10 Top Airlines to Consider Flying With This Year!
What is it like to take to the skies with one of the world’s top airlines this year? Since 1999, United Kingdom based airline rating consultancy Skytrax (formerly known as Inflight Research Services) has been asking people like you to evaluate airlines and awarding them accordingly based on a list of categories and criteria. What does this mean for the prospective traveller? It gives us great insight into the world of cutting edge air travel, and motivates airlines to compete to provide their customers with the best service they can give!
What makes an airline great?
So what exactly makes an airline a top airline? In order to make Airline of the Year, a lot of important factors go into consideration, and these factors all have one thing in common: Your satisfaction! A smooth and easy flying experience (and we’re not talking turbulence!) makes all the difference in a busy passenger’s flight, and top airlines recognize this.
Every year, passengers from around the globe participate in the world’s largest annual airline passenger satisfaction survey in order to decide the much anticipated top airline award winners. The World Airline Awards, also widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards, are hailed as a global paradigm for airline excellence.
The following criteria are taken into consideration when evaluating the world’s top airlines; first, let’s first start with our feet on solid ground:
PRE-FLIGHT / AIRPORT
The passenger’s pleasant experience with the airline begins before they even take to the air, of course! This includes the customer’s opinion of the airline website’s ease of navigation and helpfulness, the breeziness of a hassle-free check-in, even the lounge facilities. After the flight touches down at the passenger’s final destination, their experience with the airline doesn’t end there – it extends to the baggage claim where their possessions are to be safely delivered to them. Every part of the pre and post flight experience matters to the world’s top airlines:
- Pre-boarding Procedures
- Boarding Procedures
- Friendliness of the Ground staff
- Efficiency of the Ground Staff
- Airline Lounge Product facilities
- Airline Lounge Staff Service standards
- Transfer Services
- Arrival Services
- Baggage Delivery
- Airline Web Site
- Online Booking
- Online Check-in
- Self Check-in
- Airport Ticket Counters
- Waiting Times at Check-in
- Quality of Check-in service
What makes all the difference on that long cross-country flight or transatlantic haul? Maybe it’s a comfortable seat, a decent menu, or a clean restroom. For many of us, it’s a complimentary glass of Cabernet Sauvignon! No matter the destination or duration of your flight, the world’s top airlines strive to make your flight a positive experience. These criteria include:
- Meal Choices
- Cabin Seat Comfort
- Cabin Cleanliness
- Toilet Cleanliness
- Reading Materials
- Airline Magazine
- Cabin Lighting / Ambience
- Cabin Temperatures
- Cabin Comfort amenities
- Audio / Movie programming
- AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) Options
- Quality of Meals
- Quantity of Food
- Selection of Drinks / Pay Bar
ONBOARD: STAFF SERVICE
Last but not least, where would a top airline be without top notch staff and terrific customer care? The following criteria are considered when awarding the Airline of the Year:
- Friendliness of Staff
- Consistency of Service
- Assistance during Boarding
- Problem solving Skills
- Staff Attitudes
- Staff Grooming
- Service Attentiveness / Efficiency
- Staff Language skills
- Meal service efficiency
- Cabin presence thru Flight
- PA announcements
- Assisting families
2015’s Top Airlines
The votes are in! The top airlines have been chosen, and the top ten winners of 2015’s World Airline Awards are…
10. Qantas, Australia
Previous World Airline Award rank: 11
What makes Qantas one of the world’s top airlines: Even though Qantas struggled through some serious financial misfortunes, the airline faced those challenges head-on and their quality of service never wavered. Qantas was praised for having dedicated customer service and terrific inflight entertainment.
In the spirit of reconciliation, Qantas has been committed to building relationships for positive change between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The airline screens Indigenous programs on Inflight entertainment (IFE) to mark special events on the Indigenous calendar as well as throughout the year as part of the airlines mainstream programming. In July 2015, Qantas was awarded an Elevate status for their fourth version of the Reconciliation Action Plan which is the highest level of endorsement by Reconciliation Australia.
9. EVA Air, Taiwan
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 12
What makes EVA Air one of the world’s top airlines: Founded in 1989, as an off-shoot of container shipping corporation Evergreen Group, Taiwan’s EVA Air expanded impressively over the past two decades into the incredible airline they are today, taking the prize for the World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness. EVA Air now boasts a large fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body jets, and is acknowledged as the pioneer of the “premium economy” cabin.
8. Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 7
What makes Garuda Indonesia one of the world’s top airlines: As of March, 2015, Garuda Indonesia became a member of the Skyteam Airline Alliance. Named after the holy bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhism, this top airline bounced back from from its hectic late 2000’s setbacks with a complete overhaul of their image, not to mention their entire fleet!
