In a data-driven world, it is increasingly possible to divine which airlines are worth flying

Our most important criteria might differ (cheapest, most reliable, best entertainment) but it is difficult not to develop some loyalty and play favorites with airlines when you travel.

At the same time, the airline industry is incredibly cutthroat and political, which makes for a playing field where the players are always changing along with a slew of new baggage rules, restrictions or seat offerings. It’s enough to drive you mad!

And many companies, from aviation safety concerns to travel review sites, all crunch the numbers on a yearly basis to provide us with a list of top performers. As with all competitions and lists many factors may determine each particular ranking order.

We find the best thing to do is to have an overview of all the top ones to get a birds-eye view of the lay of the land.

The List based on Performance

One of the top annual Airline Excellence Awards, courtesy of was recently released with great excitement.

In 2019, Singapore Airlines has toppled Air New Zealand from the top spot for the first time in five years.

A dozen key factors, including operational safety, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, fleet age, product offerings such as premium economy on long-haul flights and seating options in other classes were all considered.

Airlines with new offerings may catch the limelight as Qatar Airways did this year with the changes to its food and innovative QSuites (Winner of Best Business Class). Singapore boasted a dramatic fleet revitalization including the latest in business class seats, first class suites (Also the Best First Class Suite winner) and major new long-haul routes.

To see a complete list of airline rankings click here.

The top 10 according to

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Qantas Airways
  4. Qatar Airways
  5. Virgin Australia
  6. Emirates Airline
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. EVA Air
  9. Cathay Pacific Airways
  10. Japan Airlines

It is interesting to note that European and American airlines are nowhere to be found. The massive growth in the aviation world of the Asian-Pacific region might be to blame for the skewed rankings.

Air New Zealand has the Best Premium Economy seats, Korean Air the Best Economy, Virgin Australia took the Best Cabin Crew Gong and Qantas won Best Lounges.

In-flight Entertainment remains best on Emirates.

The Lists based on Passenger Choice

Condé Nast Traveler

The popular Reader’s Choice results have given top billing to Singapore Airlines for 29 of the last 30 years and it grabbed the top spot again in 2019.

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Qatar Airways
  4. Air New Zealand
  5. Aegean Airlines
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. Korean Air
  8. Virgin Atlantic
  9. Cathay Pacific
  10. Lufthansa
  11. Turkish Airlines
  12. EVA Air
  13. Swiss
  14. Qantas
  15. KLM
  16. SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  17. Air France
  18. Aer Lingus
  19. British Airways
  20. Icelandair

Travel + Leisure

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates Airlines
  3. Qatar Airways
  4. Japan Airlines
  5. Air New Zealand
  6. Cathay Pacific Airways
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Virgin Atlantic
  9. Etihad Airways
  10. Eva Air


  1. Singapore
  2. Qatar
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Emirates
  5. Eva
  6. Cathay
  7. Lufthansa
  8. Hainan
  9. Garuda Indonesia
  10. Thai Airways


Tripadvisor agrees with the giving their top spot to Singapore Airlines tops their list based on customer review quality and quantity for the second year running.

The First Class was won by Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways(second overall) won the Business Class, Air New Zealand took Premium Economy and Singapore Airlines also won Economy.

~ The eDreams list is based on 70,000 reviews and top billing goes to Turkish Airlines.

If Cost and Points and Miles Matter

The Points Guy

This list ranks the best to worst airline in America. They base ranking on timeliness, comfort, cabin features, cancellation statistics, route network, lost baggage, airport lounges, bumped passengers, ticket value, fees, customer satisfaction, and the quality of the frequent flyer program.

Delta is number one, with 92.7 percent of flights arriving on time and only 32 passengers out of 136 million suffering being bumped. This achievement is followed by Alaska and Southwest.

TPG’s full ranking from best to worst:

Delta Airlines
Alaska Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines
American Airlines
JetBlue Airways
Allegiant Air
Spirit Airlines
Frontier Airlines


  1. Alaska Airlines is the best domestic airline due to its high customer service rating and incredibly popular loyalty program.
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. Delta Airlines
  4. Spirit Airlines
  5. American Airlines
  6. United Airlines
  7. JetBlue Airways
  8. Frontier Airlines
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