Guess who didn’t make the cut — again?
Skytrax, the Britain-based airline research outfit, has unveiled its annual awards for the world’s top ten best airlines.
The overall winner for 2010 was South Korea’s Asiana. Singapore Airlines, whose cabin service is the stuff of industry legend, was once again second. Qatar Airways moved up to third. Last year’s winner, Cathay Pacific, slipped all the way to fourth.
Fourth? Are you serious? I’ve flown Cathay Pacific. Where are these judges from, East Umbria or East Germany?
In fairness, though, I have to say that the top three finishers this year all have sterling reputations among their peers — and more importantly, with their passengers.
Overall, five of this year’s top 10 are from Asia (Asiana, Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines), three from the Middle East (Qatar, Etihad, Emirates) and two from the Pacific region (Air New Zealand, Qantas).
From the United States, the birthplace of aviation and home of the world’s very first airline — zero, zip, zilch, nada, nichts, rien, walou.
We didn’t even win the regional award for best airline in North America. That went to Air Canada. Continental was second, Delta third.
For you penny-pinchers out there — and these days, that’s just about all of us — the North American winner in the category of best low-fare airline was Virgin America. Canada’s WestJet was second. Southwest Airlines got the bronze.
All of you travelers out there who are surprised, raise your hands.
Even if you’ve ever only flown on U.S. carriers, you already have your own ideas about what leads to this annual shutout, which has been more or less the norm for the last decade or so. And if you’ve flown on any of the winners, you know for yourself that it was no contest — and never really is.
Of course, Skytrax doesn’t rate the world’s airlines according to their speed and skill at inflicting its passengers with add-on service fees. If they ever do, America’s airlines will take that prize, going away.
You can read the full results for Skytrax’s airline awards here.
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