Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Too often, the airlines that win awards tend always to be the same.
Yes, Singapore Airlines is very good. Qatar, too.
Virgin America was loved by many before being gobbled by Alaska.
However, the recently-announced Passenger Choice Awards offered at least one winner that will surely make you want to bring your seat into the upright position.
The awards are run by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and they "recognize airlines for excellence in seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and WiFi."
In the North America region, Virgin America, may it rest in the sky, won for seat comfort and entertainment.
Southwest carried off the prize for cabin service, JetBlue for WiFi and Alaska for food and beverage.
As for the best Global Airline, naturally it was United.
I'm so sorry, that was entirely my mistake. The winner was Delta.
This was all largely predictable.
Waft over to Europe, however, and you may collapse in stupor.
Yes, Virgin Atlantic won for best cabin service and food and beverage.
I apologize, I've been teasing you. I'll give you 30 seconds to imagine which European airline was voted not only best for seat comfort, but best overall Global Airline.
(Comes back from getting a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.)
No, not KLM, Air France or even British Airways.
It was Aeroflot Russian Airlines.
I feel sure there are those for whom flying Aeroflot isn't on their bucket list.
I suspect many might imagine the Russian airline flies buckets with wheels.
Yet here it is scooping not merely an award for comfort, but for global excellence.
I turned to Google to see what people search about Aeroflot there.
The first search question I see is: "Is it safe to fly Aeroflot?"
The second is: "Does Aeroflot have seats, as well as benches?"
Forgive me, I may have made that last one up.
Still, when I look at reviews for the airline, I see surprise, praise for the entertainment, yet objections to, oh, the narrow seats and overly expensive WiFi.
A peek at AirlineRatings.com offers a mere 4.3 out of 10.
Sample AirlineRatings review 1:
Surprised! Very positive experience. Departure and arrival on time!!! and that during a busy summer holiday period. Very clear fleet, Friendly flight crew. Special attention for kids, even if they are already teens. Excellent meal served even in economy class, and that for a flight of only 1 hour!
Sample AirlineRatings review 2:
Most horrible airline ever! I have flown several times with aeroflot because KLM works with them and they are the worst! Flight canceled or delayed 2 hours before. Even when i had a transfer in SVO they canceled my connecting flight to VOZ without warning or saying anything. I waited at the gate and only there i found out it was delayed for 8 hours!! And what i get for compansation [sic]? Nothing!!!
I fear, then, that one or two of more skeptical bent will sniff that the airline's success in the Passenger Choice Awards must be down to a little nefarious Russian interference, be it via computers, hotel room videos or the rumble of approaching rubles.
I cannot confirm that -- after this remarkable win -- the president has chosen to fly Aeroflot, rather than Air Force One, to his upcoming summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.