Can anyone explain to me how Skytrax rating system works?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  PatJordan 13 Jun 2018
at 21:36

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  • Sam

    Can someone explain to me how skytrax rating system works? It’s a huge mystery to me. How can Royal Air Maroc with an average rating of 4 out of 10 be a 4 star airline while Aegean with a rating of 8 be a 3 star airline or even more surprising Etihad with a rating of 5 out of 10 be a 5 star airline!!!???


    The Star rating system is based on Skytrax’ audit of the airline/airport. The public rating is based on the input of passengers.
    It is widely believed/assumed that Skytrax’ own system of start rating is heavily influenced by the (commercial) relation they have with an airline. Skytrax is not very open about that.

    The public rating is influenced by the fact that typically the most and least satisfied customers write a review. So it’s a good indication on how often things go right or wrong at an airline, but can’t be relied upon to be an indication of the general quality of an airline.

    Keep in mind: any rating system has flaws.


    Edski777, certainly yes, “any rating system has flaws” (e.g. the possible problem of dummy postings). And I think there’s some truth in what you said – “typically the most and least satisfied customers write a review”. But I always read Skytrax, and Tripadvisor for hotels. And I’ve found both sites to reflect accurately my own experiences of the airline/ the hotel. (I realize I might be a bit naïve). I’ve found Tripadvisor to be particularly accurate, and useful.

    PS I am not connected with either website/ company!


    It’s a mystery to me as well. I recently flew a ‘five-star airline’ in Business and was really looking forward to the difference. What I found was that the lounge, bed and food were nowhere near as good as Virgin – a ‘four-star airline’.
    Equally confusing is how BA manage to achieve four stars.


    It’s all marketing, you’ll probably find 5 star carriers pay for the privilege.


    Opaque it is. What is clear is the filtering of the opinions the website is operating to make sure the stars awarded on very obscure grounds are “confirmed” by the reviews. But after a few miles up there, one know how irrelevant is this star system.


    Can anyone explain to me how skytrax rating system works?

    I can’t.

    It gives BA 4 stars, ’nuff said.


    I’ve just read online that Turkish Airlines has said it will no longer participate in the annual Skytrax audit. Kind of a surprise given that they won several awards last year and they promote their 4* ranking quite a lot.

    I don’t believe that Skytrax do a very good job of making their rankings transparent anyway, but I wonder if we see other airlines follow suit? Etihad did leave for a period of time – to then return and be given a five star rating which was coincidental…..or not.


    I have submitted reports to Skytrax in the past, don’t bother any more.

    Bad reports about their 4* and 5* airlines never appear.
    Good reports about their 1* 2* and 3* never appear.

    Even odder for an organisation whose business is based on international travel, I found they would come back and question reports on the basis of your IP location, for example having flown AMS-LIS, MAD-ZRH, and ZRH-CPT last week, then CPT-LHR this week, and you submit a report on the MAD-ZRH, they have come back and say the IP address from which the report was submitted doesn’t match the flight segments. Well, it wouldn’t ……. some of us get on aeroplanes and cross international borders, but that seems to take them by surprise.

    A very shady organisation.

    TripAdvisor has its flaws, but is a far more reliable guide and I find with a bit of sound judgement and using it for decision support, it rarely fails.



    Talking about TripAdvisor, they are now actively asking for flights’ reviews. So I won’t be surprised to see them coming up with a similar scheme once their process will be improved (inclusion of class of travel, aircraft type, …).


    From a purely personal point of view I find it a bit iffy as though they might have their favorites…

    Tom Otley

    A topic that has baffled many…

    For instance… our own rferguson from 2011….

    Is Skytrax selective in its reviews?

    and there are more…

    Skytrax and its relationships with airlines

    Awards and Accolades…Are they for real?

    The results are out!


    Is Skytrax selective in its reviews???

    I believe so; some years ago they told me that my reviews of Aer Lingus were too full of praise. And yet Skytrax themselves deemed Aer Lingus worthy of 4 stars. Additionally Skytrax only allows brief reviews, thus preventing reviewers of going into detail about meals, service which seems to me to defeat the purpose of using their forum.

    I rarely bother with Skytrax these days.

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