Nearly doubling their fleet in size and thoroughly revamping their image, Garuda Indonesia worked tremendously hard at improving their quality of service, satisfying safety regulators and winning back the trust of its prospective passengers. Things are only getting better for Garuda Indonesia; they’re praised for their comfortable seating and variety of southeast Asian cuisine.
7. All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 6
What makes All Nippon Airways one of the world’s top airlines: All Nippon Airways is Japan’s largest international carrier, and proudly boasts one of the world’s largest fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. All Nippon Airways garnered recognition from passengers surveyed across the board, scoring near perfect ranks for safety, cleanliness, and top notch service. With power and USB outlets in economy seating, and forward sliding reclining seats designed to maximize comfort and privacy, it’s no wonder the impressive All Nippon Airways rates one of the top airlines in the world.
Unique and private cabin layout, electronic window dimmers and lots of personal storage space are just some of the perks of travelling with All Nippon Airways. This airline provides its passengers with authentic Japanese cuisine and a wine and sake menu.
6. Etihad Airways, United Arab Emirates
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 9
What makes Etihad Airways one of the world’s top airlines: In just over ten years, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (the Arabic word for “union”) has established itself as the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s top airlines. Founded in 2003, Etihad Airways offers an Airbus and Boeing fleet reaching over ninety destinations around the globe. Some features you can enjoy while flying Etihad Airways include noise-reduction headphones and cabin mood lighting, which is adjusted to keep passengers rested and comfortable.
5. Emirates, United Arab Emirates
Previous World Airline Award Rank:4
What makes Emirates one of the world’s top airlines: Since being founded in 1985, Dubai’s Emirates has refined itself into one of the world’s premier long-haul carriers. Conducting flights almost exclusively through its luxuriously splendid hub at Dubai International Airport, Emirates features the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777 wide-body jets and Airbus A380 superjumbos.
Emirates’ leading edge in-flight entertainment system has won its passengers over with a variety of music and video on demand entertainment options, and garnered a reputation for having brought home Skytrax’s Best In Flight Entertainment award for the past ten years. With more than six hundred channels of premium entertainment, the latest and best movies, television shows, music and games from around the world, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the world’s top airlines!
4. Turkish Airlines, Turkey
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 5
What makes Turkish Airlines one of the world’s top airlines: Turkish Airlines was established in the 1930s, and offers record breaking flight availability to over two hundred cities around the world in over one hundred different countries. With its hub nestled comfortably in the increasingly popular travel destination of Istanbul, Turkey, it’s no wonder Turkish Airlines has grown to be one of the world’s top airlines.
Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, and has been awarded the Skytrax award for Best Airline in Europe five years running!
3. Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 1
What makes Turkish Airlines one of the world’s top airlines: Having previously held the number one spot on the list, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways goes on to take the prize for Skytrax’s Best Transpacific Airline. This top airline was ranked high in quality of service, as well as comfortable seating and excellent in flight entertainment.
Boasting an impressive fleet of long-range Boeing 777-300ER jets and a business strategy based on offering its passengers a high frequency of flights, Cathay Pacific Airways has earned its solid reputation of having one of the finest flying experience in Asia.
2. Singapore Airlines, Singapore
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 3
What makes Turkish Airlines one of the world’s top airlines: Singapore is known for it’s exceptional service, and it’s the main reason Singapore Airlines ranks second place in the top airlines in the world. Singapore’s flight attendants are put through scrupulous training programs to learn how to treat customers with extreme care and respect. Personal screens and hot towels served before take-off are economy perks that passengers can expect while flying with Singapore Airlines.
This award winning airline calls Changi International Airport its home base, and is heralded as one of the finest airports on the globe. It has been awarded with Skytrax’s Best Airport In The World for three years in a row.
2. Qatar Airways, Qatar
Previous World Airline Award Rank: 2
What makes Qatar Airways one of the world’s top airlines: Qatar Airways is no stranger to the spotlight! Having previously been awarded the number one spot on this list in 2011 and 2012, this is the third time Qatar has stolen the show for Best Airline of 2015.
Expanding Qatar’s world-class service to include direct flights to Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas, as well as expanding its roster to include fifty new destinations, this top airline boasts over one hundred twenty five destinations around the world. The Doha-based airline was praised by reviewers for its comfortable seating and in-flight entertainment. Qatar Airways also took home the prize for Best Business Class Seats. Even the economy class guests get to enjoy simple pleasures such as smartphone and tablet connectivity to their personal screens. There’s no doubt about it, Qatar Airways knows how it’s done!
There you have it!
You’ve learned how the world’s top airlines are chosen, and what makes these airlines the best the world has to offer. Now that you’re a regular airline connoisseur, which airline will you be flying with?
For more ways to prepare your vacation, visit the Travel Planning category.