a plane flying in the sky

And the award goes to…

United! Just kidding. We take no joy in kicking United while they’re down, but since the airline made a habit of dragging passengers down the aisle this year, we just couldn’t resist a quick shot. Each year, SkyTrax, the UK based aviation consultancy mixes powerful and unbiased research with rigorous traveler feedback to rate each airline on products and service standards. The result: just nine airlines in the world hold a five star ranking with SkyTrax. After Qatar Airways took first prize in last years World Airline Awards, a new champion has just been crowned for 2018, and congratulations go to…

a plane flying in the skySingapore Air Is #1

Singapore Air has been named the #1 airline in the world for the fourth time since 1989, in the 2018 World Airline Awards rankings. Aside from best overall, the airline also took home coveted prizes including: best airline in Asia, best First Class – and best First Class seat. Cheers to that. Qatar Airways, last years #1 airline falls just one spot to #2, while Japan’s ANA rounds out the podium at #3. ANA faces stiff competition, with Japan Airlines attaining their first ever 5* airline certification in the same day.

a plane flying in the skyBest Economy Class

Thai Airways, Singapore and Qatar went 1,2,3 for this years economy awards. Thai Airways offers some of the most space passengers will find across all aircraft, while Singapore and Qatar both excel in service. These airlines have each resisted the temptation to shrink seat size, and the results are a reflection of this commitment.

a row of seats in an airplaneBest Premium Economy

If you’re going to pay up for premium, you want the best, and Air New Zealand took the cake this year. Air New Zealand was accompanied in the rankings by Qantas and Singapore respectively, offering the most consistently available (and best) seats, with the most refined service and customer feedback. Our independent rankings corroborate this assessment.

a woman reading a book to a girl lying in a bedBest Business Class

Unsurprisingly, Qatar Airways “first in business” QSuites took the cake for world’s best business class. The airline continues to innovate in the business class cabin, with the most tailored service available via dine on demand, and Qatar’s vast airport lounges in Doha’s Hamad International. At number two, well – you guessed it. Singapore Air not only won best overall airline, and best first class, it placed in the top three across every single cabin. Singapore is in at #2, with their stepped up new business class offering and ANA placed a very commendable third, much like their overall ranking.

a bed and chair in a planeBest First Class

You already know Singapore won, but who else procured enough fine champagne, cabin space and plush bedding to join them? Etihad and Air France filled out the winners circle for best first class airlines of 2018, with Lufthansa and Emirates close on their heels in 4th and 5th. Singapore was already known to serve passengers a choice of Dom Perignon 2009, or Krug Grand Cuvee 2004 in first class this year, and now there’s even more reason to celebrate.

What are your favorite airlines in each cabin?


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. SkyTrax is a joke, those awards are bought and paid for by the airlines. There’s nothing independent about it.

    Also, given UAs latest earnings release I think they’re the ones having the last laugh.

  2. Hmmm, not sure I’d agree that the awards are entirely paid for, if they were BA would surely be higher than 31st given tehir 7 figure PR contract. Though if based on consumer feedback, I find it hard to believe they would have risen from 40th last year, in fact they probably should be in the bottom quartile with United, Veuling and others who show similar distain to their customers.

  3. I have to admit that my last transpacific flight from NRT in UA plain economy was not bad. It was a vast improvement from 7 years ago when I took that flight with sour, grumpy FA’s who just didn’t give a damn. My FA’s on this flight could have been from Singapore or ANA, they were quite friendly. Turns out the crew was Tokyo and Hong Kong based.

  4. Skytrax has always been a joke, their valuation is false. Air Canada used to get this fake award when most of its passengers where complaining that Air Canada should have never been given any awards. Skytrax still continues to do favours for Air Canada for free flights in their business class.

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