Many of our members have a preferred airline when it comes to domestic travel. Depending on where your travels may take you, a wide variety of airlines may be on offer. If you are a fly-in fly-out worker, that airline journey may not even be on an airline you can buy tickets on. With airline safety overseen by government authorities, it’s fairly safe to assume on that score there is no bad airline. But what about service, timeliness, and the general experience to be had, is it true that where there is good there can also be bad?

My father has always said “there are no bad beers, just some are better than others”, so probably the same for airlines, “there are really no bad airlines, just some are better (said with gritted teeth) than others”!

For some airlines, offering frills is a cost they feel is unnecessary. When those missing frills include generous baggage limits, on line check in or even air conditioning, it can certainly put them in the bad category for some travellers.

My vote is Skippers Aviation. For those who don’t know who/what Skippers are, they are primarily a charter coming providing prop jet flights to mine sites, but also offer a few commercial flights for paying pax to some regional centres in WA.

The reason I have them at the top of my list are: check in closes 45 minutes prior to departure. No ability to online check in, Baggage is restricted to 10kg check in and 4kg carry on. With almost no notice (<1 hour or at checkin) baggage allowance reduced to 3kg TOTAL combined. Constant technical problems with flights. One flight where the aircon wasn’t working and we sweltered for over 2 hours back to Perth in the middle of summer

The worst airline will of course vary depending on what criteria you judge the airline on. For the more frequent flyer, consistency, fleet types and age can play a factor. Others find the human touch can make a big difference, yet some airlines seem to have perennially grumpy and unhappy staff. When it came to handing out the rotten tomato awards, one of our members was very specific on who was failing specific criteria.

It really depends on what your criteria for “worst” is, when we are talking Australian airlines: Worst managed? Qantas hands down. Worst airport experience? Jetstar’s MEL domestic terminal. Worst boarding experience? Tiger or Qantas. Worst for cancellations? Virgin according to August BITRE stats but closely followed by Qantas B717 operations. Worst for late departures and late arrivals? Virgin and Qantas B717s again. Worst overall staff? Maybe Jetstar. Worst handling of IIROPS? Maybe Jetstar or Virgin. Worst overall aircraft experience? Either Rex’s Saab 340 or maybe VA’s ATR72. Worst economy seat? Jetstar and Tigerair seats, same pitch and width.

Do you have an airline you think is the worse, whether it’s across all criteria or just based on a particular aspect or experience, why not place your vote HERE.


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