PAL Wins 5-Star major airline rating

Published December 21, 2020, 9:46 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

In the midst of the pandemic and the worst period in the history of aviation, flagship carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) achieved the first five-star rating it has been working on for years.

The US-based Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), a global non-profit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations, gave PAL a 5-star major airline rating for 2021.

The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ stands as the only airline rating program based solely on independently verified passenger feedback.

Using a five-star scale, airline customers rate approximately one million flights across over 600 airlines worldwide. APEX then verifies, validates, and independently certifies the customer data via a professional third-party auditing company.

“This marks the first ever 5-star rating for Philippine Airlines,” announced APEX’s chief executive officer Dr. Joe Leader.

PAL’s new cabin products and aircraft, such as the Airbus A350-900 and A321neo, helped the airline elevate the overall passenger’s experience, resulting in a 5-star airline rating.

PAL’s “buong pusong alaga” (whole-hearted care) and the typical Filipino hospitality on-board flights also helped serve this achievement.

Only a single-digit percentage of over 600 rated airlines worldwide receive the APEX Four Star Airline award based on customer votes that require the vast majority of all of their ratings to be four-and-five star.

Another single-digit percent of rated airlines worldwide reaches the highest threshold: APEX Five Star Airline.

Only verified five-star ratings from passengers help airlines reach this highest level requiring the vast majority of their independently verified customer ratings to be five-star.

For example, APEX requires four times the number of five-star votes to counteract a single one-star vote.

This provides tremendous power to customers when they are disappointed by their customer experience as airlines rely upon feedback to further improve their in-flight product and airline service.

The threshold required for 2021 APEX Five Star Airline status went up this year, but many airlines rose to the challenge despite COVID-19.

This year’s honorees spanned across several continents. Nearly 30 global airlines, 14 major and a single regional airline reached APEX Five Star status as determined by their passenger ratings.

A total of 3 global airlines, 5 major airlines, and a single regional airline reached APEX Four Star status.

Additionally, six low cost carriers reached their highest attainable award globally with APEX Four Star status.

“APEX designed the Official Airline Ratings™ to capture the voice of customers’ votes worldwide. Our 2021 recognized airlines demonstrate exemplary dedication and innovation to advancing the passenger experience even in these unprecedented COVID-19 times,” Leader underscored.

“As an industry, our highest priority remains the global return of air travel centered upon health safety for our customers.”

The APEX 2021 Official Airline Ratings™ were awarded this December 9 during FTE APEX Virtual Expo, air transport’s first major digital tradeshow.