Monday, June 23, 2008

Asian airlines first class make US Airlines look like a joke.

I recently took a short vacation in Asia visiting Shanghai, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore with a brief stop in Seoul. I flew a total of 4 different airlines, all first class. I'm not going to tell you the US airline I flew but considering the fare for a 12 hour flight was over $4,000, it was a joke compared to the amenities and service I experienced on Singapore Air, Cathay Pacific and Asiana.

The Check-in facilities and lounges were a sign of things to come. All of the Asian airlines have separate facilities whereas I had to wait for about 15 minutes in the US airline's queue because they were checking in a bunch of yabos who were obviously not flying first. The lounges and amenities and service available in them are like comparing accommodations at the 4 Seasons to the Holiday Inn. I'm sure you can guess which is which.

The first thing you notice when you get on these flights is that the flight attendants on Asian airlines are beautiful young ladies who make you feel welcome and understand that you are spending a lot more money than the other passengers in the back. The US airline did have a couple of younger beauties but I guess they didn't have enough seniority to work up front. The American FA's, all past their expiry date, along with a nice guy who seemed to be in early stages of dementia and finally just disappeared, seemed to be trying to make an effort but there was no doubt that they had other places they'd rather be and other things they'd rather be doing. The worst part is that they try to have meaningful conversations about subjects they have no fucking clue about. They should just do their job and shut up. The Asian FA's know when to speak and when to shut up and believe me, they look great doing it. Whoever designed the uniforms on Singapore Air was a genius. That alone makes me want to fly them whenever possible.

I will admit the best bottle of wine I found on all the flights was on the U.S. carrier. But that's not enough to make up for iffy service, and generally uncomfortable (compared to the Asian Airlines) seating/beds. Meals on all were quite good with one exception of lunch on Cathay but surprisingly, Asiana served a medium rare steak that rivaled the best I've ever eaten and then offered me seconds which I gladly accepted.

It's nice to see that some parts of the globe still know how to give real first class service, but US airlines are no longer in the game. They should charge a lot less for their international first class seats because they can no longer compete. In future, I won't be flying any US airlines internationally.