Europe's Airlines Survive Roller-Coaster of a Week

Europe’s airlines took a beating this week, with Italy’s MyAir losing its operating license, BritishAirways and its unions failing to reach agreements that will keep the company moving, BA’s luxe subsidiary OpenSkies dropping its New YorkAmsterdam route, and Ireland’s RyanAir decreasing its service to Stansted. Perhaps most distressing, passengers all over the UK were blocked from boarding their planes (and denied reimbursements) if they were suspected of carrying the H1N1 (or swine) flu. So soon after the infamous music video that took United Airlines to task for damaging luggage and refusing to reimburse passengers for their destroyed property, the flu decision is a PR nightmare.

But there was some positive news, too: In the same week that RyanAir announced its reduced service, it posted a profit for the second quarter of 2009. Air France-KLM’s revenue dropped, but the company said that it was optimistic about future profits. And while Lufthansa’s planned takeover of Austrian Airlines is meeting some resistance, it seems to be progressing, even if in baby steps.

Speaking of PR nightmares and Lufthansa, when we posted about the planned takeover on Twitter, we got a response that said, “Austria Air should take over Lufthansa...they have the worst customer service.” In light of the United fiasco, what airlines do you think have the worst customer service? (If you want some very R-rated examples of horror stories, check out this piece on Sound off on AgentNation!

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