Which airline is the best today?

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  • shadowgun1102

    I wonder which airline is the best on the world, in terms of service, punctuality, and quality. Who can answer it for me?


    No one can as there is no single reply. It all depends on the class of travel, the passenger’s priority (hard product, alliance, FFP, price, hub, type of airplanes, other factors or a combination of these), and subjective perception.


    Agree with Swissdiver. Instead one can say which airlines are at the top tier.

    SQ and CX will definitely will be at the top. Next will come ANA, Korean, Qantas, Lufthansa, Swiss, Qatar and Emirates.

    There will be personal preference for each individual. But if one take all the passengers feedbacks and various awards and reconcile those, the above list will emerge.

    And no, no US airlines qualify, and neither do BA


    It’s an interesting concept question shadowgun1102, and not helped by Skytrax et al who publish ratings based on ambiguous and misleading performance indicators.

    As Swissdiver says there’s no one single answer, and sadly as we collectively accept lower service levels from the airlines , we tend to become more black and white in our opinions and loyalties to a particular airline.

    BAishing is rife on here, yet it’s by far not the worst of the big legacy giants, yet their race to the bottom (in order compete) is damaging their reputation and perception.

    But, if you’re casually chatting to me in the pub, and asking me for my advice, there would only be one answer……….Cathay Pacific !!!

    Ohh, and welcome to the forum !!


    I think there are so many variables in place. Which aircraft you get to fly on with which product. Which class? Whether it’s a long haul or short haul/domestic flight.

    I don’t think I have a single best airline. Although the one that ticks the most boxes for me is…..AA. I know I know. I’m crazy? I love their new seats, their new lounges and (generally) their crew who have a bit of personality and quirk. Food is simple yet generally very good quality. I find them to have good punctuality (longhaul) and proactive in sorting stuff out. When I landed in HNL a couple years ago and my bag hadn’t made the LAX transit there was an agent waiting for me at the aircraft door with a pre-paid credit card to tide me over until the following morning where I was told exactly what time my bag would arrive at my hotel.

    I like Qatar’s Business Class and it’s definitely one of my favourites. But I often find they just fall apart with pre or post flight customer service. And the crew can be very variable. I’ve never had an outwardly awful one but I just often get the impression they have a non genuine attitude.

    Love CX. I think they offer the best lounges of the asian carriers on the whole (why to airlines like Thai, Korean, Asiana, JAL have such lousy lounges?). Their onboard catering isn’t up to par of the other asian airlines however. I do like their crew, especially the older ones that hailed from ASEAN countries outside Hong Kong. Now they only recruit young HK locals and I don’t find them as warm or calm.

    I think Qantas are excellent, especially domestically. And they have superb F lounges.

    I just recently flew Philippine Airlines and they were amazing but there is such a product gap between their latest A350 and their older 777’s, plus their hub is awful.

    The best single flight I have ever had was business class on JAL NRT-SYD with the ‘apex suite’. The food was out of this world, the seat my favourite, the crew nice. But their lounges (even their F lounge in their home hub) wasn’t great and the return SYD-NRT flight which was subbed to a 777 with another configuration wasn’t up to scratch.


    I could divide the question into the best night (bedtime) flight and the best daytime (awake) flight.

    For me BA club is the best night time airline – any seat I can sleep on for 8 hours easily wins my vote. The fact the IFE is cr*p, food hit and miss and cabin crew variable, doesn’t bother me,, for a nightime flight BA wins hand down.

    Best day time airline (I would not want to be on a BA daytime flight for 11 hours).. I have to agree with Canucklad, CX business (mainly because I don’t fly with many others). Cabin crew are polite and respectful, cabins are generally quiet during day time, you don’t have to endure the loud chit chat of cabin crew there is a good choice of IFE and food generally quite good.

    Then you have best economy, best first… best PE..

    Best of all though, this thread could provide updates of the latest offerings…


    For sure it depends what you are looking for, or at.
    I am sure there are hidden treasures on routes or Airlines we maybe personally don’t access.

    Punctuality, KLM was 10th, 2nd in Europe, these show the 2018 overall results:

    Top 20 Airlines by OTP

    Rank Coverage Airline name Code OTP 2018
    1 98.9% Copa Airlines CM 89.79%
    2 84.9% airBaltic BT 89.17%
    3 96.7% Hong Kong Airlines HX 88.11%
    4 98.2% Hawaiian Airlines HA 87.52%
    5 98.4% Bangkok Airways PG 87.16%
    6 97.9% Qantas Airways QF 85.65%
    7 90.7% LATAM Airlines Group LA 85.60%
    8 99.0% Azul AD 85.21%
    9 90.8% Qatar Airways QR 85.17%
    10 99.1% KLM KL 84.52%
    11 89.6% All Nippon Airways NH 84.43%
    12 94.4% Jetstar Asia 3K 84.13%
    13 97.6% Japan Airlines JL 83.99%
    14 97.0% Air Astana KC 83.52%
    15 99.2% Singapore Airlines SQ 83.46%
    16 99.5% Delta Air Lines DL 83.08%
    17 82.0% Iberia IB 83.04%
    18 98.9% Solaseed 6J 82.90%
    19 82.8% Mango JE 82.88%
    20 99.4% Alitalia AZ 82.87%

