This followed my ranking of top first class airlines list.
You can see our full rankings, side-by-side, at FlightFox. Click ‘Flight Blogger Ratings’ on the upper right hand side. You can then sort by his and by mine.
He threw down in a couple of places, offering disagreements. And I think that comes down to a few key differences.
- Lucky has more of a European bias than I do. He over-rates Lufthansa, Swiss, British Airways, and Air France.
- We may also emphasize the value of different things.
- And in a couple of cases, we’ve each had different experiences with each product and not enough data points each to resolve the difference.
I asked FlightFox to asterisk the products I haven’t tried, for instance, to flag that my views on those are tentative and based on impressions rather than experience. I have flown most but not all of these, and so the rankings are very much subject to revision.
And I agree with Lucky that it was very hard to do rankings one-by-one of all of the carriers, especially once you get down below the first tranche. So what I did was grouped them in fives, and ranked within each group. That made it far more manageable.
That said, I bet we’d come to some interesting agreements if we negotiated these rankings together.
Although there are a few of his ranking that just make no sense. Looking at his rankings I do not buy British Airways as better than Malaysia and Thai Airways.
He’s called BA’s first the best business class product. I agree with that Malaysia “kind of felt like Singapore Airlines in training.” But that’s also still very good.
Maybe I’m just too partial to satay, I also find Malaysia’s hard product quite good. It could be better, it’s certainly not top five, but it’s an excellent overall experience.
And Thai — if they could combine the ground service with consistently good in the air service, and could avoid swapping out planes, they’d be great. They don’t deserve top 5… but they have a better airport spa than anyone else… And they also served me the second best meal I’ve ever had in the air [yes, they are inconsistent..]
Additionally, I’m chided for my low ranking of Lufthansa. But how does he get them to #7? Implausibly, he’s arging that Lufthansa is better than Singapore Airlines (777-300ER), Etihad, and Qantas. And it just isn’t.
He’s had some disappointing meal experiences on Etihad, I think they have one of the most attractive cabins, a very very good seat, and I’ve had really good luck with the on-board chef concept. Service can be confused at times, I’ll grant.
Qantas’ seat is very good. Their first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are very good. They don’t do Asian service, but service is very good in a very Aussie way. I admit I may be partial to that with the family I’ve got down there.
It all comes down to weighting the different elements of experience, I think. So I get we can reasonably disagree within these bands. I don’t dig Swiss the way Lucky does. Sadly I probably won’t ever get a re-do from them, since they don’t offer first class awards except to their own program’s elite members.
And I probably give Transaero too much credit, there’s a certain mystique about them because I’ve never been able to use my miles there. They used to partner with british midland, but bmi only allowed redemption into business class.
Lucky, here’s a public challenge. Let’s get past your view that British Airways first class is better than Thai. Care to explain how American’s first class is better than Air China’s?