Every year , there is a very interesting survey made for international travelers. The survey asks frequent flyers to rank the best airlines in the world. It is fascinating and mind-boggling to notice the changes in this top 1o list over the last 5 years. There used to be several American airlines and European airlines competing with the Asian airlines, famous for their level of service. In 2013 , though the landscape has dramatically changed . Not one American airlines left in the top ten and SWISS is the only European airline left in the survey , closing the list at position 10. The top 9 are all Asian or Middle-Eastern companies.
Being based part of the year in Europe I am flying SWISS airlines a lot connecting through Zurich which is very convenient and confirms the reputation of the Swiss people for their organization and efficiency.
Alas, a few months ago SWISS made a very poor decision regarding seat assignments. All international travelers are used to some seats in coach in the plane being blocked : emergency exits, some rows in the front for preferred travelers. But SWISS decided that when you purchased an Economy ticket on one of their flights , the fare does not include your seat selection. From now on, you have to PAY for the right to get a seat assignment !!
One has to wonder about how much imagination is developed by all airlines (especially in North America and Europe) to create more fees and generate more income while still trying to lure you with ticket fares that represent a ever lesser portion of your TOTAL flight costs.
This is, in fact, a fee imposed to frequent travelers. Every smart traveler should get an seat assigned on an international flight ( especially the longer ones). SWISS really needs two thumbs down on this one and I am willing to bet that they may lose their #10 spot next year.
And there is more bad news coming as regards airlines.. More on that in a few weeks.