    For me, much depends on the Aircraft type. KLM is a great Airline with great crew, but i do not feel they are up with the others in terms of World Business Class, unless you fly the Dreamliner 789 Aircraft (-10’s coming in June). The new KLM Intercontinental Lounge in Amsterdam, is one of the best i have seen Worldwide. Unique, modern, artful, spacious in design. For me the Pre flight experience (or transit) is important for long haul travel.

    Same with many Airlines, the newest Aircraft A350’s, Dreamliners, or A380’s, more comfortable, up to date designs for cabin classes and Aircraft environment etc.
    It surely depends what an Airlines does with an Aircraft
    Generally the A380 feels more spacious on any Airline in terms of being able to mobilise, with “places to go”, though these will clearly not increase in the years to come.


    Hi Marcus
    Punctuality is definitely not one of the factors that I’d use to measure the best.
    Potentially where KLM would have scored higher is reliability rather than timekeeping.

    Back in the day , BMI always got me home, BA would have happily stranded me [email protected] LHR. Thus BA would have ranked higher than BD.

    Always weary of percentages when used to measure success…Whats the old adage…..” Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics”

    To the BT team, when I first tried to reply I was getting a message that read “stop correcting Marcus” …very odd

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    For me BA club is the best night time airline – any seat I can sleep on for 8 hours easily wins my vote. The fact the IFE is cr*p, food hit and miss and cabin crew variable, doesn’t bother me,, for a nightime flight BA wins hand down.

    This mirrors my own experience; all of it. And the new White Company bedding has made sleeping even easier/better/deeper. Overall, other airlines’ J class products (especially Qatar, but also Finnair and Iberia) – can’t really speak for others – are better than BA’s CW, but somehow I’ve never got the same decent kip.


    Easy answer – SQ.

    Next question?



    I wonder which airline is the best on the world, in terms of service, punctuality, and quality. Who can answer it for me?

    TBH it’s an impossible question to answer unless you were to provide more information like:

    * Where are you based ?
    * Do you fly Y or YP or J or F ?
    * Do you belong to an FFP
    * Which routes do you normally fly ?
    * Are you influenced by price ?
    * Would you take an indirect or direct/non-stop flight ?

    For example in the posting above RaveAroundTheWorld refers to SQ. But there are many destinations not served directly by SQ.


    For me, the following based on having flown all of them in either business or first class many times over the last 20 years:
    1. Singapore Airlines
    2. Virgin Atlantic
    3. Qantas
    4. Air New Zealand
    5. Cathay Pacific

    Consistently great service,with excellent lounges.


    I’m glad someone finally mentioned Virgin Atlantic. Their lounges are excellent, particularly in the US where lounges are usually rubbish – and that includes the BA lounges. I like the flip-over seat and mattress cover – assuming the seats are still like this in Upper Class. I like the sleeper suits. I like the on-board bar. The crew always seem friendly and helpful.

    The only reason why I don’t fly them is because I need BA points/status to support my inter-Europe flights with BA.

    Virgin doesn’t seem to be mentioned much on BT. I wonder if people here don’t think of Virgin as a Business airline, but something more fun for leisure travel?


    Virgin doesn’t seem to be mentioned much on BT. I wonder if people here don’t think of Virgin as a Business airline, but something more fun for leisure travel?

    Plenty of mentions. Some recent ones both of which proved popular with readers:

    Air France/KLM 31 per cent Virgin Atlantic stake approved

    Virgin Atlantic to launch Tel Aviv service


    In my personal opinion, in order to rank an Airline, there are many factors to bear in mind.
    Some of them could be:

    Safety record
    On-time performance
    Ground assistance
    Ground personnel
    Airport Lounges
    In-flight experience
    Onboard Crew
    Inflight meal quality
    Aircraft’s age
    Airliner types
    Aircraft’s comfort
    Aircraft’s connectivity
    Aircraft’s cleanness
    Aircraft’s restrooms
    Airline’s support to handicapped passengers
    Airline Network
    Main airport hubs
    Frequent flyer program
    Airline Alliance
    Airline website and APP
    Customer’s service…

    Of course, there are many more items that could be added to this list
    And then, of course, your personal airline of choice, the Airline that you feel comfortable flying with, or the one that has a special place in your heart

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