Favorite airline

As a sort of followup to my “what airports have you been to” thread I’d like to know what people’s favorite airlines are. Here are my experiences with the big ones:

American: Those Bistro Bags are actually good, but the O’Hare delays aren’t exactly fun. When I’ve gone through Dallas it hasn’t been that bad though.
USAir: They’ve bumped me around a little but I’ve flown on them a lot so they’ve been good workhorses for me.
Delta: Don’t fly with them much, but when I have they’ve been good. I’ve actually never had a major delay with them.
United: Don’t get me started. Delays, misplaced bags, bad food, I’d only fly on them if it was free and if I was going carry-on.
British Airways: I’ve flown on them only from Logan to Heathrow and back, and while the personal TV screens are good the service is crap.
Southwest: Never flown with them, no Chinese fire drills for me.
Northwest: Never flown with them either, even though I’ve flown into MSP twice.

So I like Delta the best, United the least.

I know it’s defunct, but I’ll have to go with BRANIFF.
(If it was good enough for Wilford Brimley, it would have been good enough for me!)

I’d have to say British Airways or JAS (Japanese airline). I’ve never been very fond of the U.S. carriers, but I can’t say they’ve done anything wrong. There’s just something about the foreign carriers like BA that impress me. The service I’ve seen with them has been fine, and the seats seemed a little roomier (probably a side-effect of being in a better mood).

Singapore Airlines, by far the best.

I have also slown British Airways, KLM, Air New Zealand, Air China, China Eastern, Cathay PAcific, Malaysian Airways and Qantas, and a couple of smaller ones which I all would rate average.

Northwest sucks.

Any airline that buys a new American built airplane. Preferably a bunch of them. The kind that will keep me gainfully employed the next 15 years.

Midwest Express

SAS - Scandinavian Airlines.

Domestic carriers are completely interchangeable for me. I don’t even pay attention to which one I use – often it’s Northwest, flying out of Minneapolis, but Continental or Delta or United or American … they’re all the same to me.

I like Alaska Airlines. Especially when I fly from Seattle to Bellingham (Horizon Air). They use DeHaviland Dash-8s, which I find most groovy. Also, they offer free microbrew or northwestern wine on the trip up. (I normally don’t drink alcohol while flying – or at all, for that matter – but hey, it’s free and a good opportunity to taste something I can’t get down here.)

racer72: Any jobs up there for a computer type with TSO/JCL experience? Heck, it doesn’t even have to be in computers; I just want to get the hell out of Los Hideous! (Company web page, maybe?) :slight_smile:

Having worked in the airline industry at one stage, I think people exaggerate the differences. Airline services are basically a commodity, and airline marketing is all about product differentiation (Singapore Airlines’ soft porn-style ads, for example) and incentive programs (air miles). Most people really just want a convenient schedule and a decent price.

American carriers are all much the same. The domestic flights are just aerial bus services. The international ones are a bit more up-market in terms of service. The main European carriers are mostly one notch up from that. The big Asian carriers - Singapore, Cathay Pacific, JAL - are probably the most lavish, and very popular among guys with an Asian Babes fetish.

If I had to pick one, it would be Virgin. They have a sense of humor. Amusing freebies in the overnight bag (including a condom). An inflight magazine that’s actually fun. Games on the personal TV. They even painted “BA-AA No way” on their aircraft at one time, to protest the proposed alliance between the 2 biggest players on the transatlantic route. It’s got personality, like its owner.

I used to love SAS, but now they effectively have a monopoly in Norway (they have a huge stake in all their “competitors”) and they’re scr*wing the Norskie public but good. They “forgot” to lower prices when a particular tax was dropped, for instance. And I have a sneaking suspicion that their goal is to cut international flights to/from Norway down to connecting flights with their hub in Copenhagen - never mind which flights are making money, just herd the sheep through the hub and be done with it.

As a result we’re flying Icelandair this summer. Maybe I’ll have a new favorite airline. And then it’ll be phbbbbbbbbbbbbt SAS :stuck_out_tongue:

Because I find myself only flying between Australia and Japan, I either use an Asian airline, or Qantas.

I’ve flown with Singapore, Thai, Qantas, Garuda, ANA before.

By far the best was Singapore, but you sure pay for the service! Price wise, Thai is probably better. The service was good, they were lovely to my kids, and they were cheap.

The last time we flew with Qantas they weren’t bad. But I’ve heard a number of bad things about them from other people.

Garuda was horrible. Not the service, but the food. DON’T fly with them when you’re pregnant…you won’t be able to keep anything down.

