Choosing One of the Best Airlines in the World

Whether you’re setting off on a weekend abroad or just boarding a plane for a routine business trip, most people would prefer to fly on the world’s best airlines.

We envision more comfortable seating arrangements and perks that will make our trip seem luxurious, even while we travel. If you’re in the planning stages, do you know which airlines of the world rate the highest?

Most people want to travel in style, and locating the best airlines in the world is only one small part of that. The top airline companies offer above and beyond the basics that many consumers have come to expect from standard airfare.

Best Airlines In The World

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Airlines in the World

The best international airlines expand their imaginations to offer guests an experience like no other. From fine wines offered by sommeliers to private lounges and suites, the top airlines in the world understand what it means to travel with high-class sophistication.

To help you take a step toward elegance with your next trip, AdvisoryHQ spent some time uncovering world airlines that will warrant a second consideration. The best airline companies we included on our ranking will have you wishing you made the decision to travel with style a long time ago.

What sets these best international airlines apart from the rest of the crowd? Find out in the detailed breakdown for each of the top airlines in the world below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best International Airlines

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the international airlines below to go directly to the detailed review section for that airline company):

Top 6 Best International Airlines | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Top Airlines in the World

Based in

Known for

Air New ZealandNew ZealandPremium Economy class
Cathay Pacific AirwaysHong KongAsian travel
EmiratesDubaiInflight entertainment
Qatar AirwaysDoha, QatarSeat comfort
Singapore AirlinesSingapore, ChinaCabin staff
Virgin Atlantic AirwaysLondon, EnglandCabin staff

Table: Top 6 Best Airlines in the World | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Do Consumers Look for in the Top Airlines in the World?

When it comes to finding a flight, most people can agree that price tends to be the determining factor for which airline they choose. In fact, according to a recent survey put on by Consumer Traveler and Elliott.org, 77% of all consumers look at the price tag first.

This can lead to subpar quality and experiences that leave you feeling embittered toward air travel in general.

What key features ranked behind price when it came to ranking the world’s best airlines?

  • Scheduling
  • Non-stop flights
  • Luggage charges and associated fees
  • Frequent flier benefits
  • Extra legroom

International airlines that are striving to become the world’s best airlines frequently take all of these items into consideration and then some.

Best International Airlines

Image Source: Pexels

World airlines are becoming more aware of small features that are significant to their passengers as well. Many of the best rated airlines will offer upgrades such as wider seats or a greater seat pitch for increased comfort, especially on long-haul flights.

For consumers who are seated in business class, the flight crews are aware that there is likely work to be done. Top airline companies incorporate convenience into each seat, with power cords and adjustable lighting that coordinate with large work spaces. The best international airlines are not only comfortable but functional.

Don’t underestimate the importance of dining either. Many of the top airlines in the world now have consultant chefs to design their first-class meals and sommeliers to assemble a collection of the finest wines.

Consumers need to take a look at the overall picture of what the best international airlines can offer them on any given flight.

Now more than ever, the best airline companies are coming up with creative ways to keep passengers loyal to their flights. In the end, the passengers are benefitting from this expansion with a more comfortable and enjoyable experience overall.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best International Airlines

Below, please find the detailed review of each airline on our list of best airlines in the world. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best rated airlines to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Air New Zealand Review

In 2016 alone, Air New Zealand scored a lengthy list of awards, including Airline of the Year and World’s Best Premium Economy Class. At least twelve new awards adorn the walls of Air New Zealand, demonstrating their status as one of the best international airlines.

Air New Zealand provides plenty of options for passengers at fair rates that qualify it as one of the best airlines in the world. Domestic flights provide you with the option for just a seat, a seat and a bag, or flexible timing to move your flight to earlier or later within the same day.

While you’re on the plane, you can enjoy meals and snacks prepared and planned by their consultant chef. They will be perfectly complemented by the fine wines selected by the four wine consultants on staff.

