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Everybody has their favourite airlines with whom they have amazing positive experiences. But what about those airlines that consistently provide poor service and have bad reputations? Here I go through 5 airlines that I personally have an issue with.
5. Virgin Atlantic
Having had the misfortune to fly ‘across the pond’ to Florida on 3 occasions with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick (every time on a B747), I can safely say that Virgin are not among the best airlines in the world – and that’s an understatement. They have very simple service, with a drinks run being offered immediately after takeoff, and then…NOTHING. No more drinks at all throughout the flight. This is a very basic, penny-pinching tactic that you would not expect of an airline that seems to spend so much in advertising and self-promotion. Of course, you can get up and ask for a drink if you want (they sometimes reply that they have “run out” of what you ask for), but this is a lack of service quality that Asian and some Middle-Eastern carriers would never be seen dead allowing to creep into their cabins.
I’ve flown twice with Egyptair, once on a flight from Cairo to Rome, and once on a fifth freedom flight between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. On both occasions I have been less than impressed. Neither of the planes offered any kind of PTV, only a drop-down TV in the centre of the cabin with subtitled documentaries. The catering on Egyptair is also a let down, with the food being well-nigh inedible.
One solitary narrow-body flight from Rome to London is all I needed to realise that I wouldn’t be flying with troubled airline Alitalia again. A member of the cabin crew spilt a drink on me during the meal service and proceeded to laugh at my misfortune! Fortunately a more senior member of the team took the situation seriously and gave me a few towels with which to dry myself. Alitalia also have a bad reputation within Europe for punctuality and cancellations.
2. Air Koryo
Not many people have flown with Air Koryo, and neither have I, so really my inclusion of this airline is a bit of a cheek, but I am basing it on the opinions of friends who have made trips from Beijing to Pyongyang. Before and after the flight you are forced to watch propaganda of the North Korean Government, and there is no in-flight entertainment to speak of. The aircraft used by Air Koryo are also antiquated and barely air-worthy.
1. Air India
Absolutely the worst airline I have ever flown with, and I know many people who would say the same thing. One thing I love about Air India is its lovely cabin crew. They try very hard and are always so friendly; they represent their People and nation proudly. However, that’s where the compliments for Air India stop, I’m afraid. The planes I have flown in (two international flights, and one jam-packed domestic flight from Delhi to Mumbai) have been dirty and not cleaned properly. There was still mess on the tray tables that hadn’t even been wiped! I found old sweet wrappers in the seatback pockets – and the in flight entertainment didn’t work on my PTV in economy class on a 7 hour flight. Air India also have a terrible record with punctuality and reliability, and are becoming something of a joke because of this record; every time I look at a departure screen in an airport (say, Singapore Changi), I always notice that an Air India flight has been cancelled. Once at Indira Gandhi Airport on my way to Mumbai, I was delayed for 7 hours and there was no information being relayed by the ground staff! Clueless! I love the Indian people, and I love the Indian country. Just a shame they have such a rubbish airline.
N.B. This list is based on my own personal experiences, and represent my own personal opinions. I understand that everybody will have their own opinion on the matter, and nobody’s opinion is more important than others.
What has been the worst airline experience you have had the misfortune to suffer? Please let me know in the comments below! And please check back for new a Top 5 List every Wednesday!