The world’s best airlines are not in Europe, nor are they in North America. They are all found in the east and they have one thing in common: excellence in design. The World Airline Awards, or in other words, the Passenger’s Choice awards feature many methods, but when the people choose, two aspects of design stick out.
As you know, design includes, but is not limited to:
•Branding and Brand Management
When we analyzed the methodologies and extensive rankings by Skytrax, service design and interior design appear to be the most strongly correlated with the top awards. This is because these are the things that people remember when they give their feedback for the Skytrax survey.
So, how did Asiana Airlines become the best airline, climbing from 5th place in 2008 to 3rd last year? They invested in interior design and service design. Passengers remember things such as exquisite clothing, quick standard service procedures, cleanliness, and of course the friendliness of the air hosts. Those things are all a part of service design. With regard to interior design, they invested in lighting, comfortable seats, and in creating the optimal amount of space.
Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways were also in the top three for nine categories that relate to service and interior design. Singapore Airlines is in the top three of more service design categories while Qatar Airways is in the top three for more interior design categories. In this case, interior design includes in the airplanes themselves and in the lounges.
As you can tell by the rankings from 2001-2010, the same company is not at the top every single year, but a few names are in the top three quite often. What we know is that the top airlines continue to invest in design, especially service and interior design, the two factors that really matter for the Passenger’s Choice awards.
Have you ever flown with any of the best airlines? Do you agree with the rankings or do your experiences lead to different conclusions?