The first category in my 2018 awards is for airlines.
This year has brought a lot of variety and – like last year – a new experience.
Widerøe is the airline I used for the first time, on its Aberdeen-Bergen route. As I blogged at the time, it was very positive.
SAS is the airline I used most – 8 flights – but the reason really boils down to a couple of trips to Vilnius via Stockholm or Copenhagen. All those flights were good.
I had two trips with Loganair (Barra and Stornoway) and they are a lot of fun to travel with. It helps that small airports and small planes are so user friendly.
Turkish Airlines featured 4 times – to and from Ercan (in Northern Cyprus) via Istanbul. I was very happy about all of them and of course with a longer flight (4+ hours between Edinburgh and Istanbul) you have more chance of finding something to be unhappy about!
I flew 4 times with KLM too – not so positive, but most of the negative aspects relate to a missing suitcase. It arrived eventually, but the delay and absence of anything resembling customer service was appalling.
I renewed acquaintance with easyJet and Norwegian on my weekend away in Copenhagen. In a direct comparison of two of the better low cost, no frills operations, Norwegian is a clear winner.
Air France took me from Casablanca to Edinburgh via Paris on 1st January. It seems like so long ago… It was good.
I flew Finnair from Edinburgh to Helsinki at the end of December.
It was another renewal of old acquaintance. My only other flight with Finnair would have been over 20 years ago. They had reindeer on their inflight menu.
My journey from Helsinki to Vilnius via Rīga on Air Baltic went so smoothly it was a pleasure – an excellent airline and three excellent airports.
My top three out of all these is not an easy selection, although conversely the winner is. My top three are Air Baltic, Turkish Airlines and Loganair.
This year my decision for a winner is really easy because flying in and out of Barra is a unique experience – the tiny airport, the beach as the runway, the weather…
So, yes, this year’s award winner is Loganair to/from Barra.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2019 🏴🇪🇺