Air Travel

The Airline Ratings Awards names the top 10 airlines in the world

If you’re a traveler, then your regular choice of airline can either turn your trips into a postcard dream…or a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-like nightmare.

The Airline Ratings Awards names the top 10 airlines in the world

The problem is that if you read just about any airline’s reviews, they’ll be riddled with disgruntled and angry passengers, whether those complaints are valid in real life or they’re just extremely finicky and, shall we say, spoiled. So, how are you to know which airlines are desirable to fly and which are best avoided?

The good news is that we have watchdog websites, services, and travel media that keep tabs on the airlines all over the world.

One such service is AirlineRatings dotcom, which just released their rankings for the top-ranked global passenger commercial airlines for 2018.

According to AirlineRatings, as published and endorsed by CNN Travel, here are the world’s top airlines in 2018:

Coming from the nation where Lord of the Rings was filmed, New Zealand’s national airline won top honors for 2018 out of all airlines in the world. Being top dog is nothing new for Air New Zealand, as they’ve actually won the Airline Excellence Award five years in a row! In fact, there wasn’t a category that the judges didn’t award Air New Zealand first or tied for first.

It doesn’t get better than that, so book a ticket and fly with Air New Zealand whenever possible if you want a smooth, safe, on-time, and comfortable journey.

Before we go on, I should clarify what criteria these airlines are being judged on. The Airline Excellence Awards look at four major governmental and international industry safety audits, as safety records are paramount.

From there, the judges look at the age of the specific airline’s fleet, a conglomerate of their reviews from passengers, their rating with investors, their airline’s profitability record, and which features, services, and products they offer. Likewise, they give special credence to air carriers that try to revolutionize, innovate, and reinvent what they do.

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

In specific categories, the trophy for Best Business Class went to Virgin Australia; the winner for the second year in a row.

Best Premium Economy went to the overall winner, Air New Zealand.

But, for the majority of us humble and budget passengers who have to fly Economy, the award for Best Economy went to Korean Air, which is number eight on the list overall and highly lauded for their extra wide and spacious Economy seats.

The Australian airline Quantas, which won number two overall, won three overall categories: Best Lounges, Best Catering, and Best Domestic Class.

Known for their luxurious five-star treatment, Singapore Airlines won the award for Best First Class.

But, even if you’re not a millionaire jet-setting around the world (or on the company’s dime as you travel), there are plenty of amazing airlines on the list that can be considered affordable if you find the right deals.

For instance, I’ve flown Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Virgin, and Japan Airlines and paid a very reasonable rate but thoroughly enjoyed their award-winning service.

I hope this list helps you make a decision the next time you’re booking a flight and want the best!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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