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Airlines to avoid at all costs.

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Airlines to avoid at all costs.

Old 1st Jan 2019, 01:33
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Airlines to avoid at all costs.

As professional aviators we do have an appreciation of some airlines that might not have the same safety standards and training we might be used to. You know, they’re the ones that you won’t let extended family travel with.

Air India is the first that springs to mind, but to your mind, who would you most avoid? Malaysian?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 01:52
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Anything Korean.

Air Canada (unless you like landing on taxiways, closed runways, etc).

I'd say Air France, but we don't really have much choice there. They definitely seem to have a pilot attitude problem.

United - not for safety reasons, but because the whole flying experience is just terrible. Also they have a very poor dispatch rate - cancellations are common.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 02:26
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A student acquaintance mentioned Egypt Air for travel to an academic opportunity. I suggested finding another outfit and she came up with Turkish Air, which I opined was marginally better.

As for Air Canada, they haven't lost any SLF since 1983, even though they've had recent difficulties reaching or remaining on runways in the Maritimes. Canadian winters do present challenges as I have occasionally witnessed both flying and driving. As I get older I am less reluctant to postpone flights and drives.

Last edited by RatherBeFlying; 1st Jan 2019 at 02:37.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 02:40
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In a world where air travel is about two orders of magnitude safer than driving a car, I wonder whether these "airlines to avoid at all cost" aren't still far safer than driving?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 03:02
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Depends on criteria people use for a no fly list. As slf only knowledge of airline training standards is minimal but would expect airlines flying to or within the eu to have been audited and monitored. There are other factors such as public image hence my avoidance of Ryanair. Destination is also a factor ie your preferred choice may not fly there so the number of airlines you can choose from is limited. This is especially true of flying to the usa if a domestic flight from a gateway city is needed. Have just returned from Manila with 4 flights on Asiana and would have no issues is using them again.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 05:27
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
Anything Korean.

Air Canada (unless you like landing on taxiways, closed runways, etc).

I'd say Air France, but we don't really have much choice there. They definitely seem to have a pilot attitude problem.

United - not for safety reasons, but because the whole flying experience is just terrible. Also they have a very poor dispatch rate - cancellations are common.
Cancellations common? Really, do tell. To make the claim that cancellations are common, you must have data to support that belief.
UA on this last day of the year completed 99.9% of flights, weather cancels excluded. Include its regional affiliates and the number drops to 98.69% at worst.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 05:59
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Originally Posted by paulc View Post
Depends on criteria people use for a no fly list. As slf only knowledge of airline training standards is minimal but would expect airlines flying to or within the eu to have been audited and monitored. There are other factors such as public image hence my avoidance of Ryanair. Destination is also a factor ie your preferred choice may not fly there so the number of airlines you can choose from is limited. This is especially true of flying to the usa if a domestic flight from a gateway city is needed. Have just returned from Manila with 4 flights on Asiana and would have no issues is using them again.
Yeah, but what airline would you avoid?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 06:15
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Originally Posted by Carlos Kaiser View Post
As professional aviators we do have an appreciation of some airlines that might not have the same safety standards and training we might be used to. You know, they’re the ones that you won’t let extended family travel with.

Air India is the first that springs to mind, but to your mind, who would you most avoid? Malaysian?
Provide us with a baseline .What safety standards and training are you used to?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 06:15
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Originally Posted by nonsense View Post
In a world where air travel is about two orders of magnitude safer than driving a car, I wonder whether these "airlines to avoid at all cost" aren't still far safer than driving?
Exactly. Even when you consider countries such as Indonesia that have less than stellar air safety records, when you compare flying to the alternative methods of travel flying still looks pretty attractive. And even the worst airlines today look pretty good when compared to the industry as a whole 40 years ago. So since my drive to the airport is still the most dangerous part of the journey, my no-fly list is based more on bad experiences than safety.
Back in the 70's and early 80's, Continental was my favorite (granted, few choices, at the time they were one of only two airlines that flew non-stop on my regular route between Seattle and Denver).
Then, over a little over a year, I flew Continental six times - and they lost my bags five times! Continental then became my least favorite. I had some similarly bad experiences on United - the worst when they insisted my carry-on bag was too big (never mind I'd been using it for years as a carry-on - literally flying around the world using it as a carry-on without issue - and had used it as a carry-on previously on United) - and forced me to check it.
Then they lost it. In addition to my clothes and such, it had my heart medications which I badly needed (I had a heart attack 20 years ago). When I explained that I needed my bag ASAP because it had my medications - the United rep actually told me "you should have taken the bag carry-on"
I figured it was somehow karma that United and Continental merged...
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 07:15
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Originally Posted by ZFT View Post
Provide us with a baseline .What safety standards and training are you used to?
What do you think I mean?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 07:44
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Originally Posted by Carlos Kaiser View Post


What do you think I mean?
​​​​​​No idea, hence query.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 08:00
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Originally Posted by Carlos Kaiser View Post


