Are you ready to see what 10 airlines make the cut, according to AirHelp? Maybe you will be surprised (or maybe not) but there is not a US airline on the list! 🙂
The Top 10 Airlines and Airports, According to AirHelp
Many sites put out top 10 lists on pretty much everything. I like to see how they rank those lists to get those particular members on the list. This list, assembled by AirHelp, is a nice little look within the scope of the following criteria:
- The quality of service
- On-time arrivals
- How well they resolve flight delay compensation claims
Here is how they categorize what goes into each of those areas:
- On-time performance: We pull each airline’s on-time arrival statistics for the last season to determine how likely they are to arrive on time
- Quality of service: This rating factors in hundreds of metrics and details to give us a measure of an airline’s quality, both in the air and on the ground
- Claim processing: This rating takes into account how efficiently and fairly a carrier handles delay and compensation claims, including percentage of claims rejected, as well as turnaround times for processing and payouts.
I think it is safe to say that the last criteria, claim processing, would be the wild card. Airhelp is a web service that helps with these claims so they have firsthand knowledge of this area. But, if an airline does not have to issue compensation for a delay, I am not sure how that is handled (as rejection or delay in the process, or N/A?).
One final thought – airlines in Europe may have worse scores in the claim processing department since EU261 is great for customers but can act as a very hard lever to pull with the airline (companies like AirHelp can be very handy with that). See, for example, Jet2 was on the top 10 list from TripAdvisor. Here, it is ranked 61. That is largely due to an abysmal 3.8 (out of 10) rating for claim processing.
Top 10 Airlines in the World
So, with the ranking stats out of the way, let’s take a look at the top 10 airlines in the world, according to AirHelp!
- Qatar Airways
- Etihad Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Malta
- Virgin Atlantic
Having flow 7 of those 10 airlines in both economy and business/first class on all 7, I can definitely say that those airlines do deserve a place on a top airline ranking. Personally, I feel that Turkish has also treated me exceptionally well in most cases but their on-time performance was a hindrance for them (that on-time performance can definitely do a number for an airline!).
My Airline Made It!
“My” airline is Aegean Airlines. That is the airline I fly more than just about any other and the one that I have top status with and actually get quite a bit out of it. I have always found my Aegean flights to be great in both service and on-time performance and both of those reasons why I have always chose Aegean over Ryanair for inter-Greece flights when the times are similar – even when Aegean costs about $30-40 more!
Qatar Airways has moved up from 3rd place last year and that is impressive given the difficulties they have experienced over the last year or so.
Why No US Airline?
So, no US airline?! FWIW, they did not have Southwest or JetBlue in their list of airlines they considered.
How is that possible? Well, I think it is for a couple of reasons. First of all, the one airline on that list that has more than one major hub would be Lufthansa. Most international airlines have many of their flights passing through a single hub or two. That allows them to provide better service since their major hub is a good base for their service and maintenance. With an airline like Delta, they have hubs at JFK, Detroit, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Seattle. That is a big footprint for service issues and delays!
Another thing may be that they just aren’t that good in the customer service area when compared to many international airlines. Seriously. I have had to deal with US airlines for years on issues that are easily and politely resolved by international carriers in similar situations. That is not to say that all US airline reps are bad but just that the system itself is pretty bad (having to wait 4 hours on the phone to change a flight that got cancelled from weather is not good service).
For those curious, American Airlines came in at 23, United Airlines at 37, and Delta Airlines at 47. While their rankings for on-time performance and claims were good, their quality of service numbers were only in the 6s out of 10.
Top 10 Airports in the World
This was also something AirHelp looked at and here is their results for the top 10 airports in the world.
For this ranking, AirHelp considered on-time performance, quality of service, but also passenger sentiment that they were able to pull from Twitter about the airport experience.
- Hamad International Airpot (Doha, Qatar)
- Athens International Airport (Athens, Greece)
- Haneda Airport (Tokyo, Japan)
- Cologne Bonn Airport (Cologne, Germany)
- Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore, Singapore)
- Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya, Japan)
- Viracopos International Airport (Campinas, Brazil)
- Amman Queen Alia International Airport (Amman, Jordan)
- Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport (Recife, Brazil)
- Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quito, Ecuador)
Again, no US airport on this list either. The first is Seattle at number 33.
I am honestly not sure how I feel about these lists. Obviously, they are using data to put these together but that can be difficult to judge sometimes when it comes to the Service component. How one person feels about the service provided could be vastly different from another customer. I once heard a person complaining about how bad their seat was and they said they couldn’t believe they were flying with this “miserable” airline. That airline and seat? It was Lufthansa First Class! 🙂
But, you have to start somewhere! Overall, I think lists like this are important for airlines and I am glad to see something like compensation as part of the makeup of the list. Many airlines try their best to wiggle out of any compensation and I think this is one area that they need to improve.
So, what do you think of these lists? Do you agree with any/all of the rankings? Which airlines/airports would you put on the list?