On our trip to the United States for the Luxury Real Estate Conference and Annual Awards we travelled a lot. Christine Watson, Simon Turner and I travelled on six (6) different Airlines throughout our journey and some were great and some were way behind the pack. The airlines that we travelled on were:
V Australia, Qantas, United, US Airways, Delta and Virgin America
There were some airlines that were willing to go to any length to make us comfortable and feel welcome and some didn’t try at all. Our perception of each airline was created from the time we checked in to the time we disembarked and the biggest difference by far was the friendliness of staff from each airline.
The standout airlines were V Australia and Virgin America. Not only did they have brand new aircraft which were fitted out to the highest standard but they were very friendly and helpful at every point and the service was first class. There was never a problem in helping and it was an absolute pleasure to fly with them.
So who was the worst? It’s hard to pick a clear worst so I have awarded that prize equally to three (3) airlines – United, Delta and US Airways. They were all let down by older aircraft and staff that simply didn’t want to be there.
None of the last three (3) welcomed people onto the aircraft or thanked passengers as they disembarked. Their dress left a lot to be desired and the overall experience was not pleasant. On one flight with United two of the flight attendants were loudly expressing their negative thoughts about their employer and as a passenger this didn’t help to comfort me or make me feel welcomed.
In short it really didn’t take much for the two winners to stand out from the rest of the pack – they smiled, were helpful and they complimented their new aircraft. All that it would have taken for one of the last three (3) to stand out was to be friendly and smile – that costs nothing and regardless of the age of their aircraft would have created a totally different impression.
When I’m next in the United States it will be easy to choose which airline to fly with.