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Don't you just love it when someone outside the industry comes in talking smack while questioning the validity of data?
Well, that's pretty much what Canada's national broadcaster did when they published a story earlier this week, calling out Air Canada being named Best Airline in North America at Skytrax' 2017 World Airline Awards.
The story entitled "Survey ranks Air Canada as top North American airline - is it true?" seemingly questions Air Canada's right to the title, given that a recent J.D. Power survey put Air Canada, and rival WestJet, near the bottom of the pack against their U.S. counterparts.
Now I don't know about you, but I'm much more inclined to believe the results of a poll from an organisation that specialises in an industry-as Skytrax does with airlines-than with an organisation that publishes studies on a wide variety of industries-from the automotive, financial and travel industries, to retail, telecom and sports-as J.D. Power does.
But that's just me.
And don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that J.D. Power rankings aren't legitimate or valid. But Skytrax is the gold standard when it comes to airline reviews and ratings, having introduced the World Airline Rating system in 1999.
Of course, there is the question of the quality of respondents vs. the quantity.
In the Skytrax poll, close to twenty million people cast their votes over a one year period, but anyone could fill out the survey, whether they've been on a plane or not. Still, that's a LOT of people.
Whereas with the J.D. Power survey, there were only 11,000 respondents, also over a one year period. But they must have flown on a major North American carrier in the past year. So who's right? Which data is more valid?
Does it matter?
We decided to ask a few industry executives, who know a thing or two about airlines and have clocked more than their share of hours on an airplane: Does Air Canada deserve the title of Best Airline in North America?
"We concur with the survey results that Air Canada mainline is the best in North America," said Brian Robertson, president, Vision Travel, Ontario-West. "Most other carriers are upgrading their inflight experience to get closer to Air Canada's."
Meanwhile, U.S. carriers like Allegiant, Sun Country, Hawaiian, Frontier, Spirit and even mighty United, didn't make the cut.
Regardless, polls are polls are polls. Some turn in our favor and some don't. You can please some people but you can't please others.
The important thing to remember is that every day, there are hard working airline employees at Air Canada and other airlines throughout Canada and around the world who deserve the accolades heaped upon their carrier when being recognized like this.
So instead of trying to knock down the results, CBC, how about we just accept them for what they are and let Air Canada bask in the glory?
What do you think? Is Air Canada deserving of the title Best Airline in North America? Comment below and let us know.
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