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What makes the world's best airline?

By Richard Quest, CNN
updated 2:53 PM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
Emirates has been voted the world's best airline, and best in-flight entertainment, by passengers at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. The awards are decided by 18.2 million passengers in 160 countries around the world. Emirates has been voted the world's best airline, and best in-flight entertainment, by passengers at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. The awards are decided by 18.2 million passengers in 160 countries around the world.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Richard Quest shares tips on how airlines become a flying favorite
  • He says the key to frequent flyers' hearts is consistency
  • Vital for airlines to make sure all the tech and gadgets are working properly

(CNN) -- I am always being asked "'what makes the best airline?"

The answer is consistency. With any airline there is no point having a great flight on Monday, an awful flight on Tuesday and a mediocre flight by Friday. It is the ability of an airline to provide what it promises on every flight, every day that makes the difference.

Read: Emirates wins best airline

And that is much more difficult than it seems. Remember, the airline has hundreds of planes spread across 24 time zones. Its staff are also jet lagged and tired after red-eye crossings and may not have slept well on their layover.

Service levels have been improved and our expectations have risen with them. When the screen doesn't work, the seat won't recline and the toilet breaks down, we rightly get miffed.

Then there is the sheer amount of modern technology that can go wrong from complicated premium business class seats with motors and electronics, to the inflight entertainment which is a selling point for many airlines. When it goes wrong, everyone suffers and complains.

Those airlines that maintain the creature comforts as well as the aircraft machinery are the ones that win awards. They recognize we have a choice when we book tickets -- often even within the same alliance you have a choice of different carriers to your destination: For instance, when I fly London to Cape Town with Star Alliance, I could go South African Airways, EgyptAir, Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines.

Consistency and care, time and again. That is what wins you awards!

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