Backpacking (and eating) my way around the world!
Everybody knows the best airlines, but what about those that consistently provide poor service? Here I examine 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.
4. Pakistan International Airlines
I just had to include PIA in this list. Universally recognised as one of the worst airlines in the world, I am lucky to say that I haven’t flown with them yet. I don’t really want to, either. While most of the stewardesses of PIA are polite and friendly, there are always horror stories about passengers being treated rudely onboard and at the airports before departure. Their aircraft usually only have a drop-down TV in the centre of the cabin with subtitled documentaries instead of seatback PTV. Many people will claim that the catering on PIA is also a let down, with the food being well-nigh inedible. The absolute worst thing about PIA though is the reliability and punctuality of its services. Expect LONG delays and short-notice cancellations if you have to book with them!
One solitary narrow-body flight from Moscow to Rome is all I needed to realise that I wouldn’t be flying with troubled airline Aeroflot 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. Aeroflot also have a bad reputation within Europe for punctuality and cancellations, and not to mention that their safety record leaves a lot to be desired…
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.
Do you agree with my choices? Any more suggestions for a worst airline to be included in this list? I would love to hear from you!