There is nothing more annoying that the self-congratulatory slap on the back the airline industry is so good at. The only other industry that competes with such vigour for imaginary awards that somehow justify a large block of engraved lead crystal is the motor industry. At least with Hollywood and the music business there are individual artists and actors, but I don’t think for a second any of them are completely free of commercial interest, and I doubt you do either.
The uprating of Lufthansa to five stars on the Skytrax scale (it was already 4) is partly based on what it doesn’t even have yet – the new business class on the 777-9. How is that even justifiable?
It’s biggest feature is that Lufthansa is consistent. It offers a range of facilities in various classes which are generally pretty much the same – and I agree that’s true. Overall the airline is well rated. The strikes are over for the forseeable future, but even when they happened they were some of the best managed I’ve ever encountered.
The point is that Lufthansa gains little real value except free publicity, I’m pretty sure this would have been lobbied for and talked about in the background for months. This is about PR and nothing to do with anyone who flies Lufthansa feeling any better about doing so, or choosing to fly Lufthansa because of it. Does anyone know anyone who would say “oh I only fly Skytrax Five Star Airlines?” Of course you don’t.
So we get a round of glib PR photos of smiling female cabin crew, some well to do types in a business seat being served food an economy passenger would kill for after 9 hours of steamed plasticised something in a foil topped tray, and everything is right with the world.
Now I can disclose that I am actually a huge Lufthansa fan, but these ‘awards’ are as much about promoting the promoter as they are Lufthansa. It’s a commercial operation, self-serving, self promoting and no more value to the average punter than one of those ‘free’ mileage award tickets that you “only” have to pay the tax, airline surcharges and landing fees for.