped your water, anything you buy in the airside terminal must also be binned. I don't think that was a Philippine Airlines thing though, their staff seemed a little muddled by it too, I suspect a stupid local policy.
Etihad - Of course these are top tier. Plus, A380s... <3
Oman Air - Another very comfortable flight (and associated 'journey').

Middle Tier
BA
- Whilst I've never had an outright bad experience with them, they've never really done anything that has made me think any better than 'okay'.
US Carriers - Except Spirit below, I've always thought these are good enough for their price.
EasyJet/RyanAir - For their cost, I think these are fine. They have shortcomings, and I do hate all the extra charges, but they're actually better than a lot of other budget airlines.

Bottom Tier
Air China
- Hot, cramped, mediocre entertainment (if it works at all), rude ground staff (cabin crews not too bad). Urgh, it's cheap though.
Spirit - Just awful. Staff were the rudest I've ever flown with, and quite frankly displayed ignorance/negligence several times throughout the flight.
WizzAir - These ****ers are just gross. Extra fees to even take a cabin bag on? Yeah, give it a rest.

I wonder how many other airlines I've flown with now... 🤨
 

Mushroom

Goon of the Year
@Nicky Borrill @Hixee Obviously @JammyH didn't know that there is a flight attendant on the forum.

I speak to a lot of flight attendants around the world. Some airlines have it worse than the UK. Heck Air Canada are laying off staff, and it is pretty much anyone that have under 21 YEARS with the airline.

It is a hard time for all airlines, I am currently furloughed, and don't know when I will be back flying. I am supposed to be on my first holiday to the USA right now, but obviously not.

Also I can say easyJet are better than Ryanair. On Ryanair you get about 17 announcements for the whole flight. There is only about 6 announcements on easyJet (That includes all the boarding, after take off etc.)
 

zazobo

Member
If you don't live near a major hub airport, the value proposition can drop through the floor, depending on your destination. Take Gothenburg for example - if you want a direct flight from the UK, you've got a grand total of two choices for flights: Stansted or Edinburgh.
I’ve flown a few times to Gothenburg from Heathrow?
 
If you're thinking of Mushy, I wouldn't worry. He's been around these forums plenty long enough to see us all take jabs - he's knows it's never a personal attack on him, and I suspect (as he's a smart chap) he knows the airlines he's flown for aren't perfect.

@Nicky Borrill @Hixee Obviously @JammyH didn't know that there is a flight attendant on the forum.
Oh I know @Hixee and @Mushroom my comment wasn’t aimed at @JammyH as such... I just remember you telling me in Belgium how bad Ryanair were to work for, and how much happier you are at Easyjet... I guess I was just subtly highlighting that despite many of us travellers preferring Ryanair, their prices could be to the detriment of their people’s happiness. :)
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Of course I have a ranking list.

