Do you maintain an airline blacklist?

Posted on August 28, 2015 by in Travel Deals


I admit I like arriving in an airplane much more than the actual flying. Lately I had lots of flights with constant shaking – not severe turbulence – but enough to stop bathroom breaks for hours.

But do you actually have an airline blacklist? Which airlines would you NEVER fly and which would you try to simply avoid to fly?

The European Union bans a number of airlines from flying into/ over the European Union. The European Union does not actually rate the airline but deems the regulator not trustworthy. Many African countries are deemed not trustworthy for instance. Indonesia is another unsafe country outside Asia as well as Kazakhstan, though Air Astana (Review) has been exempt from the ban. There are some more exceptions like Air Koryo (yes the North Korean airline) or Air Madagascar that are deemed safe. also came up with a list of safety ratings recently.

Here is my own (very subjective) airline blacklist.

Korean Air (Review) – the airline has had its share of CRM (Crew Resource Management) and my episode of flying through thunderstorms makes me wonder who was really in charge that night

Sriwijaya Air (Review) – both flights were fun but the airline did not make the impression that it cares much about safety (very subjective!) and the region has had it’s share of fatal disasters recently. Indonesia hasn’t done a great job at safeguarding their aviation industry and most carriers safety compliance is a real worry

– flying into the Nepal mountains with various carriers is something I would avoid at all costs. I have been to Nepal and it is magnificent but flying in those high mountain conditions is inherently dangerous and the operators are not equipped to do it safely

– I just flew Air Asia (Review) and feel the airline is safe enough but I can see the worries mounting in the close future – the fleet is aging, the tropical environment takes a heavier toll and the airline has trouble staying in positive territory given all that expansion

– many Maldivian airlines are on the list as unsafe- I feel this is often a weather issue – the pilots are just not well equipped for bad weather

What’s your personal blacklist? Have you ever turned around from a flight and decided against it while boarding?

About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]

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