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The Best of the Best: Top 10 Highest Ranking Airlines Voted by Travelers in 2022

29 Nov 2022

Airlines value both good and bad customer feedback as this informs them of areas for improvement and helps them provide the best possible service to their customers. The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 took place in London on September 23, 2022, and it's the first time in two years that the event has taken place in person.

Qatar Airways again took the first spot on the list, with Air New Zealand coming in second and Etihad Airways coming in third. Overall, the ranking showed similar names, with Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas landing on the top 10 list.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 is the self-styled “Oscars of the Aviation Industry,” voted for by airline travelers who placed these companies at the top of the list:

Top 10 - Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)  is the primary airline serving Switzerland. SWISS operates direct flights from Zurich and Geneva, and has one of Europe's most technologically sophisticated and carbon-efficient aircraft fleets. It connects Switzerland to Europe and the rest of the world. 

Swiss WorldCargo is the air cargo division of Swiss International Air Lines. It offers a wide range of airport-to-airport airfreight services for high-value, time-sensitive, and care-intensive consignments. SWISS is part of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance.

Swiss Airlines offers a frequent flyer program called Miles & More. Miles & More offers 3 types of miles: Award Miles (you can use them for award tickets), Status Miles (these miles determine your status), and HON Circle Miles (these miles help you to achieve HON's highest Lufthansa status). The program also offers mileage pooling, better upgrades, and award availability of elite members.

Top 9 - Korean Air

Korean Air, a founding member of SkyTeam Alliance, is a well-known international carrier based in Seoul, South Korea. The airline's core businesses are passenger, freight, aerospace, catering, and in-flight sales. Korean Air is dedicated to providing exceptional service in the air and aspires to be a recognized leader in the global airline industry. The company operates 169 aircraft and serves 125 destinations in 44 countries.   

Korean Air’s frequent flyer program is called SkyPass. This program allows you to earn and redeem miles for flights on Korean Air, SkyTeam partners, and 8 non-SkyTeam partners (including American Airlines and Alaska Airlines). The program also offers miles pooling with a low exchange fee of USD 30 and a redeposit fee of 3,000 miles.

Top 8 - Air France

Air France operates around 1,500 flights every day. From its hubs in Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Amsterdam-Schiphol, the Air France-KLM Group offers its clients a network encompassing 312 destinations in 116 countries.   

Flying Blue is Air France's frequent flyer program. You can earn Flying Blue miles by flying with SkyTeam partners and other non-SkyTeam partners. Flying Blue is one of the few frequent flyer programs you can transfer points to from all 4 major mega programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and Citi ThankYou Rewards

Flying Blue’s promo awards offer excellent value for premium cabins and good award availability on KLM and Air France. Special additional award availability in premium classes is reserved for elite members.

Top 7 - Turk Hava Yollari (Turkish Airlines)

Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance member, was founded in 1933 with a small fleet of 5 aircraft. Today, the airline corporation serves over 300 locations worldwide with a fleet of over 300 (passenger and cargo) aircraft. Turkish Airlines flies the Turkish flag worldwide, with an average of 1,000 flights per day.    

Turkish Airlines’ frequent flyer program is called Miles&Smiles. This program offers many great redemption options and an easy path to Star Alliance Gold privileges. If you earn Miles&Smiles Gold status (40,000 status miles, valid for 2 years), you get all Star Alliance Gold benefits, including lounge access when flying domestic flights on United Airlines in any class. This same lounge access is not available to United Airlines Gold cardholders.

Top 6 - Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) was established in 1951 and now flies an average of 230 aircraft daily. The prestigious airline has been part of the Oneworld Alliance since 2007 and has 4 major hubs in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Okinawa. It operates in 95 destinations in 20 different countries. JAL has a long history and reputation for encapsulating the spirit of traditional Japanese hospitality.

Japan Airlines' frequent flyer program is JAL Mileage Bank. You can redeem miles at excellent prices at JAL, Oneworld partners, and several non-Oneworld partners. The frequent flyer program also offers miles pooling., and has a lower refund fee of USD 30 and lower mileage requirements for redemptions compared to other airlines.

