Airline evaluations based on comments

Dec 4th, 2010, 06:11 AM
  #1  
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Airline evaluations based on comments

The website, www.airlinequality.com has been collecting reviews from airline flyers around the world. Many airlines have over 1,000 reviews. Here is how the airlines stack up.

3.8 American Airlines
6.8 British Airways
5.0 Continental
4.1 Delta
6.5 Air France
4.7 United
3.4 U.S. Airways
6.6 Lufthansa
8.2 Singapore Airlines

While I'm convinced that you can get a good and a bad flight on all airlines, I'm just the messanger here with these ratings. Ratings are based on a ten point scale. Economy flights usually score lower than First Class or Business Flights.
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Dec 5th, 2010, 12:33 AM
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How about Malaysian Airlines. They were fabulous. There were 5 & 6 course menus... oh and dinner started off with the yummiest satay! hmmmm
MissGreen is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 02:54 AM
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Malaysian Airlines has 424 reviews and an average score of 7.2. Not a bad score.
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Dec 5th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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I rode in business class on British Airways once when my in-seat video didn't work. Rating = 0. Never fly British Airways.

My wife once rode Malaysian Airlines in coach from Newark to Stockholm. She hated it. Rating = 0. Never fly Malaysian Airlines.

I rode Aeroflot once where we nearly died from heatstroke because the cabin air conditioning didn't work. Rating = 0. Never fly Aeroflot.
Gardyloo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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Here is a few more ratings:

7.5 JetBlue
8.2 Southwest
6.5 Alaska
4.9 Aeroflot
5.7 Air Canada
4.6 Air India
8.4 Qantas
7.7 Air New Zealand
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Dec 5th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Wally, from my experiences I think these ratings are pretty accurate.
Geordie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 01:32 AM
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I agree, Geordie. When you get over 100 comments, it balances out the real extremes, and some of these airlines have over 1,000 comments.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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When you get over 100 comments, it balances out the real extremes, and some of these airlines have over 1,000 comments.

Kind of. Sort of. I think people are still more inclined to post complaints than positive stories.

I am also not so sure that one can readily compare airlines with differing missions, and think that expectations bias the ratings. For example, Southwest and Singapore have the same rating, and the airlines aren't remotely comparable. One flies international only, using an all-widebody fleet, with industry-leading premium cabins, top-notch IFE, meals on many routes, and full integration into the global airline system. The other flies only domestically in the US, using 737s, with coach only seating, no meals, no IFE, cattle-call boarding, and does not offer any sort of interlining capabilities. They simply aren't comparable.

Also, it isn't clear that the folks reviewing have enough comparative knowledge to compare across carriers. More importantly, it isn't clear that they are comparing across carriers, even implicitly. It seems odd, then, to try and use these numbers, which aren't meant to be comparative, to compare disparate carriers.
travelgourmet is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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<>

I don't think they need to compare across carriers, they can mark it as they see it. Its the same way as if I'm giving a rating for a restaurant, its based on what I've eaten, the service I've received and value for money, I don't need to compare with a different restaurant.

Therfore just like a restaurant review site, using the list of airlines that service the route you want, you can go to the airline quality website, for each airline review the comments and the ratings and make your choice.

As I've said before, your premise that US International carriers are equal to any European airline does not hold water, based on these reviews and ratings
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Dec 6th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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I don't think they need to compare across carriers, they can mark it as they see it.

And some people don't have enough experience to know what they see.

Its the same way as if I'm giving a rating for a restaurant, its based on what I've eaten, the service I've received and value for money, I don't need to compare with a different restaurant.

And I think that a lack of comparative context is a problem for restaurant reviews, too. We see this all the time on Fodors, where folks recommend a restaurant that, frankly, isn't very good. Others consider value for money to be a $2 bottle of wine. Still others think that traditional, white-glove service is the best type. Without some baseline measure, or context for the reviewer's thoughts, it is problematic.

Therfore just like a restaurant review site, using the list of airlines that service the route you want, you can go to the airline quality website, for each airline review the comments and the ratings and make your choice.

Only if folks are, at least implicitly, comparing the choices. Back to your restaurant comparison - how should I review McDonald's? Should I rate them on the same scale as French Laundry? Personally, I don't think I should. McDonald's doesn't claim to be French Laundry and French Laundry doesn't claim to be McDonald's. Wouldn't it be more useful to compare McDonald's to Burger King or Hardee's? Again, looking at these ratings, one would think Southwest was as good as Singapore.

