Skytrax awards are coveted because they are voted on by some 18 million passengers. Naturally we get seduced by all the ads but most will focus only on the luxury side of things. At the end of it all, its how well you treat the economy passengers that count.
Increasingly, it is the economy passengers who are paying the airlines' bills. Business class is shrinking, premium economy and economy are growing. But most airlines still treat economy class as the riff-raff who deserve to be uncomfortable because they're not willing to pay the big bucks up the front.
Well, this year Skytrax's popular vote – by the biggest electorate in airline awards-land – has spoken loudly about seating comfort: three of the top five airlines and five of the top 10 are the ones that give economy passengers up to three inches (7.6 centimetres) more seat row space than the sardine-can airlines (like Qantas) that insist on 31-32 inches (79-81cms) per row: the overall winner, Korea's Asiana, the Middle East's Qatar Airways (No. 3), Air New Zealand (No. 5), Thai Airways (No. 9) and Malaysia Airlines (No. 10).
Significantly, Air New Zealand (33-34-inch long-haul) zoomed past Qantas (No. 7 – 31 inches) for the first time. Just as significantly, Singapore Airlines came second in the award it has won twice on the strength of its cabin service, which a number of Travellers' Check readers reckon has gone off.
The World's Top 10 airlines in the 2010 Awards :
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Qatar Airways
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Air New Zealand
6. Etihad Airways
7. Qantas Airways
9. Thai Airways
10. Malaysia Airlines
Qatar Airways was named the winner of the World's Best Business Class Award at the 2010 World Airline Awards, that took place in Hamburg.
1. QATAR AIRWAYS
2. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
3. ETIHAD AIRWAYS
Malaysia Airlines was named the winner of the World's Best Economy Class Award at the 2010 World Airline Awards, that took place in Hamburg.
1. MALAYSIA AIRLINES
2. QATAR AIRWAYS
3. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Malaysia Airlines won 2 awards, the "Staff Service Excellence for Asia" and "World's Best Economy Class" at the 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg.
Etihad Airways was named the winner of the World's Best First Class Award at the 2010 World Airline Awards, that took place in Hamburg.
1. ETIHAD AIRWAYS
2. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
3. QANTAS AIRWAYS
Etihad Airways 'Inspired Service' concept on the ground and in the air seeks to provide its First Class customers with service individually tailored to their needs. On the ground, First Class customers flying from the Abu Dhabi airport can take advantage of the concierge and limousine service as well as a dedicated premium check-in zone. Onboard, a food and beverage manager is on hand to assist customers during the long and ultra long haul flights.
AirAsia was named the winner of the World's Best Low-Cost Airline Award at the 2010 World Airline Awards, that took place in Hamburg.
BEST LOW COST AIRLINES
1. AIR ASIA
2. AIR BERLIN
3. VIRGIN BLUE
AirAsia has picked up two different Awards at the 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg. For the second year running, AirAsia was was named winner of the World's Best Low-Cost Airline award. AirAsia also picked up the Award for Best Low-Cost Airline Asia.
Commenting on the awards received by AirAsia, Skytrax Chairman, Mr Edward Plaisted said : "this is a fantastic achievement for AirAsia to be here collecting the award as World's Best Low-Cost Airline for the second year running. They are clearly meeting and exceeding their customer's expectations to have been named winner of this outstanding, global recognition. The awards represent a true recognition of the front-line product and service that AirAsia is delivering to it's customers, and the award slogan of 'The Passenger's Choice' underlines the fact that AirAsia are succeeding in satisfying the hardest critics - their users."