Top 5 - Qantas Airways

Qantas, one of Australia's most recognizable brands and one of the world's leading long-distance airlines, was founded as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS). The airline has a reputation for excellence in safety, operational dependability, engineering and maintenance, and customer service. The primary activity of the Qantas Group is passenger transportation via its two complementary airline brands, Qantas and Jetstar. These airlines provide regional, domestic, and international services.

Qantas Frequent Flyer is Qantas Airways’ frequent flyer program with many credit card partners and mileage accrual venues. Some taxes and fees can even be paid in miles. Qantas also partners with all U.S. credit card reward mega programs except Chase.

Top 4 - All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways (ANA) was established in 1952 with just 2 helicopters and has since expanded to become the largest airline in Japan and one of the most significant airlines in all of Asia, flying 82 international and 118 domestic routes. Travelers flying with ANA can access the 2 airports in metropolitan Tokyo, Narita, and Haneda, as well as same-day connections bridging various North American, Asian, and Chinese destinations. ANA has been a part of Star Alliance since 1999.   

All Nippon Airways’ frequent flyer program is ANA Mileage Club. ANA Mileage Club offers a way to redeem your American Express points for round-trip Star Alliance awards in terms of the number of issues. Still, the 48-hour transfer time and redemption restrictions limit the appeal.

Top 3 - Emirates

Emirates connects the world to the international hub in Dubai. The airline’s multicultural team operates modern, efficient, and pleasant aircraft and provides award-winning services to clients on 6 continents daily. Emirates currently operates 262 aircraft and serves 152 destinations.  

Skywards is the frequent flyer program of Emirates. It covers family accounts and the Saver awards, which is the Emirates fare that includes one stopover. All major U.S. credit card super programs are transfer partners of this frequent flyer program. Skywards also offers good last-minute upgrade award availability at check-in, which opens 48 hours before departure.

Top 2 - Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines' dedication to offering top-notch customer care has contributed to its success. All service classes offer gourmet meals prepared by a team of renowned chefs from across the world, and everyone may take advantage of the airline's state-of-the-art, an in-flight entertainment system that offers a massive range of films, songs, and games. With a combined passenger network in over 110 destinations, Singapore Airlines and its low-cost carrier subsidiary, Scoot, operates a fleet of more than 180 aircraft.   

Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer program is called KrisFlyer. This program allows you to earn and redeem miles on Singapore Airlines and its partners, including all Star Alliance members. The airline’s program accrual includes actual miles traveled plus a bonus for premium business classes.

Top 1 - Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the national airline of Qatar. The Doha-based airline prioritizes comfort, excellent dining, cutting-edge in-flight audio and video entertainment, award-winning service, and a fleet of modern aircraft with an average age of just over 5 years. Qatar Airways serves more than 150 tourist and business destinations worldwide. The airline serves destinations in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Qatar Airways also has its own frequent flyer program called Privilege Club. This program is ideal for you if you frequently fly with Qatar Airways and wish to enjoy all the perks of Elite status. Given that the family program allows you to pool your QMiles and that they are valid for at least 3 years, it is excellent for flights from the U.S. to Doha for 70,000 business class miles or 35,000 miles in economy and American. 

Bonus! The Best Airlines By Cabin Class

There are other special awards given in the final rankings. These include: 

  • World's Best Cabin Staff - Singapore Airlines
  • World's Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness - All Nippon Airways
  • World's Best Independent Airport Lounge - Plaza Premium
  • World's Best Business Class Lounge - Virgin Atlantic
  • World's Best Leisure Airline - SunExpress
  • World's Best Low-Cost Airline/Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia - AirAsia
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe - Ryanair
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in North America - Southwest Airlines
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa - FlySafair
  • World's Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline - Scoot

World's Best-in-Class Airlines

  • The World Best First Class Airline - Singapore Airlines
  • The World's Best Business Class Airline - Qatar Airways
  • The World's Best Premium Economy Class Airline - Virgin Atlantic
  • The World's Best Economy Class Airline - Emirates 

Every year, travelers from all over the world vote in the world's largest airline passenger satisfaction poll to determine the winners. Who do you think passengers will choose to fly with as the world begins to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions, with business travel and tourism firmly on the table? 

Who do you think will rise to the top at the World Airline Awards in 2023?

Feel free to share your thoughts with us by commenting on this article!

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