The Daily Mail: Worse Than Aeroflot – British Airways To Lose 4-Star Skytrax Rating!


According to a news article in the British Daily Mail citing the CEO of Marketing Research firm Skytrax, British Airways is about to lose their 4 Star rating and now even compares unfavorably to airlines like Aeroflot.

Aeroflot, once synonym for horrible service and half day delays is now apparently the benchmark for the national carrier of the UK that is lead by former Vueling low cost CEO Alex Cruz.

The Daily Mail calls it yet another humiliation even though I wouldn’t go that far considering that Skytrax is a commercial entity and consulting firm, not just a plain rating agency.

You can access the newspaper article here.

British Airways is expected to be stripped of its coveted four-star quality rating after being accused of providing a worse service than Aeroflot.

In a new humiliation, the boss of research firm Skytrax said Britain’s flagship carrier now compares unfavourably with the state-backed Russian airline, once known for having an appalling safety record, inedible food and rude staff.

Skytrax said it is likely to cut BA’s rating to three stars out of five, bringing it in line with budget airline Ryanair, Uzbekistan Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and Myanmar Airways.

The move comes hard on the heels of last week’s IT shutdown which grounded flights and resulted in passengers being stranded across the world.

He said Aeroflot – which is 51 per cent owned by the Russian government – has better in-flight catering and better service. He described Aeroflot as a ‘shining example of an airline that’s transformed themselves’ – compared with BA, which ‘has not invested in the same way’.

BA, which once used the slogan ‘the world’s favourite airline’, has had four stars since the ratings began 18 years ago. …

Keep in mind that the Four Star rating isn’t even the top of the food chain. Airlines such as Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are holding a Five Star rating, creating an even larger distance to BA.


Skytrax doesn’t just rate airlines in an independent manner but it’s also a consulting firm in the aviation sector and also does consulting work for (you guessed it): Airlines! I somehow doubt that the final findings are all that independent if the company you are rating is a good paying customer at the same time.

In any case it can’t be denied that BA has suffered under the helm of Mr. Cruz who has cut corners every left and right to the point of where it indeed feels like you’re traveling on a budget airline and not Britains proud national carrier.

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  • Андрей Борисыч

    Aeroflot had a poor reputation at least 10 years ago, but since then developed to one of the best european carriers. They don’t humiliate themselves with “no luggage” fares (like Brussels Airlines and SAS) or food for extra charge (like Czech Airlines). For the last three or four years I fly Aeroflot to South-East Asia and these flights are 70% full of european passengers flying via Moscow. Sometimes it’s just cheaper, of course, but they seem pretty happy with in-flight experience.
    Unfortunately, sometimes I have to fly Air France, Turkish Airlines,.Lufthansa and other major european airlines. Air France is just a disaster (mostly always), Turkish Airlines is comfortable but nothing special (although advertised as “best european airline”), Lufthansa cancels 1 flight out of 10 due to endless strikes etc.
    Flying British Airways recently felt no different that RyanAir or any other discounter – narrow seats, lack of entertainment and service – only for the higher price. So in this case Skytrax seems to be right.

    • Alan

      I agree completely; Aeroflot offers great service and no additional charges. I was late getting to the airport in Moscow yet the entire check in and security process were so simple, I ended up having plenty of time.

      • Paolo

        Aeroflot business class seat in narrow body planes is a real biz seat, not just a normal shell with an empty middle one. Service on top and attention to customers. Only remaining difference is the lounge, BA lounge(s) in T5 are still a lot better (for now), but it’s the only advantage left in a landscape of pure mediocrity.

    • Виктоуар

      And may I add, as you mentioned SAS – in June, 2016 I behold SAS strike as their suffering passenger and several things was shockingly new.
      1) no email, no sms from SAS. No early warning about possible strike. No flight cancellation info. As I understood they didn’t bother to notify foreign customer. OK may be it is too expensive or complicated to make sms announcement but email is not something new
      2) it was impossible to reach their contact center (which is not 24/7, btw) for hours and days. And no other way to get real help with ticketing. Not by email, not in social media, not through Web-site
      3) information on their WEB-site was not provided proactively and, I should say, lead only to problems for foreign passengers
      After many years of experience with Aeroflot, I never met SAS-style approach. If somebody think Aeroflot not deserve 4* – I wonder then, which rating they feel proper for European carriers )))

  • colin

    I had 4x flight segments on QR in J during Apr+May (MNL-DOH-AMS rtn) on a 777 in a 2-2-2 cabin. The food offerings were a total let non-existant down and in the end I ate nothing on any of these 4x costlier QR flights.

    eg DOH-MNL is 9hours 0830-2300 offers breakfast after takeoff then nothing, and I alreasdt had 2x breakfasts before boarding ie i)onboard AMS-DOH 2345-0600 ii)in QR lounge waiting on DOH-MNL flight

    I for one won’t be booking QR 777 flights ever again, and will revert back to one of MH/CX/BA for oneworld Asia-Europe flights.

