My recent post on U.S. airlines’ sorry consumer ratings led Robert, one of this blog’s faithful readers, to make a broader comment about America’s standing in the world today compared to years past. Here, in part, is what he wrote:
“… people are more or less brainwashed to think that the USA is #1 in everything. I think some people in the USA (the smarter ones) are now slowing waking up to discover that the rest of the world has really moved on since the early 80s — and at a very past pace … Where the USA was clearly leading the world in the 50s and 60s, the last 30 years are very, very different in that respect. An interesting topic [for your blog]?”
Robert is a true citizen of the world. He lives in the Far East currently, but his business activities have had him a resident in the U.S. and in Europe also. He’s brought up an interesting, perhaps controversial point to ponder.
Agree? Disagree? Somewhere in between? Feel free to contribute your own thoughts by posting your comment below!
2 thoughts on “Robert lays down the gauntlet. Would anyone care to pick it up?”
Phil, I agree with Robert 110 percent, and would add that, to their detriment, many Americans continue to shrug off the opinions of other countries or cultures, thinking merely that they have nothing to do with “our world.”
My guess is those people have never read Friedman’s “The World is Flat” and rarely pick up the Economist or Newsweek.
The world continues to outpace an America falling victim to political infighting and one bad idea after another.
Baltimore at one point in its history blanketed the city with benches inscribed with the words: “The Greatest City in America.” Seeing them now, covering decrepit parts of that city, the words are more a punchline than an inspiration. My hope is that America’s slogan “The Greatest Country in the World” doesn’t become the same.
I too live in the Far East and have traveled on dozens of airlines everywhere in the world (except Antarctica).
In the U.S., the only airline that comes even remotely close to matching global standards, at least in the low-cost category, is JetBlue. Southwest is on par with some of the lower-end Asian low-cost airlines like Thai Air Asia.
Although I personally think British Airways has sunk to U.S. standard among the “bigs”, I definitely concur with the assessment that the U.S. is in next-to-last place overall when it comes to airline service quality (last place would be reserved for unknown African airlines where you buy a chance instead of a ticket). My personal favourite is Thai, but virtually every Asian airline (Singapore, Malaysian, ANA tec.) sets world-class standards and even domestic flights on Chinese airlines (Shenzhen, Shandong, China Southern, Air China; but not China Eastern) consistently exceed the service levels I find on U.S. domestic flights.