Most noted for their premium economy tickets, Air New Zealand shines in this often-neglected area. They qualified as one of the best international airlines for premium economy due to the following features:

  • Two priority checked bags and two carry-on bags
  • Luxury leather seat with personal space
  • Modern cuisine from the premium economy menu
  • Access to inflight movies, TV, music, and games from gate to gate

The Business PremierTM flight will give you even more luxury, with the ability to convert your leather armchair into a lie-flat bed. You may check in additional bags and enjoy a meal designed by their consultant chef.

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Cathay Pacific Airways Review

One of the top airlines in the world, Cathay Pacific Airways is based in Hong Kong and offers some of the best flights anywhere. They currently service over 150 destinations across 42 countries. If you’re considering flights to many of the popular overseas destinations (including Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Hyderabad), Cathay Pacific can likely take you there.

When you use their best airlines in the world, Cathay Pacific Airways also offers a rewards program when you sign up for a free registered account. Their Asia Miles program allows you to earn additional rewards according to your spending on anything from travel arrangements to hotel stays.

Members who join the Marco Polo Club can gain access to significant perks that make flying with the best airline companies more enjoyable. Benefits include priority boarding, extra baggage allowances, and premium lounge access.

According to reviews from Skytrax, consumers are impressed by the seat comfort, service quality, and inflight entertainment. The reviews of these top airlines in the world are ranked on their:

  • Food and beverages
  • Inflight entertainment
  • Seat comfort
  • Staff service
  • Value for the money

Across the board, Cathay Pacific Airlines scored an even four stars out five from more than 800 reviews. They offer viewing TVs that were very highly rated among consumers who flew with this best airline company, as well as moderate amounts of legroom, seat width, and aisle space.

Emirates Review

Emirates holds a long-running history as a contender for the best airline in the world. Their best rated airlines have received recognition time and again for their premium inflight entertainment that keeps consumers occupied during their long-haul flights.

Based in Dubai, the Emirates best airline company has grown to be well-recognized as one of the “world’s premier long-haul carriers,” according to reviews from Business Insider. They have included some of the most interesting features to make a flight with this best international airline an unforgettable experience:

  • Eco-friendly blankets recycled from plastic bottles
  • Free Wi-Fi and in-seat power
  • Dishes inspired by the region, even in economy class
  • Special meals, toys, and channels for children
  • Over 2,500 channels on their award-winning ice entertainment systems

The best airline companies tend to have fleets of specific types of aircrafts. In the case of Emirates, they prefer the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircrafts, most of which are equipped with their high-class entertainment systems.

Their entertainment system, ice, has won the Skytrax award for World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment for the past eleven years and counting. More than 18 million consumers participate in voting for these awards, and they reach more than 160 countries.

When compared to other airlines of the world, Emirates does above and beyond, particularly for their first-class passengers. Guests who fly first class receive amenity kits, sleepwear, and access to a private suite for those extra-long flights. An onboard lounge is also available for first-class and business-class fliers with this best airline company.

Top Airlines In The World

Image Source: Emirates

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Qatar Airways Review

Qatar Airways easily falls into the top airlines in the world by several different standards. Consumers enjoy the quality of the food and beverages, the seats, and the customer service. One of the best rated airlines, Qatar Airways has received recognition for a vast assortment of items:

  • World’s Best Business Class from Skytrax
  • Best Airline for International First Class from Global Traveler Magazine
  • Best First-Class Seat Design from Global Traveler Magazine
  • Best Airline in the World from AirHelp WorldWide
  • Best Business Class from Business Traveller Awards

Much like some of the other airlines of the world, these awards are just one small piece of the recognition Qatar has received over the years.

Qatar is considered by some to be the best airline in the world, allowing passengers to reach more than 150 destinations around the globe. In 2016, they have already added several new destinations, including major cities in the United States, Australia, Finland, Namibia, and more. More updates to their list of destinations is pending for later this year.