I liked us air and us aors air wets i think it was called and twa cuase when i was traveling they gave the kids the ear phones free and had ice cream

united was ok … contiental was the worst

north and south west was basically the same and inbetween unitd and contiental

But the last plane i flew on was some no name airlike that flew from indy to la for 120 one way which annoyed me it was one of those places that split a can of coke among 3 people

Thai Airways. The food is phenomenal, the staff are gentle, patient and kind and good with children.

My top favourite three :

Singapore Airlines,
Thai Airlines,
Virgin Airlines.

Singapore is probably the best I’ve ever flown with, but I’ll second what Tsubaki said about Thai being one of the best value for money airlines around. Thai are only slightly behind Singapore (IMO) but are a lot cheaper, and I think they’re friendlier. I haven’t flown with any American carriers, but have flown with the majority of asian and european ones.

[sub]Stay away from Cambodia’s national carrier ![/sub]

I didn’t like Thai; they jumped all over my friends and I when we asked for another drink (and no, we weren’t being drunk, obnoxious or loud).

I’ve had excellent service on BA and average, but never really poor service. Virgin had the best entertainment (and I loved the freebie bags) but the aircraft was horribly cramped and I don’t even remember the cabin service existing. Air New Zealand was decent, from what I recall, as was Qantas. I was fairly impressed by the efficiency of CSA (Czech Airlines) and the flying was superb, even if the service wasn’t exactly cheery.

The best of the carriers I’ve been on is Singapore Airlines by far.

Worst would be Seychelles Air, but they are the smallest international carrier in the world!

The best long-haul flights I have had have been with Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. Emirates planes have good legroom, great food, a high standard of economy passenger comfort. And a camera on the nose of the plane pointing downwards that you can tune into with your seat-back screen. Great attention to detail. I’ve only flown Virgin twice, and on those flights the level of service was excellent. A cabin steward creeping through the darkened plane whispering to insomniacs “would you like a donut?” was really thoughtful. Great radio and TV choices, and they provide Nintendo games for economy passengers.

I’ve flown Northwest, Continental, Japan Airline, ANA, JAS.

I personnaly like Continental (although they’re giving me crap with my OnePass milage…) I’ve flown with them the most and they’re usually on time…and some of the stewardest are hot!! Northwest is a close second…pretty good food and service and good flight time…came earlier than projected a couple of times :slight_smile:


I flew on Continental on a trip to New Orleans. On the way back we had to stop at their hub in Dallas for a plane change. The plane coming into New Orleans (which was my ride out) had a weather delay and was late. I missed my connection in Dallas by five minutes.

I went to Customer Service to have them “do something”. The guy in line in front of me was ranting and raving at the CS agent. The CS agent said that there was nothing he could do but put him on the next flight out in a few hours. The man continued to bellow. When I got to the CS agent I put on a “pathetic face” (I’d partied quite hardily at Mardi Gras, took a car trip out to North Carolina, I’d had a nasty cold most of the time, I was extremely tired, etc., so it wasn’t hard to look pathetic.) I was very reasonable and remarked on how hard it must be to deal with bellicose bastards like the guy before me. I still had to wait for the next flight out, but I did get a seat in First Class.

As I said, I like Alaska Airlines and their regional partner Horizon. But the more I fly commercially, the more I hate flying commercially. If I had my way I’d fly myself in a Cessna. Sure, the actual flight time would be longer. Sure the total time from my door to my destination will even take longer than portal-to-portal using a carrier. But I’d be on my own schedule, never miss a flight, never lose my luggage, never have to take off my shoes or go through a strip search (virtual or otherwise), and I’d have a hella good time on the trip. All I’d have to worry about is weather.

BA for sure – decent food, comfy seats, and cute stewards with delicious accents. Continental also deserves a mention because they give you Tetris on transatlantic flights.

Virgin Atlantic has some nice perks (I particularly liked the free shot of Bailey’s after dinner and the socks), but they also have an annoying habit of putting on the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign at the slightest provocation and then chasing down passengers who disobey. Also, I was slightly bothered by the fact that all the stewardessettes were blonde, bosomy, and apparently identical; have they got a cloning factory somewhere?

I was not impressed with Air New Zealand; they seem to treat older business travelers with more courtesy than young backpacker types. (On two separate occasions, the stewards made me produce a passport before they would give me any wine, and even then they were rather snotty about it, as if they suspected me of carrying a fake passport for the sole purpose of scoring illegal drinks. The really baffling part is that even American carriers generally don’t card, recognizing that the usual rationale for the drinking age doesn’t apply if the passengers won’t be driving for quite some time, while hardly any waiters or bartenders in New Zealand card – just the airlines.)

Most of the other airlines I’ve flown – United, USAir, American, Northwest, Southwest – have long since blurred together in my mind; there doesn’t seem to be much to choose between them.