Australians Rate Qantas ‘Worst Airline’

SYDNEY ~ Australians have rated their flag-carrier Qantas as the worst international airline in a survey conducted by a consumer watchdog.

The survey of 4,000 people voted Singapore Airlines best while Emirates, Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific all beat Qantas, the consumer magazine Choice said on Tuesday.

Choice asked subscribers to rate airlines they had used recently on value for money, booking processes, convenience, the check-in procedure, in-flight service, seat comfort, legroom and cleanliness.

Respondents to the survey repeatedly described Qantas staff as aloof and said the carrier’s seating was cramped and uncomfortable.

Qantas told the magazine it was surprised by the result.

“In the past two years Qantas has been named one of the world’s top airlines in the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards, the world’s largest airline passenger survey, which in 2006 interviewed over 13.6 million travelers.

“Qantas achieved the ranking of number two in the world in 2005 and 2006,” a spokesperson said.

Choice speculated that the difference in results might be due to the Australian base of the survey and a tendency for people to be particularly critical of their national airline.

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