One of several awards won last year for these top airlines in the world was the coveted Best Business Class Seats. According to Business Insider, this is a premium feature that many consumers were impressed with for the 2016 award year.

Qatar Airways considers their business class seats to offer “unparalleled comfort” that can accommodate a variety of positions so you can work or sleep. They have a large work surface and many storage options to keep your favorite items easily accessible. Of course, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of their more than 3,000 inflight entertainment choices.

Singapore Airlines Review

One of the largest draws that has many consumers calling Singapore Airlines the best airline company is their commitment to customer service.

In 2016 alone, they received numerous awards from Global Traveler, Global Times Newspaper in China, Conde Nast Traveler (Middle East), and the U.K.-based World Travel Awards. Prizes for these top airline companies included:

  • Best Overall Airline in the World
  • Asia’s Leading Airline
  • Best Long Haul Carrier
  • Best Economy Class
  • Best Cabin Staff

The list of awards from the past year is staggering, with the above being just a few of more than twenty titles they accrued. Reviews from Skytrax, one of the leading review sites to determine the top airlines in the world, showed extremely high ratings for cabin staff on both long and short hauls across all classes.

Much like Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines remains one of the best international airlines, in part because of its premium economy class. Guests who opt for this type of travel are treated to slightly upgraded features from the most basic economy.

Seats in this section are designed to give you more room, including a built-in calf rest and footrest. Enjoy inflight entertainment, the ability to book your meal a day in advance, storage space, and access to in-seat power.

Of course, their first-class options provide an even more luxurious travel arrangement. Comfortable seats with privacy partitions and mood lighting are standard features for their New First Class.

Consumers who travel on this pick for best airline in the world receive service from the Singapore Girl. They promise to treat guests with priority treatment, using the image of the timeless Singapore Girl to put guests at ease.

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 Virgin Atlantic Airways Review

Virgin Atlantic Airways has easily qualified as one of the best rated airlines for the past several years. You may have also seen some similar-sounding names listed among the top airline companies, most notably Virgin Australia. This past year, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia were both praised for their excellent cabin staff.

On the AirlineRatings.com annual review, Virgin Atlantic and Australia tied for eighth position. Their best airline company suggests that the key to their success is their focus on building up the business and leisure market. Above all else, these top airlines in the world claim to value efficiency and effectiveness.

This best airline company was also acknowledged as Europe’s leading airline to North America in the World Travel Awards in 2015.

When it comes to flying on these best airlines in the world, Virgin Atlantic offers a comfortable experience even in their economy class. They promise extra legroom, a free amenity kit, inflight entertainment, and choice of meals.

Of course, premium economy is a more comfortable experience for all. These world airlines boast that they have some of the largest seats in the industry at 21 inches wide. Passengers are even offered a complimentary drink and newspaper while settling in on the plane.

International Airlines

Image Source: Virgin Atlantic

First-class seats are even more impressive, with fine dining, inseat power in every chair, and more than 300 hours of entertainment choices. Even while you wait at the airport, they compare their lounge to a “luxury hotel.”

Conclusion—Top 6 Best International Airlines

Nothing beats heading off to your next destination in style with the top airlines in the world. Whether you’re interested in more comfortable seating arrangements or superior customer service, there’s a reason these international airlines are called the world’s best airlines.

World airlines allow you to set off for parts of the country that you’ve seen a thousand times or never before. When you allow the best airlines in the world to bring you there, it creates a luxurious experience that has many consumers interested in doing significantly more traveling in their future.

Weigh the awards that each of these airlines of the world has won to decide if they could offer you the comfortable travel accommodations you need. If you have the opportunity to use any of these best international airlines for your next destination, you’ll never be able to look at regular economy class flights the same way again.

Each of these international airlines provides a unique value to the consumers who use them most often. Which of the best airlines in the world sounds like the most comfortable travel arrangements for your next trip? Be sure to see if you can book your flight in the near future. 

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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