First of all, let’s make it clear: there are many-many different awards in the airline industry, given by different magazines, industry players and other organizations, so each year almost every airline could be holding the “Airline of the Year” award and it would be totally legally fair. So you should always read the notice at the bottom of the page in small letters about the giving organization/magazine, category, etc. (“CSA: the best Airline” – *by the World Airline Awards, in the Central-European Airline Category, “Malév: the best Airline” – *as voted by the readers of the travel magazine Global Traveler, in the Eastern/Central European Airline Category, etc., etc.)
So you should always look and read twice before you base your next flight decision purely on such an award. But it’s much easier and carries much less risk to look at different airline websites and see for yourself which one you like the most.
The Interactive Media Council Inc. (a non-profit organization of leading web designers, developers, programmers, advertisers and other web-related professionals) has established The Interactive Media Awards™ to recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development. The judges provided by the Council judged across five key criteria: Design, Content, Usability, Feature functionality and Cross Browser compatibility. Iberia.com scored 482 out of 500 possible. This means 96.4%, which is a very good result in itself. We don’t know how much the other participants have scored, but this is very impressive. This score entitled Iberia to take home the award in the Travel Airline Category. And as we should judge a website based on its main profile, it sounds fair that it was competing with other airline websites from all around the world and came out as winner! (and it’s not such a category as “best airline website in South-Western part of Europe that uses both the red and the yellow colors”…)
In case of an airline website you always have to mention the service provider, as the IT solution behind such a front-end is very complicated and the performance of a website (especially the booking engine, but other informational parts as well, such as schedule) is highly dependant on the service provider behind it! Iberia (as many other leading airlines and basically all airlines in the oneworld alliance of which Iberia is a member of) has teamed up and cooperated with Amadeus. Actually the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite – aka Planitgo (for internet solutions) is used by over 70 of the world’s leading airlines to power over 250 websites in more than 80 markets. So chances are good that you have already booked an airline ticket over the internet, using an Amadeus solution.
After a quick look at iberia.com I have found that you can only choose those countries, where Iberia operates a flight, but they do not offer an “International” or “Europe” version of their website, which is a common solution around the industry. Otherwise we have found it nice and easy to use at first glance. However, please note that we plan to conduct a review of some of the biggest airlines’ websites, so please add our blog to your RSS reader, to be among the first ones to read it!