Airlines is the first category in my annual awards blogs.
The good news first – 2021 brought me a lot more airline experiences than 2020. On the other hand, compared to normal years the variety was still hugely limited.
My first Covid era flight is something I will always remember, and cherish in a perverse kind of way. It was a Loganair one from Inverness to Stornoway, in May. The flight lasted 40 minutes. The distance is 96 miles.
My first international flight of this strange time is also a memory to hold dear. Imagine writing that about a Ryanair flight!
One telling statistic for the year is that of my 10 flights in 2021, 6 were on Loganair. Almost all its routes are domestic. Aer Lingus seems so cosmopolitan by comparison. I flew to and from Belfast with them.
EasyJet is the only other carrier I used, flying from Lisbon to Edinburgh to return from my trip to Portugal.
Well, the short list is still short!
Now, at the risk of causing severe ructions in the travel world, I must confess Ryanair was in with an excellent chance of winning. The only thing I was unhappy about on that flight from Edinburgh to Porto was the boarding process in Edinburgh. After all being processed through the boarding gate, we were left in the air bridge for 20 minutes before being allowed onto the plane.
I do not know why. We were not told. Leaving aside the inconvenience, having 100 people close together in an enclosed and unventilated space for that length of time is asking for trouble on the Covid 19 front.
That incident shapes my choice twice. First it reduces Ryanair’s “score” in my head. But it also made me realise that I do not remember any negatives about my 6 flights on Loganair.
On the flight from Dundee to Belfast the check in arrangements were poor, but I do not know if the fault for that lay with the airline or airport. Either way, the pilot explained and apologised. He also got us to Belfast on time in spite of leaving 15 minutes late.
Those flights with Loganair were on small planes using small airports and were not busy, so that all added to the feel-good factor.
Yes, you have worked it out. Loganair is this year’s winner. That name is added to the roll of honour for the third time – easyJet (2020), Atlantic Airways (2019), Loganair (2018), Hebridean Air (2017), Air Baltic (2016), Loganair (2015), British Airways (2014) and Ethiopian Airlines (2012).
ⓒ iain taylor, 2021