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Is British Airways The Greatest Airline Ever?  
User currently offlineTrolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3437 times:

Looking back at the history of aviation and the contributions various airlines have made to flying, I personally feel that BA and its predecessors, (ranging from Imperial, BEA, British Caledonian, BOAC and even British Airways 1930's version) is truly deserving of the title of "Greatest Airline Ever".

What other airline has introduced turboprops, jets and supersonic flight to the market place? The legacy of the Viscount, Comet and Concorde are long lasting. The first incarnations of BA first flew in 1919, making it one of the oldest in the business. It had formed global alliances as far back as the 1930's. It was one of the first airlines to fly to all continents, and is one of the few to continue doing so. It has introduced service innovations like beds in business and first class. Also, the service levels have been consistently above the industry average for decades. It's safety record is excellent, indeed achieving the first ever aircraft type to never lose a pasenger in service, the HP42 back in the 1930's. Quite an achievement for its day.

Can anyone else think of another airline that might qualify for this title, and if yes, why so?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKLMA330 From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 697 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

You don't have to convince me, I agree! Of course, they had the resources of an Empire, and the need to serve it, perhaps led to all the innovative steps of BA over the years, never the less however, it is one Great Airline, with a distinguished legacy. KLM is up there too, when in comes to innovation and contribution, but again, the need to serve the Empire helped them as well.
 Smile


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

PanAm and TWA were both pioneers in many fields, just like BA, but they are no longer around, so you do not need to convince me that BA is the greatest airline ever. QF should amongst the greatest airlines too.

It seems many people are keen to bash BA but I think they are envious of BA's reputation.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineC172 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3293 times:

KLM is the oldest airline in the world, for what it's worth.

User currently offlineFLVILLA From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 394 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3258 times:

Always was and still is 'The Worlds Favorite Airline' , to me anyway  tongue 


I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
User currently offlineSpeedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 872 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

Quoting C172 (Reply 3):
KLM is the oldest airline in the world, for what it's worth.

It wasn't suggested otherwise, so how does this relate to the topic?


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

Quoting C172 (Reply 3):
KLM is the oldest airline in the world, for what it's worth.

Not quite Chalk's Ocean Airways claims title of world's oldest. As pointed out in a previous thread they started regular service in February 1919. KLM was founded on 7 October 1919 and their first flight was on 17 May 1920.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Over the years since its inception quite possibly.

As an airline today, amongst the best, but not the top of the tree.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3169 times:

BA have been great pioneers for a lot of things, but I don't know if I'd say the greatest airline of all time. Having worked there, once you see beneath the surface, it's hard to accord them that kind of adulation  Smile

User currently offlineLazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3166 times:

BCAL, people only bash BA because their jealous. Just because they haven't placed a widebody order people think their wierd, and seem to think their going to place one anytime soon.
I would like to think they are the Greatest Airline, in terms of Greatness. Best Airline or Best Service etc, maybe not...



I came. I saw. I conquered
User currently offlineSpeedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 872 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3135 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 8):
once you see beneath the surface, it's hard to accord them that kind of adulation

With any business, once you get behind the scene you usually realise that all is not what it seems. However, the key thing is the end product that the customer receives.


User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3128 times:

Hey,

I agree! There's something that feels so good when you fly BA as pax compared to anyone else!

Sam Smile



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3117 times:

Until they return to SAN, NO WAY!!  devil 

Once they return, okay, I'll agree to that...


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BA, you are VERY much missed at Lindbergh Field!!  cry 



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3051 times:

CATHAY PACIFIC PERIOD!!!!

CATHAY PACIFIC IS THE NUMBER 1 IN THE WORLD
BEST SERVICE
BEST CABIN CLASSES
BEST FOOD
EVERYTHING...


User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

BA is clearly one of the greatest airlines ever. The passenger experience remains exceptional, and one wonders how in this age of cost-cutting, FAs still convey an enthusiasm and spirit that should make any organization proud. I do remember in the late 70s or so when BA had become quite mediocre, but the turnaround into World's Best was quite remarkable - was it privatization, perhaps?

I like BA, despite their Executive Club program, because the customer experience is predictably excellent. Now, fans of VS,CX and others will no doubt feel the same about their favorites. However, in terms of claiming greatness, a pedigree reaching back to the early days of aviation is a must. Contenders like TWA and PanAm have bit the dust, KLM (BA's arch rival from the Imperial Airways days) is just surviving, and once-great AI is not so great anymore. For sake of completeness, VARIG and Qantas also deserve honorable mention. In this regard, BA was able to exploit its history - it reached into its collective memory, and provide the graciousness past times to modern day mass travel.

The more interesting question is who will be the contenders for greatness in this century? Flying has become mass transportation much like train or bus travel, and greatness will be elusive to define. Will it be VS transporting us into space perhaps? The age of Flying Boats, Comets and Concordes has given way to twin-engined tubes stuck in stratospheric subsonic flight - but supremely safe. So air travel becomes a commodity, but as long as you have hospitable FAs to help you on your journeys across the globe, and you can peek out of the window at the world and skies outside, it will always be a very special experience.

-Comorin


User currently offlineBullpitt From Spain, joined Mar 2004, 871 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3035 times:

NO It's among the best no doubt about that. But the greatest ever NO


These are my principles but if you don't like them I have others
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