1. Singapore Airlines - Easily my favourite after using many times, they are my main pick for frequent flyer points and about the only airline I'd consider going slightly out of my way for to use. Just getting on the plane is more of a welcome home feeling than arriving in any British Airport. Staff are always super nice. Entertainment selection is above average (never too weighted towards either western or asian, a perfect blend). Food above average (Christmas Pudding flavoured ice cream is probably the highlight of any food I've had on a plane) and as someone who never likes to make a fuss, they always have stuff set up in the kitchen for you to just walk up and snack on at any time, so you never need to hassle the staff.
2. Lufthansa - Got a random upgrade to premium economy on a long flight, only time I've ever had something like that. Otherwise just a little above average.
3. American Airlines - A pleasant surprise. Might be the single best entertainment selection I've ever had on a flight. I like how the drinks cups were massive, American style, and the drinks just kept on flowing.
4. Virgin Atlantic - close to the above without the massive cups.
5. Etihad - Absolutely fine, don't remember a thing.
6. Asiana Airlines - Short haul they were unbeatable. Best staff ever with nothing else to prove. Long haul the staff quality dipped, entertainment was weak and zero attention to drink supply.
7. Norwegian - Most dependable short hauler for me, plus free wifi. Actually did one of their long hauls too, which was elevated by the comedy of purchasing the slightly upgraded package (meaning 'free meals' like a proper flight) and everyone else on the plane being disgusted by the fact they hadn't also done this and had to pay on board. Otherwise average.
8. Hainan Airlines - Long haul Chinese, surprisingly uneventful. Somehow they are 5 star with Skytrax. 5 star it ain't
9. Qatar Airways - My first long haul flight, I didn't really have any point of reference. Only time I've actively hated plane food though.
10. Peach Aviation
10. Air Busan
10. Spring Airlines
10. Malindo Air
- All short haul one-offs, with varying levels of staff quality, all fine.
14. Scoot - Lost so many evening hours in Asia because of them, but they're fine on board and get the job done. Offensively cheap.
15. Easyjet - Lost so many evening hours in Europe because of them, but they're fine on board and get the job done. As others have alluded to, not actually that cheap these days.
16. China Eastern - I zone out, hard, on short haul Chinese flights. It works.
16. China Southern - As above.
18. Qantas Airways - Eh. They turned up with a broken plane and left us stranded on the tarmac for 2 hours with poor communication. Otherwise average.
19. BA - Don't like them. I'm forced into a loyalty program with them due to banking and always end up feeling obliged to use them because it's the easy thing to do and obviously being our national carrier they serve the most routes. It's not even that easy any more, they've made it harder and harder to ever use the program for anything even remotely useful to the point these days where it literally costs more in fees to use points than to book with cash.
On board, it always feels worse than just about any other airline.
They're the only airline to straight cancel a flight on me (Covid aside), then gave no reasonable solution or compensation.
They're the only airline in this list I've actually experienced rude staff on board. On several occasions they've shown embarrassing levels of contempt for other passengers on board if they don't understand something - shouting the same thing in their face louder and louder, expecting language barriers to break down this way. Got a problem with your screen or headphones? They'll just laugh in your face and say tough luck.
20. Swiss - They made me sleep on the floor of Zurich airport (while I was seriously unwell and on strong medication), delayed me for 30 hours, lost my bag and offered no compensation. To all the other airlines of the world, I say good luck beating that.
 

Howie

Active Member
Wow, feeling very basic here. Haven't even heard of many of these airlines, let alone flown with them.
Dunno really, honestly don't pay that much attention. It's a seat on a plane innit. As long as it doesn't crash, I'm happy.
I stick to what I know, me, which with Euro weekenders tends to involve mincing up to Manchester and getting the early morning Easyjet flight to Amsterdam just cos... y'know.
Done Ryanair once or twice, which is fine if you're going from Birmingham but a right pain in the arse if it's Stansted.
Murica? Gotta be Virgin innit. If it's west coast, go for premium.
Tried Norwegian once for that road trip with Delly P (which, thanks to regular FB reminders, I know was 2 years ago right now. Today was the SFGAm day 😭). But Norwegian were sh*te. Cheap enough upfront, but like Heartline said, nothing was included, not even any baggage. Plus they altered the flight time with 2 months to go, meaning I had to rejiggle the schedule on the first and last days, including a connecting flight. Arseholes.
I think I've flown with a few others, KLM, United, Monarch... but honestly, couldn't tell you where or when. Like I said, if your plane is crashing, it doesn't matter how comfy the seats are, what the food is like or whether it's on time, crashing will be the main thing, the thing that you mostly take away from the experience. All that other stuff is just secondary nonsense.
 
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caffeine_demon

Well-Known Member
I tnink the nicest flight I had was on Austrian - great legroom, smooth flight, and decent breakfast schnitzel..

Had a couple of upgrades to business class on BA (to new york and from Dubai)- which was lovely, but I'd never pay full price for it!

Really didn't mind the 2+2 seating on flybe - kinda business classish comfort, for easyjet type prices

Never had any problems with ryanair - I read the luggage rules, and consider the cost of luggage I may need to take - just a shame they don't fly from heathrow as STanstead's a pain since it was sold to MAG, I'd be more likely to boycott Ryanair over their treatment of staff instead of their clearly detailed charges,

I've never had lost luggage, canceled flights or any similar disasters , and only had a couple of flights delayed by 2-3 hours, but I think all arirlines have customer service problems when there are cancelations, and they need to deal with several hundred passengers!

so - basically, the flight is something I'll tolerate in order to get somewhere nice, if I'm going to the netherlands, belgium or north west germany, I'd consider the harwich - hook ferry and train.
 
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