I found this article, written by Tim Winship, on Smarter Travel.
I travel all the time and do multiple international flights per year, so when I saw the headline about the 20 best airlines in the world I had to check it out and see who made the top spots. Most international carriers do a completely average to below average job. Service is meh. Food is worse than meh. Comfort level in economy class is negligible. So when you board a flight on a really great international carrier you are aware of it on so many levels. And it is fantastic!
I was really excited to see my country’s airline making the top spot. If you ever get the opportunity you should take a flight on Air New Zealand. As far as flying experiences go, this airline just cannot be beaten. Of course I’m madly patriotic and super proud of Air New Zealand! They win so many awards every year, and its not hard to see why. But there are 19 more airlines on the list, so lets check them out:
The 20 Best Airlines In The World
Every year, Conde Nast Traveler gets a lot of mileage out of its Readers’ Choice Awards, slicing and dicing feedback from 300,000 travelers into a dizzying array of categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories. Not only is there a ranking of the best cities in the world, there’s also a list of the best small cities in the U.S. The world’s best hotels are named, sure. But also the top 10 hotels in Europe, and in Northern Asia, and in Eastern Mexico, and in Florence.
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Let’s go right to the top of the taxonomic pyramid and see what the publication’s readers had to say about airlines, and not just regional airlines based east of the Mississippi with name begins with ‘S.’ We’re interested in the best of the best, no qualifiers: The World’s Best Airlines.
According to the travel-savvy group that comprises Conde Nast’s survey base, the world’s 20 best are as follows:
- Air New Zealand
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Australia
- Virgin Atlantic
- Cathay Pacific
- Korean Air
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Turkish Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- EVA Air
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And in the Best U.S. Airline category, readers voted as follows:
- Virgin America
- Alaska Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Sun Country
There are no great surprises in the results of either ranking, although Singapore’s fall from its longtime perch atop the list is a reminder that airlines can’t rest on their laurels. The dominance of Asian and Middle Eastern carriers is the continuation of two established trends, the former of long standing, the latter more recent. If anything stood out from the results, it was the appearance on the World’s Best list of Aegean, the smallish Greek carrier. Among the domestic airlines, the only significant change was Southwest’s replacement in the fifth spot by Sun Country, the Minneapolis-based leisure carrier.
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