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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Japanese Airline At #6 For Best Airplane & Flight Crew

I recently came across an article somewhere that was ranking the friendliest, most helpful and efficient flight attendants in the world for the year 2013.

It's a top10 list and lo and behold nine out of 10 of them were from Asia, with the lone airline from elsewhere calling the Middle East home.

Japan's ANA (All Nippon Airways) came in at number 6. An impressive achievement.

Here are the winners:

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) 
  2. Asiana Airlines (South Korea)
  3. Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia) (Was #1 in 2012)
  4. EVA Air (Taiwan)
  5. Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
  6. ANA - All Nippon Airways (Japan)
  7. Garuda Indonesia (Indonesia)
  8. Qatar Airways (Qatar)
  9. Hainan Airlines (China)
  10. Thai Airways (Thailand)

This isn't to say other airlines suck - I've always received great service from the flight crews I have traveled with - it's just to say that when it comes to First Class treatment, the above Top 10 go that extra mile (1.6 kilometers).

And... keep in mind... this is for the top class service. For all I know, when you are traveling Business Class or Economy with any of the above Top 10, for service mileage may vary.

I have flown Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, but always Economy or whatever the lowest fare was. It often meant I had to put on a dress and serve the food, but for the money, the flights were good. I kept getting my ass pinched, though. It's still a pretty muscular ass, even 20 years removed from those flights.

I will say that try as I did with some of the best flirting I've ever done not in a strip club with the waitresses, I still couldn't join the Mile-High (1.6 Kilometer-High) Club.

Regarding ANA of Japan, one passenger said:

"HND-CTS-HND (Tokyo's Haneda airport to New Chitose airport in Hokkaido and return)... nice to still be able to fly domestic (Boeing) 747s in Japan (JAL have grounded their fleet). Outbound was operated by 'Picachu Dreaming', the all-yellow jumbo with Pokemon characters painted along the side with the eponymous Picachu on the tail. Interior also had Pokemon detail (such as headrests, curtains). Very charming. Service was a hot green tea. Aircraft mostly empty. Crew profusely apologetic about substituting the promised 787 with the jumbo but I don't see why it made a difference. Return to the capital on another 747 in the evening was equally nice, had a seat in Economy upstairs. Flight attendant asked me what I was doing in Sapporo, when I said it was to do with aviation and that I chose Nippon as I love the jumbo, she went away and came back with a postcard of a 747 and on the back and had written, "thank you for flying with us today", signed by half a dozen crew, with a Hello Kitty sticker attached! She also gave me a small bag of Nippon sweets and pens. Landed smoothly on time back at Haneda and parked next to Picachu Dreaming at the end of a great day."

Wow... that was nice service. How old was the passenger... 12? Look... I like Pokemon, but I'm not going to rave about the kiddie motif on my airplane.

Also... was this the best 'service' detail the Top 10 list could muster about ANA? The service was a green effing tea? No food, huh? Green tea? It's not mentioned, but do you think it was the high-class powder variety? I'm going to say no.

Half-empty plane? Geez... so I suppose this flight plan isn't making as much money as ANA hoped.

Oh well... that service by the flight attendant did seem a bit above and beyond the call of duty.

Of course, when I was a kid, I recall receiving metal and plastic models of various aircraft as gifts from the stews of BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), which is now part of British Airways - perhaps for not being an ass.
That was on a flight between London and Toronto and was back in 1968 when my mom and I traveled to Canada to stay. My dog Tin-Tin (named after the female marionette from The Thunderbirds TV show) was in the cargo hold... and my dad had already been in Toronto for a week... and had already found an apartment for us and got a job.

That was in 1968 (again). You sure as hell can't do that in 2013.

Oh... and my mom got a job in two days. It took me 25 years longer.

Congratulations to ANA (All Nippon Airways). Keep'em flying.

Andrew Joseph

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