Airline Comparison – the good, the bad and the ugly

Airline Comparison

Having traveled on a lot of different airlines over the past few years and always flown coach I have experienced every thing from ripped seats, muddy disgusting bathrooms to the best mashed potatoes I have ever had and in-flight entertainment so good I forced myself to stay awake the whole 7 hour flight. Here’s my take on a few of the airlines I have traveled on recently.

Air Canada

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Narita, Japan to Vancouver, Canada; Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai China
Seats: Leather seats with a nice recline
In flight entertainment: Personal touch screen tvs that I had to press so hard on I was always worried I was nudging the person in front of me. Older movies, that had me thinking “Oh yeah, I remember that movie, but there was also a reason why I never watched it…”
Food: Food so bad, I was wondering what I did to deserve it. I luckily packed cookies and snacks which kept me alive since the food was inedible.
Service: Decent, not bad, not great, just did their job with no attitude or a smile.
Technology: USB plugs and power plugs
Luggage: Normal 2 pieces of check in
Notes: We had to stop over in Shanghai on a trip from Vancouver to Singapore and had to pick up all of our luggage and go through customs. My advice is to avoid stopping over in China to avoid this hassle. When we stopped over in Japan, our luggage went through no problems and had two hours to enjoy the lovely Narita airport with free wifi and time to shop for Japanese goodies.

ANA

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Singapore to Narita, Japan
Seats: Seats barely reclined
In flight entertainment: Old movies, nothing note worthy
Food: Bland cheap food, bad but I’ve had worse
Service: Amazing service with friendly and polite staff.
Power points: USB plugs
Luggage: Normal 2 pieces of check in

Air Asia

Travel type: Budget Airlines
Travel destination: Many flights throughout Asia
Seats: Leather seats, slight recline, no leg room
In flight entertainment: Nothing but an in flight magazine which is actually pretty good
Food: You might have to pay for your food on these flights but it’s pretty good for budget airlines standards and better than a lot of non budget flights I’ve been on
Service: Varies drastically each flight
Power points: None
Luggage: Only carry on provided free of charge all checked in luggage is charged separately
Notes: Spend the extra $5-$20 to pick a front row or emergency exit and enjoy the extra legroom

Bangkok Airways

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Koh Samui to Singapore
Seats: Normal
In flight entertainment: Nothing but an in-flight magazine
Food: Snacks and beverages provided
Service: Wonderful service
Power points: None
Luggage: 1-20 kg checked bag
Notes: Really nice touch at the Koh Samui airport where they provided a nice waiting lounge and snacks. Very nice experience

China Eastern

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Singapore to Vancouver, Canada
Seats: Old fabric beat up seats
In flight entertainment: Nothing at all
Food: If that’s what you call it…
Service: Some flight attendants were very nice
Power points:: None
Luggage: Normal 2 pieces of check in
Notes: I had no idea an international flight could be so bad. A long haul international flight without in-flight entertainment?! Mind you, the tickets were incredibly cheap, so you definitely get what you pay for here.

Emirates

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Singapore to Melbourne, Australia return
Seats: Fabric seats, a bit older but still nice
In flight entertainment: Lots of newly released movies, we stayed awake the whole flight to watch as many as we could
Food: With a choice of steak or baked fish for dinner, this was the best airplane food I have ever had and even the best mashed potatoes than I’ve had in any restaurant.   Wine with every meal, there is really nothing to complain about.
Service: AMAZING service, I really can’t stress enough how great the service was
Power points: USB and power plugs
Luggage: Normal 2 pieces of check in
Notes: I quote their own slogan “Fly Emirates”

Jet Star

Travel type: Budget Airlines
Travel destination: Throughout Southeast Asia
Seats: Leather slight recline
In flight entertainment: None, but again a decent travel magazine I always take with me
Food: Buy in-flight or bring your own
Service: Only okay, it’s budget
Power points:None
Luggage: Only carry on provided free of charge all checked in luggage is charged separately
Notes: Spend the extra $5-$20 to pick a front row or emergency exit and enjoy the extra legroom

Singapore Airlines

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Vancouver, Canada to Singapore and Shanghai to Singapore
Seats: Fabric seats with a really good recline and a nice touch with classy pillows
In flight entertainment: Only okay newish movies
Food: Very average obvious airplane food while the ice cream for dessert and wine offering was very appreciated
Service: Always excellent service
Power points: USB and power plugs
Luggage: Normal 2 pieces of check in
Notes: It’s always a pleasure to fly Singapore Airlines

Tiger Airways

Travel type: Budget Airlines
Travel destination: Throughout Southeast Asia
Seats: Old fabric seats with the occasional flight that has leather seats
In flight entertainment: Nothing but a travel magazine and the occasional annoying passanger
Food: Pay $5 for a cup of noodles or choose from other overpriced bad food
Service: Really bad, I know it’s budget but I can’t get over how bad the service is.
Technology: None
Luggage: Only carry on provided free of charge all checked in luggage is charged separately
Notes: I avoid traveling on Tiger Airways now after having too many bad experiences including disgustingly dirty bathrooms, poor service and all of the bad press lately is not helping at all

Vietnam Airlines

Travel type: Economy class
Travel destination: Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang
Seats: Fabric seats
In flight entertainment: None, only in-flight magazine
Food: Provided beverages and snacks
Service: Average service
Power points: None
Luggage: Maximum of 20kg combined
Notes: It’s always a pleasure to fly Singapore Airlines

About Elaine


This Canadian travel enthusiast resides in Singapore and is the co-founder of Suma Lifestyle. As a former interior designer, her love of travel brings her around the world visiting the hottest destinations while scoping out the trendiest hotels, bars, and restaurants.

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  • http://www.9to5travel.com/ Taya

    Loooove Emirates!

    Singapore’s great too, although it’s been years since I’ve flown them.

    KLM has an excellent World Business Class for long haul flights – GIANT seats that lay flat…you can actually get a good sleep. And there’s sooo much space around you and other passengers. Food was superb…almost fine-dining quality. Service was pretty good, although nothing beats Emirates for service!

    The BEST First Class was Canadian Airlines…except they went out of business..probably cause they served caviar and lobster…such an amazing airline.

    I will NEVER fly United or US Airways again…lost luggage multiple times, the crap service.

    Air Canada’s been decent recently for shorter flights, friendly service, new inflight system that they don’t shut down during take-off or landing, so you can watch movies while you’re taxiing.

    • http://www.sumabeachtowels.com Elaine

      We definitely need to try KLM, and the business class sounds nice! But then I’m sure business class on ANY airlines is better than economy :)