    • Matthieu Lecoq

      QR has a dine on demand service in J and you should have ordered more food than just the breakfast on your DOH-MNL flight and they would have been happy to serve it to you.

  • TangaTalalag

    Whilst BA has gone down hill, Skytrax is worthless, probably the reduction is as a result of BA no longer paying Skytrax

    • Max Mustermann

      “As a result of BA no longer paying attention to their customer”

    • I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the Skytrax ratings either.

  • Jamo

    I’m glad this has happened, so hopefully it jolts their shareholders and executive into sensible action. CEOs like Alex Cruz have a place in large companies at certain times. Cost saving CEOs are important at cutting the fat away from expenditure but this is achieved by clever supply chain management, better operations, improved workflows. Sure at times if you pivot your direction (like Aer Lingus did) – you knowingly transition from full service to low cost. Normally the savings should not be visible to your customers.

    BA didn’t try to do this, they became very bold and cut back things they foolishly believed their passengers wouldn’t notice. Maybe passengers wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for the sum of it all.

    It starts small and spreads. A cost saving which had a small impact on service, will it go unnoticed? Then another and another, and eventually all the small concessions which were not supposed to affect service much, add together into a huge devaluation.

    it’s really sad and the thing is, I know more than a handful of frequent travellers with BA Gold and above, who are moaning about things – so at present BA can’t look after their more commercially important passengers fully. There is obviously friction for frequent fliers leaving an airline, due to status and air miles balances, but eventually they just snap and once they’ve gone, and achieved status elsewhere, the cost to get them back must be significant.

  • SydneySwan

    I wonder if Ryanair are offended being ranked on a par with BA. I am sure Ryanair think they are better – they are certainly more reliable.

  • BenniHK

    Skxxxxx rating is just a joke. As long as u willing to pay, even rubbish could be ranked as no.1! Lmao

  • TT

    The Skytrax rating is a total farse anyway. Have flown Emirates, Qatar and Hainan, all 3 are 5* airlines, and didn’t really understand why they got this rating, disappointing… I would not take this rating as a benchmark at all.

    but agree, BA has declined massively in terms of service and quality. and now even F&B at least on shorthaul is no longer free. crazy. I have flights this year (booked already last year) and will burn my AAdvantage Miles. after that, I’ll simply select the best value, and ignore and status going forward.

    • Виктоуар

      flying only Qatar from 3 lines but in my opinion it is 5 star indeed because of one thing – after long and difficult way in coach (3 segments, totally more than 24 hours, one night in simple airport hotel and ~12 hours connection in Doha with ttheir “silent room”) I arrived to destination point with MUCH more energy than expected. Just a bit better seats, just height adjustable neck rest, just a bit better pitch – in total, very different result.
      On other side, experience with 5* Singapore Airlines was disastrous for me and I would really prefer 4* Aeroflot

  • AlaskaGeo

    Irregardless of the worth of Skytrax, the real customer reviews on Skytrax are rather scathing of the airline and actually a good read and provide a good picture of the horror that is BA. In my own experience of traveling with them, I believe they have taken rudeness to a new level.

  • Виктоуар

    I wonder what part of truth that sentence contains – “once known for having an appalling safety record, inedible food and rude staff”. For at least 10 years of my personal experience food in coach and cabin crew in Aeroflot are amongst the best (and in 2016 I had gold status on OW, ST and *A travelling mostly not Aeroflot so I have some base to compare). Yes standard meal in Air France business class better, and fruit meal in economy class of Qatar airlines rather better, but where and when exactly it was “inedible”, 35 years ago may be?
    “Appaling safety record” – please show. I am monitoring such things and noticed nothing extraordinary (one serious turbulence incident, one IL86 plane without passengers lost many years ago). Note extreme weather conditions and badly maintained small airports across former Soviet Union. Sounds simply unfair for me.
    “Rude staff” – in relation to cabin crew of native Aeroflot flights it is simply not true. I wonder what exactly author of quoted sentence mean, may be lack of Hollywood style smiles before every phrase from crew? Staff behind registration desk in some regional airport could be imperfectly trained, that is true, but they are airport employer and not Aeroflot staff

  • JT

    What other airline of any star rating has 8 across seating in business?

    • Yeah. The business seating is absolutely ridiculous. Should really be 1-2-1 to be competitive.

  • V M

    Of course BA (Air France, SAS, Lufthansa) is worse than Aeroflot. That just goes without saying and everyone knows it! Silly nationalistic Brits still believe they’re a center of Universe. LOL.