The Skytrax 2017 Overall Winners: My Thoughts – Premium Economy and Economy Class Winners

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on the reveal of this year’s new Skytrax overall winners, as well as the business class winners. I’m going to do the same to the premium economy and economy winners on the same post, but it’s worth noting that I haven’t had experience with most of these airlines, and am drawing conclusions solely based on others’ opinions (apart from Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, I haven’t flown any other premium economy products). Nonetheless, I do have my thoughts to share about the airlines I have taken.

IMG_0555Qantas’ premium economy product scored big this year

Take my opinions with a grain of salt, as I’m just going over the winners and giving out my own thoughts.

The Best Premium Economy Of 2017

The overall best premium economy of the year went to:

  1. Qantas Airways
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Lufthansa
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Air France
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Virgin Australia
  8. China Airlines
  9. Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  10. ANA All Nippon Airways

I’ve long heard good things about Qantas and Air New Zealand’s premium economy products, and they sure do look good. I’m surprised that Lufthansa’s premium economy product was ranked so high, but I’ve heard good things about their service and their seats look well padded, so I won’t say much.

img_3893I know that Air New Zealand has a popular premium economy product

The Best Premium Economy Seats Of 2017

The best premium economy seats of the year went to:

  1. Qantas Airways
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Japan Airlines
  4. China Airlines
  5. Lufthansa
  6. Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  7. Cathay Pacific
  8. ANA All Nippon Airways
  9. Virgin Australia
  10. Singapore Airlines

Qantas’ A380 premium economy has been popular, so I won’t say much. I haven’t flown Aeroflot before in premium economy, but I was surprised that their shell seats beat out Cathay Pacific’s plush premium economy seats and Singapore Airlines’ premium economy seats. I’m actually pretty surprised that even with both a footrest and a legrest, Singapore Airlines’ premium economy seats sank so far down the list.

I’m not gonna lie, I expected Singapore Airlines’ premium economy product to find itself higher up the list

The Best Premium Economy Catering Of 2017

The best premium economy catering of the year went to:

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Qantas Airways
  3. Air New Zealand
  4. Lufthansa
  5. Virgin Australia
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Air France
  8. EVA Air
  9. Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  10. ANA All Nippon Airways

Singapore Airlines is the only airline I know of that allows passengers to pre-book meals in premium economy (and the food tastes good as well), so their first place is probably well deserved. I’m surprised Cathay Pacific didn’t make it – both Jason’s and my dining experiences in Cathay Pacific premium economy have been great. That said, I can’t speak for all the airlines since I haven’t tried them, so I definitely hope to do so in the near future.

Singapore Airlines’ premium economy food is really good, especially if you Book the Cook

The Best Economy Class Of 2017

The overall best economy class of the year went to:

  1. Thai Airways
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Asiana Airlines
  4. Garuda Indonesia
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Emirates
  8. ANA All Nippon Airways
  9. EVA Air
  10. Lufthansa

I’m not surprised that Thai Airways made their way up the list, though I am slightly surprised that Qatar Airways went so far up the list. Granted, their A350 product is comfortable, though the backbone of their longhaul fleet consists of 777s and 787s, both of which have 17 inch-wide seats on their planes. I guess that Qatar Airways passengers enjoy flying with them, though there’s quite a bit about marketing to be referenced here, as Qatar Airways sometimes can overpromise and underdeliver.

IMG_6215Despite wear and tear on their newest aircraft, Thai Airways has a good economy product

The Best Economy Seats Of 2017

The best economy class seats of the year went to:

  1. Japan Airlines
  2. Asiana Airlines
  3. Thai Airways
  4. Korean Air
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. Qatar Airways
  7. EVA Air
  8. ANA All Nippon Airways
  9. Aeromexico
  10. Garuda Indonesia

Japan Airlines is the only airline to have 2-4-2 seating on their 787s, so I agree with their triumph in the category. Asiana, Thai and Singapore have seats that have been customised to the airline’s particulars, though Korean Air has an economy seat that you’d easily spot elsewhere. Once again, I’m surprised that with their 777 3-4-3 and 787 3-3-3 configurations, Qatar, EVA, ANA and Aeromexico all made their way up the list (while EVA hasn’t gone 3-4-3 yet, surely their plans to do so would have beat them down somehow). I don’t fully agree with the list, and one standout airline missing from the list in my opinion is Cathay Pacific, as they feature one of my favourite economy seats across any aircraft. They’re ergonomic, well-padded and great even for a long flight.

img_2543Cathay Pacific has 99 problems, but their economy seats ain’t one of them

The Best Economy Catering Of 2017

The best economy class catering of the year went to:

  1. Thai Airways
  2. Turkish Airlines
  3. Asiana Airlines
  4. Qatar Airways
  5. Japan Airlines
  6. Singapore Airlines
  7. Austrian
  8. Cathay Pacific
  9. Lufthansa
  10. EVA Air

I find Thai’s catering fine, but I’m surprised that they got first place for their meal services. If anything, I don’t think that Cathay Pacific’s meals are worse than Thai’s, and I wish I could speak for the other airlines on the list. One of my goals is to try more airlines across business, premium economy and economy, so I will be able to provide a better recount of all these awards as the years pass by.

IMG_6244Thai Airways has great meals, but are they really the best of the best?

Bottom Line

It’s needless to say that I disagree with some of these results, though I’m happy that Skytrax came out with their ratings to create discussion across the industry. Skytrax is based on passenger ratings, so it’s somewhat of an airline popularity contest, and less of a true indicative – I’d consider all airlines on the list quality airlines and deserving of their wins in their respective categories, though I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly airlines because of their Skytrax ratings.

What do you think about Skytrax’s 2017 results?

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