When it comes to air travel, competition is fierce between the carriers ferrying us around the world. According to a survey, for the best flight experience, you need to head to America and the worst flight experience is to stay away from China. With many major airlines struggling to revamp their premium cabins and add amenities like suites, showers, more privacy and better food, those of us in the travel business get to know a lot about aviation updates, especially from Asian and Middle Eastern carriers.
Emirates won the top overall honor as the World’s Best Airline and not surprisingly, the Top 10 did not include a single US legacy carrier, though Jet Blue, which also was the Number One Mid-Sized & Low-Cost Carrier in North America, made the World Top 10, along with Alaska Airlines. Jet Blue was the best performing domestic airline, and elsewhere, Asian carriers did especially well with Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, ANA, Cathay Pacific, EVA (Taiwan) and Indonesia’s Garuda all making strong showings. Europe was the most surprising region, with Aeroflot taking top honors followed by Turkish Airways, which has been on an aggressive self-improvement program the past few years to generally strong reviews, while several bigger names were no-shows. The World Top 10 was:
1. Emirates, United Arab Emirates
2. Singapore Airlines, Singapore
3. Azul, Brazil
4. JetBlue, United States
5. Air New Zealand, New Zealand
6. Korean Air, South Korea
7. Japan Airlines, Japan
8. Thai Smile, Thailand
9. Alaska Airlines, United States
10. Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia
Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, with its Airbus and Boeing fleet traveling to about 100 destinations. The airline has become famous for its trademark Residence flying apartments as well as its plush first-class and business-class suites.
In 2017, Etihad swept away the awards for World’s Best First Class, Best First Class Seat, and Best First Class Onboard Catering for the second year in a row.