The world’s best leisure airline

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Is Thomson Airways the world’s best leisure airline? It is according to Skytrax, a company that hands out awards to airports and airlines based on reviews it captures.
I confess that I haven’t travelled on Thomson for a few years but when I last did I had no problems with the flights down to or returning from Fuertaventura in the Canary Isles. But I do know people who have found that the cabin space was a little cramped and the leg space was tight. Which is typical of the reactions of people. What pleases one doesn’t necessarily please another. That is why the only way awards like this can be believed is by having large numbers of people participating. And Skytrax claims that million so of people from around the world do. But since Thomson doesn’t operate right around the world doesn’t that mean it faces problems competing against airlines that do because those airlines would have potential a wider group of travellers who could make their comments known?
The next issue is whether you should believe Skytrax? In a travel industry trade letter, Travelmole, yesterday they pointed out that the Advertising Standards Authority had criticised Skytrax for being unable to substantiate on one of its websites that all the reviews were genuine. To that I would add that the sheer volume of votes and comments that Skytrax gets seems very high. And I am aware that university academics specialising in airlines have been stymied by the company in trying to understand how these awards are operated.
So should you believe this award? Would you change flights to travel on Thomson? The answer is probably not. You’ll still buy depending on price, destination and any previous experience you have.
But as Chris Browne, MD for Thomson Airways, said “We are committed to modernising every aspect of the holiday experience and aim to further improve and enhance our service to customers, with the introduction of the brand new Thomson 787 Dreamliner this summer.” And that is what we as passengers want to hear. That airlines put passengers first and continually try and improve things for us. That to me – and the proof that it is really happening – is more important than any award.

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