When man first took flight, all he ever dreamt of was flying; even if it was for just a minute. But once he mastered it, it was no longer enough to just fly, he wanted something more, something to amuse him while he was on the air. And that gave birth to the modern day passenger airlines. Today flying is no longer just a means of commuting; it has become a means of relaxing and spending leisure time. In fact, it has become so sophisticated, that one can safely say that his holidays begin the instant he sets foots on an airline. But still, just as we rank the luxury hotels and brand them a star rating; passenger airliners require special rankings too. You can’t expect every airline to provide the same level of service, in fact, some airlines hardly provide any. So let’s set out to see which airline ranks where. The ranking are based on a variety of factors such as: in-flight service, cabin comfort, customer service, value for money and mainly food. So out of the 76 global airlines, here is the top ten.
10. Thai international Airways
Surprisingly the Asians always seem to provide the best of inflight service, and a lot of the top ten are Asian Based airlines. The Thai international airways have always maintained their status as a top airline right from their inception. Though their service and inflight entertainment such as Audio Visual on Demand are impeccable, what really puts them on the ranks of the best airlines is the value for money you get from them. Right from instant you enter the flight you begin to sense a welcoming atmosphere that already sets you on a mood for the holidays. Since their service is limited to Asian and European countries, they miss out from scoring higher as their larger Asian counterparts. But as far as service is concerned, they deserve to be on the top ten.
9. Virgin Atlantic Airways
If you’re on the mood to party and really love to take your swag wherever you travel, then the Virgin Atlantic Airways is the right option for you. Honestly, I don’t think a there is another cheekier airline than the Virgin Atlantic. I think, what really puts them on the top ten is their innovation; they come up with all sorts of innovative stuff to keep you entertained all through your journey. But, that aside, they actually performed a bit low on the rankings last year compared to 2011. Probably they might require a total revamp of their inflight service and food menu, to put them back on the top spot.
8. Qatar Airways
It’s never really the complete package that sets the airline apart; most of the time it’s just something specific such as the food or hot air hostesses or good in-flight entertainment that puts the airline on the top ranks. But in the case of Qatar airways, it truly is the complete package that puts them on the top ranking passenger airlines. They were actually a bit low on the ranking a few years back, but they have constantly strived since then to make it to the top. Absolutely everything boasts their quality of service; right from the move to hiring a celebrity chef to cook in an Airline to installing a 32-inch seat pitch, they really are moving forward with an aim to serve.
7. Virgin America
The highest ranking American airline on our list is also one of the coolest airlines to travel in. Usually when people think of America, they think of their negligence towards the protection of the environment. But, the Virgin American airlines set out to prove a point; it’s one of the greenest airlines in the world which enables you to even offset your carbon footprint by giving back to the environment. Their trademark Red background touch screen system allows you to order in-flight food service and snacks whenever you feel like having something. Though they have ranked a bit low than the last year’s ratings, they continue to be on top in domestic flight operations in the United States.
6. Asiana Airlines
Though they have faced a lot of ups and downs in the ranking, the Asiana Airlines have always been formidable contenders for the top airline listings. Ranking 6th in 2010 to falling out of the top 10 in 2011, Asiana airlines have been thorough some serious troubles in terms of flight service. But they rolled up their sleeves, revamped their entire setting and fought back to the top ten position this year. There has been a radical change in the in-flight service and cabin settings, ensuring passengers the maximum comfort possible. And with the addition of suites to the first class travelling lounge, they have joined the ranks of the most luxurious airlines in the world.
5. Cathay Pacific Airlines
The airline came under a lot of criticism for its negligence in baggage handling and was voted out of the top ten for a while. But over the years, Cathay Pacific has constantly worked hard to get back to the top ranks. The Hong-Kong based Cathay was the first to place, on board rice cookers; this really boosted up their rankings in terms of food and they have always maintained a high stature when it comes to in-flight food service. But what really sets them apart is the cabin comfort; right from the seats in economy class, every seat features a 32-inch pitch, complete with power outlets and IPod chargers. And in terms of baggage handling – they improved a lot on that too.
4. Korean Air
Though their interiors look like a slightly modified version of the Singapore airlines cabin interior, the Korean Air has surely made a conscious decision to serve its customers with quality service, even if it means following page to page from the leading airliner. They did some major improvements to their inflight service and cabin comfort, which was always under fire from passengers. The best thing about Korean air is the food menu; really, it doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling in economy class or in a separate suite, you always have access to some of the most exotic Asian and Western food available. On the whole, Korean Air has really outperformed many other passenger liners.
The Emirates has never been an underdog in the Top airliner competition; from inception they were destined to be number one when it comes to providing the best flight experience. Though ranked third here in our listing, it doesn’t really mean third in quality. The top three is actually a kind of a gamble because almost all of them rank equally; Emirates had to step down because its Asian counterpart could provide more value at the same price. Otherwise, Emirates is just top notch in everything from food service, cabin comfort and forward thinking additional tidbits that make you feel like travelling on a flying six star hotel.
2. Air New Zealand
Though it might come as a surprise to a lot people as to why Air New Zealand deserves to be ranked higher than the seasoned veterans; if you really read between the lines, you will find out, Air New Zealand is perfect in every sense of the word. They have improved steadily on everything right from the selection of cuisines to be served inflight, to the cabin comfort of all passengers – right down to the economy class. In air New Zealand you can actually convert a 3 seat economy row in to a cuddle class, which serves as a bed during long flight. Also the value for money you get from the airline is much higher than its expensive counterparts. So no wonder, it deserved the second position in our ranking.
1. Singapore Airlines
They have maintained the top spot for 17 years now and still maintain the position with ease. The secret behind the top ranking of the Singapore Airlines is that they just don’t leave their inflight service, cabin interiors, and food to be perfect, but constantly upgrade them to a level beyond imagination. The main rank booster to the Singapore airlines is the in-flight service; with their iconic uniforms and above and beyond class service, they really set the standards when it comes to customer service. And with the first class suites loaded up with every imaginable tech on the planet, there are hardly any contenders for the top with the Singapore airlines.