Ever Wonder Which Airline Is The World’s Only One-Star Airline?

Airlines really crave any accolades they can receive as far as the quality of the on-board product, the turnaround time, the comfort of the aircraft, the airline personnel, the customer service, the food – pretty much anything. The big three Middle Easter airlines seem to be in a race for the top. Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways all are going to great lengths to make sure that their airlines are some of the most pleasing in the world. Of course, there are several Asian airlines that also do an incredible job of providing a consistent product and experience and a couple of European airlines do their part as well.

Emirates A380 First Class

Emirates A380 First Class – definitely not one-star!

US airlines do not normally rank as high as their international counterparts. But, one thing that cannot be ever said about them is that they are a “one-star” airline, as ranked by industry experts. That distinction falls to a single airline and it is one that is one of the most closed countries in the world – Air Koryo, the airline of North Korea.

Air Koryo

Air Koryo, North Korea’s airline / Airliners.net user N178UA

The airline was ranked as a one-star airline by the airline review company, Skytrak. They did give the staff three stars for grooming and presentation, however! The airline flies some older aircraft that is far from updated to more modern flying specs. They are attempting to upgrade their business class, so that is something…

If you want to check out the story about this airline and some interesting photos from it, here is the link. For more information, you can check out Stefan’s (another BA blogger) blog as he has flown on that airline before during one of his visits to North Korea. Here are some more pictures from an Airliners.net post.

Of course, you might be able to even fly on it yourself if you decide to run the marathon there next year. 🙂

HT: Mail Online

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Let’s do the Pyongyang marathon and ride Air Koryo!!! Actually I think one of the main reasons it’s 1 star is the older Russian-planes that they have. I read somewhere they’re not allowed to buy Boeing or Airbus planes. Regardless, I’d fly Air Koryo.

  • Charles, I sent a email to you but haven’t get any response yet, so I copy paste it in here in hoping for your kind response please :

    Hi, John!
    I thought it would be easier and better to respond via e-mail.
    What dates are you looking at? I am seeing 25K tickets on AA in October and November. If you can give me an idea of dates and how many people, I will see what I can find.
    The least it will cost you in AA miles is 25K per person (roundtrip) and Southwest starts flying out of Dallas to Aruba on November 2 but does not fly to Grand Cayman. To do it on Southwest, you will have to piece the trip together.
    Let me know!

    Hi Charles,

    I am looking to go next year, not sure of the date yet but it would be probably around June or July. Is 3 days enough for Aruba or Grand Cayman (GC)?
    25k / person roundtrip in AA Metal is for offpeak ?
    I have SW companion pass, I also have 110k SW miles. also Alaska Airline 30k miles and US Air 40k miles with $99 companion pass, 50k United, 160k UR, 40k AA miles. Which one is the best redemption? not looking to burn all the miles here and wanna save for my dream on Singapore Suite someday soon.
    I would like to book for 2 people (me and my wife), we are based in SFO, not Dallas.

    Appreciate your advice.