Shedding Light in the Darkness

Dodgy Airline Update


It’s been a while since we covered the world’s worst airlines, so with 2017 rolling in let’s take a look. According to the UK Daily Telegraph more than 100 airlines are banned from EU air space. They include every airline from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Sudan, as well as dozens from Indonesia. The worst airline? According to Skytrax, it’s Koryo Air, based in North Korea. Here’s a few, with some passenger comments, that don’t sound like winners either.

Bahamasair (Bahamas) Initial flight from Nassau was delayed by 3 hours from 6:30 pm to 9:30pm and the returning flight was scheduled at 6:45pm and at 10:15pm I am still in the terminal. Customer service representatives do not even give updates and the airline does not seem able to stick to basic principles of time.

Ukraine International Airlines. Istanbul to New York via Kiev. The stewardess are really unfriendly and emotionless. They barely greet and smile at you, even help the flight passengers to lift their bag to the cabin. They just watched and stared at you. During my next flight from Kiev to New York, the trip was worse.

Worst flights ever. The staff didn’t smile and were constantly annoyed by people in the plane. Their English was quite bad and they had miscommunication very often with clients. Instead of smiling, they reacted very grumpy and impolite. I will never fly again with UIA again.

Tajik Air (Tajikistan) Dushanbe to Khujand return and can honestly say it was the most terrifying experience of my life. Despite the seats at the front being available and reserved for us they had three bolts holding two seats to the floor and only half of one seatbelt! The Tupolev took an age to take off then sat at not much altitude as the poor little engines screamed in protest. It took forever going around and around to gain the altitude needed to get over the mountains and on landing we were greeted to the sight of what appeared to be burned out wrecks of other aircraft.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Heathrow to Sylhet with Biman Bangladesh and without doubt one of the worst airlines I’ve experienced. PTV broken and asked 10 times for it to be fixed without any luck. Staff look like they would rather be doing something else rather than working. Food was terrible, served soft drinks in paper cups so you aren’t able to ask for anything but water during non meal times. The return flight from Dhaka to Heathrow was just as bad if not worse.

There was no electricity in the kitchen and we were served a cold “vegetarian burger”. Going back a few days later the plane was delayed for 6 hours for no reason. Once we landed in Dhaka it was 3 am instead of 6 hours earlier at 9 pm. No explanation no excuse.

Bulgaria Air. The seats and interior desperate for a refit. Once airborne the Flight attendants proceeded with the food service. One roll which was out of date, and could have been used as a tennis ball. And one piece of chocolate. The food was literally chucked at you. I was offered wine which was terrible. No entertainment at all. The main thing that stuck with me however was how miserable the flight attendants were, they were not only rude, but just didn’t smile the entire time.

Cubana Airlines. Montreal to Santa Clara with Cubana Airlines. 11 hours of delay from Montreal to Cuba, 7 hours of delay from Cuba to Montreal. Worst experience ever, not just because of the delay, but the flight turned out to be night flight because of the delay – but all the lights in the cabin were on for the total duration of the flight. I was travelling with my boyfriend, at first we were seated next to each other but it turn out that in both cases they assigned more than one person to the same seat.

When we got to the airport we had no idea the flight was cancelled until an hour after boarding was supposed to start, they told us the flight didn’t show up, then we were told there was no crew members available and the third and final excuse was that 3 birds flew into the aircraft causing the cancellation, we all had to either go home or stay at the hotel since the flight was supposed to leave the next day at 6 am, we were about to leave the hotel to go shopping when we found out that the flight was actually going to leave the same night.

Iran Air. Morning came and we were ready to leave our plane was not. We were told all sorts of nonsense ‘the plane will leave tomorrow or the day after’ ‘the plane will leave in a few hours’ ‘the plane has broken down’ ‘there is bad weather preventing flying’. Twelve hours later we left. I spent 24 solid hours in Dubai airport.

There were the worst flights I’ve had in my life. The first flight was London to Tehran. The airplane was so old and the washroom was a big mess. The flight attendants were so rude and I’ve seen at least 2 loud arguments between passengers and the attendants. The second flight Tehran to Tabriz. The airplane stopped in the middle of runway for the last minute maintenance. They didn’t let us go back to the airport and we had to stay in the airplane for half an hour without air condition in mid summer. Well these are nothing comparing the nightmare I had when I was coming back from Tehran to London.

Lion Air (Indonesia) You think I would have learned my lesson after 90% or so of flights I have taken with Lion Air have been delayed. Now sitting on the floor in the crowded waiting lounge as no seats are available with another 2 hour delay, just announced at take off schedule. Not fun with 2 small children. Last month my return flight to Bali was delayed by 3 hours each way. Also don’t bother with trying to check in on the app. It does not work.

Onur Air (Turkey) Horrendous flight. Firstly it was delayed by over two hours and we were offered a soggy lettuce and cheese sandwich which was disgusting. Once on the plane the seats were tiny and leg room none existent. The temperature on board was in excess of 35 degrees and when I asked for it to be reduced I was told it was set automatically – about half an hour before we landed in did drop by a small amount.

We had pre-booked our seats on the plane but found someone else in these seats and the staff were either unable to help or simply didn’t want to. The staff on the trip to Dalaman were rude unhelpful and spoke almost no English. I tried to explain to one of the staff that there was no toilet roll left in the toilet but was waved away by the member of staff sitting at the front of the plane. The staff then had difficulty finding more toilet rolls for the rest of the flight.

Rossiya Airlines (Russia) The boarding was very long and they made everybody go out to board the oldish 767. It took about 20 minutes standing outside at night to get into the plane. The crew were unpleasant there was no inflight entertainment. The food was okay if you want to eat fish at 4am. We had a 1 hour delay on arrival and it took 1 hour to get off from the aircraft by bus.

Sudan Airways Seats were broken in many areas and toilets were unusabe – FAs did not seem bothered by any of this. Service was all over in a short time and FAs then disappeared to galley. Not an airline I would wish on my worst enemy. Avoid at all costs.

Turkmenistan Airlines I read the reviews for Turkmenistan Airlines before I flew, and thought that if I went in with low expectations then I couldn’t be disappointed. I was wrong. The outgoing flight was delayed by 2 hours with no apology and worse there was nobody to be found to explain what was going to happen with our planned changeover. No one at Heathrow knew how to contact them or were even aware that they flew from the terminal! Most of the food was inedible and the in-flight entertainment non existent. I’ve lost count of the number of hours we have wasted standing around in chaos. In short, avoid this airline at all and any cost.


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