I get asked often which is my favourite airline. The answer to this question totally depends on whether I am spending my own money or miles. 😉
If I am spending my own money I will look for the better airline and better value of earning points plus any sales or perks I may receive such as free lounge, fast track, extra luggage allowance etc. Of course, I try to keep status with at least one airline for all these perks especially if I have many cash flights.
My preferred airline for such options will be British Airways and Etihad. I like both airlines and I travel often on both of them. I used to have status with BA, but not anymore and I still have status with Etihad which I am planning on keeping; if I make the flight numbers work. Etihad’s is better I find when it comes to service, their crew smiling at people, the food, the cleanliness and their seats are not too bad especially on the new Dreamliner.
But my best ever experience with an airline was with Oman Air. An Airline which I think is underrated but offers great service, good prices, and a wonderful experience. I have travelled with them on several occasions, when the flight was empty and when the flight was full and both times the service was of a great standard. I am very much looking forward to booking their business class cabin since it looks great and some of the reviews make me totally jealous that I haven’t had the chance yet.
When I am redeeming I am looking for the most lucrative option with fewer miles. For example, I love redeeming miles for the Middle East with KLM Promo Awards but I won’t necessarily book a KLM flight on cash. Some of their aircrafts are a little outdated and their service is ‘hit and miss’.
One of the very famous airlines which I try to avoid however is Emirates. Even though I have friends and readers who will only fly Emirates my first experience with them a few years ago wasn’t “up to standard”. Since then I actively try to avoid them.
On my recent trip to Dubai, however, I had so much working engagements, I spoke at the MPowered Summit in Dubai as well as the Global Islamic Economy Summit and I was heading after that to Kuala Lumpur for the World Islamic Biz World. Sadly I went into the hospital and I had to cancel the last leg (more on that later).
Because of all the trips, I decided to book Emirates for ease of direct flights from Manchester to Dubai and just bite the bullet and give them another chance. Alas, even my second and third flight with them were not good. I find that Emirates is one of these airlines where marketing works great but the product doesn’t match the expectation and service. Plus they are not the cheapest option in the market.
For me, I measure service in the economy because not everyone can fly business class and business is usually decent due to the amount you pay. The service I found is below standard, the crew took ages to serve food, deal with requests (water for example as it wasn’t in the trolley) or even just simple service options. Mostly they enjoyed chatting in the galley rather than providing that top service. I do partially blame them for getting as sick as I did and the dehydration I felt after the flight.
Overall I am not sure about what the fuss is with Emirates but I have to say I would prefer WizzAir to get to Dubai and it’s 1/10th of the price.
Which one is your favourite airline and why? I would love to know what everyone thinks.