Best of 2020 (1)

Oban to Colonsay, 2017

Yes, this year’s “Best of… “ awards will be a little different to previous years.

However, as always the first category is airlines. This will be brief! I flew on only one.

EasyJet!

It flew me back from Athens on 1 January, and then to and from Copenhagen in January/February. What is there to say about that? Airline of the Year Award goes to easyJet!

I got to know the airline very well while I was commuting between Scotland and Bavaria for 6 years, and whilst I aways admired its reliability and value-for-money, it never came close to being in the award winning category.

Technology Rules

I have little recollection of those 3 flights 10-12 months ago. So much has happened since then it seems like another life. Clearly nothing went badly wrong, or I would have remembered.

At the time of the pandemic hitting here, I had flights with Air France booked to take me to Tunis in March. I had organised an internal flight (Tunis to Djerba) with Tunisair. I had a trip to Russia (Moscow, Kazan and St Petersburg) booked for June, with flights on SAS, Aeroflot, S7 https://www.s7.ru/en/ and Nordavia (now Smartavia https://flysmartavia.com/en/).

Such diversity. So many potential award winners.

Another Time

I suppose I could give awards for airlines’ responses to the pandemic crisis. Air France allowed me to re-book for October, without charge. When the October flights were cancelled, I got a very prompt refund.

SAS, Aeroflot and S7 gave me vouchers for future use. I remember I had to phone Aeroflot (in Moscow) to sort things out, and was not looking forward to it. In fact their customer service was friendly, helpful and efficient (in English). Nordavia gave me a prompt refund.

At various times during summer and autumn I thought about taking an internal flight – when such things were permitted here – to one of Scotland’s islands. Loganair supplies most of those services, with a few from Hebridean Air.

Loganair, Barra Airport

One of my concerns about it was that I could introduce the virus to one of those small, vulnerable communities where healthcare services are limited and the nearest ICU bed a very long way off.

There is always 2021.

Meantime, hats off to easyJet. Such an easy winner.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2020 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇩🇰🇸🇪🇬🇷🇪🇺

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