As I've said before, your premise that US International carriers are equal to any European airline does not hold water, based on these reviews and ratings

And, as I've said before, I think these ratings are flawed and skewed by differing expectations. Some people simply have lower standards, some countries have more of those people, and some airlines seem to have more of those people flying their planes.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 01:01 AM
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True, one's expectations will be different if they are flying from Dallas to Phoenix or if they are flying from New York to Hong Kong. But what seems to be hurting the evaluations of some U.S. airlines is the rudeness of the flight attendants on some flights. $7 for a beer on an international flight doesn't help, either.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 01:44 AM
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True, one's expectations will be different if they are flying from Dallas to Phoenix or if they are flying from New York to Hong Kong.

It is more than that. Expectations also differ according to past experience. And this past experience differs between Europe and the US. I think that people lose sight of just how low the bar is set for European air travel. With the possible exception of Spirit, the US airline industry has nothing that rivals the likes of Ryanair, Spanair, SAS shorthaul, Norwegian, or the myriad charter operators for poor quality.

But what seems to be hurting the evaluations of some U.S. airlines is the rudeness of the flight attendants on some flights.

If rude FAs were the cause of the low scores, then I struggle to understand how Air France scores so well.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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As an Air France flight attendant I just have to react to this unjust remark.
I have never seen any of my colleagues being rude to a passenger ! It probably does happen, as it happens on all airlines. But it's not an Air France prerogative.
And it's not because I always HEAR about the rude american flight attendants, that I automatically BELIEVE they are !!
Happy Travels to all of you.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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More rankings here from the 2010 Zagat Airline Survey: http://www.zagat.com/promo.aspx?pn=132#topRated

And the bottom 10: http://www.businessinsider.com/worst...-world-2010-12

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Orlando_Vic is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Interesting reading, Orlando_Vic

Here are a few more scores:

4.0 Iberia (based on a 10 point scale)
3.9 Spirit Airlines
3.1 Easy Jet
2.0 Ryanair (839 reviews)
4.0 Egyptair

I find it interesting that Iberia and Spirit rated higher than American Airlines.

I remember flying Ryanair on a short flight and the plane was brand new and the flight attendants were so professional and nice looking (and young). Guess I didn't expect anything else (and I sure didn't get it) A direct flight is always nice when you can get it.
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Dec 8th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Even Hitler didn't like Ryanair: http://triphunter.co.uk/hitler-ryanair-rant/

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Orlando_Vic is offline  
Dec 12th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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I've flown both Delta and Air France internationally within the past couple of years and the Air France flight attendants were friendly, professional, and very responsive. Those on Delta, on the other hand...wow -- really grumpy....
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Dec 13th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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@ Mariajohanna

In September, I was onn an Air France flight during which I got up stretch my legs and to go the bathroom and was scolded loudly and sent back by a flight attendant even though the seatbelt sign was NOT on and there had been no warnings from the captain for at leats three hours to stay in your seats. Plus, no flight attendants had admonished the other passengers who were doing the same thing!

She was not polite about it - she was rude and scolded me like I was a child and not a 30-year old woman. I figured it was because I was brown and female while the other pasengers were white males. I was pregnant and HAD to walk around so I was upset and talked with another flight attendant, who was very nice and told me that the other one had been just stressed.

In general, though, I generally have a very high opinion of Air France and their personnel, and find them to be great. But occasionally there is a rude one.
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Dec 26th, 2010, 12:55 AM
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@Orlando... for the domestic ratings, I would say those are spot on. Don't fly international though, can't comment on the rest. I always try to get JetBlue, especially since I'm rarely on a flight more than a couple hours. One hour to JFK, and usually not too much longer to wherever I am ending up. What good is meal service on a flight like that? But live TV from gate to gate? That's tough to beat.

For the ratings of US airlines (in general, not the former USAir specifically), do you think reviewers should really be reviewing the regional carriers operating the connection flights? I find that I rarely, if ever, have issues on mainline flights, but anything into and out of my city is a regional jet or turboprop operated by ColganAir or Chataqua or someone like that, and the level of service and professionalism often takes a big hit as well (I can't say I blame them... if I was flying all day, every day on a Saab 340 or a Dash8 I'd be grumpy too).
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Dec 27th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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For what it's worth, I flew Delta to AMS this fall and then KLM to Africa. The service and food were better on KLM, but the Delta plane was more comfortable. I found that interesting.
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