I have just returned from a trip that invovled flying on KLM, Northwest and Cathay. All of these flights were in business class and it was interesting to compare the level of service that was offered by the diferrent airlines.
The winner for providing the highest level of service must go to Cathay Pacific. The cabin crew were attentive without being obtrusive and they certainly lived up to the reputation of Asian service. I have also flown with Singapore and Malaysia and once again they displayed similar levels of service.
On the KLM flight, the service was efficient but it simply lacked creativity. On NW, some of the crew did provide a professional and attentive service but overall, I received the impression that they treat the flight as a social club and that passengers should be grateful for the minimum level of service.
We frequently hear so much about the service culture in the US, but from my experiences both on the ground and on US airlines, I am beginning to believe that it is just a rumour.
Perhaps, the Americans and Europeans and in particular the airlines should look to the Far East for tips on how to offer excellent service?