Yeah, but what airline would you avoid?
Ryanair as per my original post. Most of those in Africa as well. Some of the smaller asian airlines especially those in Indonesia who do not have a great safety record. Having said that the most dangerous part of flying is usually the drive to the airport.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 09:00
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Originally Posted by paulc View Post
Depends on criteria people use for a no fly list. As slf only knowledge of airline training standards is minimal but would expect airlines flying to or within the eu to have been audited and monitored.
It is clear from a number of accidents both preceding and following AF447 that Air France isn't the only airline that doesn't train its pilots how to fly without a reliable air speed indication. (I'd spotted this trend before AF447 and got an instructor to fly with me with the ASI covered up. Haven't tried it night IMC though, to be fair.)
Originally Posted by paulc View Post
There are other factors such as public image hence my avoidance of Ryanair.
Ryanair don't seem to know or care that their passengers are human beings - that's why I'd rather walk than take a Ryanair flight, it's their deliberate policy of contempt for their customers, not their safety culture, which does it for me.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 09:50
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I was asked to go on a business trip to Cairo and advised EgyptAir were cheapest. Flatly refused to fly on them, poor safety record. Will go on Emirates instead (I live in Dubai).
On the more or less bi-annual trip to the USA I will avoid American - I would sooner travel in the Emirates baggage hold than economy on American. That said I have heard that they have improved lately so may give them a try next time.
When I lived in the UK I had only one experience with Ryanair. They are ok if you are not in a hurry, they go to where you want to go, you know the rules so don't get caught by extra charges and you don't mind being treated as the worst type of cattle to save a few Bob. As others have said I don't like the open contempt they have for customers but not worried about their safety record. You pays your money and makes your choice.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 09:55
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Include any airline who employ crews who "observe" the holy month of Ramadan, whilest operating as crew.

All year? Yes, as their safety culture would be poor to allow the above.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 10:44
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SLF rarely have the knowledge to refuse an airline unless they have tried it.

Had 5 flights with Egypt Air. The two intercontinental flights were fine. In country was novel: out of Aswan our baggage followed on a later flight. Out
​​​ of Luxor they loaded the aircraft like a bus. We all trooped out, when it was declared full we all trooped back. Second flight out of Luxor was exciting. We almost reached Vr before the runway, 180 turn and off.

Years later, having ditched all the Soviet rejects it was better.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 11:32
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Poor old Egyptair! My first flight with them was years ago, from Cairo to Doha. I got to Doha, my bags didn't. Eventually they found my bags had been on board but had not been off loaded in Doha but had gone on to Dubai on the next leg of the flight. It took almost a week for them to get the bags from Dubai to Doha. A year or so after this, I was flying Egyptair from Rome to Cairo. The inbound flight was late but there was enough time for me to watch a spot of servicing going on with the 707, including technicians pouring what seemed to be gallons of oil into one of the engines. We left Rome with perhaps 20 passengers on board and I settled back into my seat. Not long after take off, the driver put the thing into Saturn 5 mode and we climbed very steeply. And the seat in front of me failed. The thin tubular frame supporting the seat had snapped and I was trapped by the legs with the weight of the passenger in front of me across my shins and causing a great deal of pain! I found myself shouting "get off my effing legs!" but the poor chap couldn't move due to the steepness of the climb. I couldn't make up my mind who to feel sorry for; me or the bloke in front who was just as unhappy as I. After what was probably a matter of seconds (and felt like a fortnight!) the plane levelled off enough for the man in front to get out of his predicament and find another seat.
Some time later, I was flying from Cairo to Doha again, and they were using one of these new fangled Airbus aircraft. Lovely, clean and modern. As I boarded, it was obvious the mainly female cabin crew were having a hectic time and there was some chaos. I got to my seat and found an Egyptian "fellahim" sitting in my seat. I asked him for his boarding card and found his seat was elsewhere. Being illiterate, the poor bloke hadn't a clue, so I offered to find his seat for him. His allocated seat was occupied by another of his fellow farm labourers, so I checked his boarding card, found his allocated seat was elsewhere and so it went until I had shuffled quite a few of them around. After departure, the cabin crew came to me to thank me. They had been trying to sort out the mess during boarding but, being your traditional Egyptian peasant, they were not going to take instructions from a slip of a girl. I had fixed their problems for them and they treated me like royalty throughout the flight!
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 11:34
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Originally Posted by nonsense View Post
In a world where air travel is about two orders of magnitude safer than driving a car, I wonder whether these "airlines to avoid at all cost" aren't still far safer than driving?
What is the most dangerous thing about flying?


The trip to the airport...
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 11:52
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If my loved ones died in an aeroplane crash, apart from mourning them, I'd want to see a government backed inquiry with consequences as determined. I would not want to feel that the airline's government had engaged in a cover up, fudge up or whatever for any reason at all. For those reasons, I would not, for example, fly Malaysian. By the same token though I should not fly SAA, remember the Helderberg and probably not Air France or anything with a speck of sand on it.
Options are thus somewhat limited. Fortunately I have one carrier I use that flies almost everywhere and who's due diligence is excellent. It most certainly is not BA.

Last edited by cavortingcheetah; 1st Jan 2019 at 12:08.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 12:25
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I was Ryanair's biggest fan for years until they screwed me up royally whist returning to Scotland on hearing if the death of my father. A time when a modicum of compassion would have been welcomed, but was absent in spadefulls !
When people say to me that they have never had problems with RYR, I simply tell them, be patient, your turn will come !

El G.
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