The 15 Best Airlines in the World

Every trip feels like first class with these airlines, which scored tops in quality, service and on-time flights.

Air travel can be stressful, but a good flight can start your vacation or business trip off on the right foot. AirHelp, which helps passengers get compensated for delayed or canceled flights, just released its rankings of more than 70 major global airlines.

Qatar Airways held onto the number one spot from 2018, with high scores for on-time flights, quality of service and speed and ease of processing compensation claims. (Flights were considered on-time if they departed within 15 minutes of the published departure time, and arrived within 15 minutes of the slated arrival time.)

Qatar Airways
Customers rated carriers on categories including cabin service, ground and airport experiences, cabin cleanliness and quality of meals. Qatar Airwways

Other top scorers ranged from large carriers like American Airlines to Luxair, Luxembourg's only passenger airline.

''Our study shows that airlines that put passengers first and hold themselves accountable by executing the rightfully owed compensation claims quickly and without hassle earn customers' trust in this highly competitive market," said AirHelp CEO and co-founder Henrik Zillmer.

Below, the 15 best airlines, according to AirHelp's global airline survey.

15. Virgin Atlantic

15 Virgin Atlantic
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Launched by Richard Branson, Alan Hellary and Randolph Fields in 1984, Virgin Atlantic services 33 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Caribbean.

According to AirHelp's data, 76 percent of Virgin flights were on time. The airline received a 8.3 for service, 7.2 for claims, and 7.69 overall.

14. Garuda Indonesia

14 Garuda Indonesia
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Part of SkyTeam, Indonesia's second largest airline operates scheduled flights to 83 cities in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Europe from its main hub in Jakarta.

In 2018, 91 percent of its flights were on time. AirHelp rated Garuda International a 7.5 on quality of service and 6.5 for claims, with an overall score of 7.71.

13. Singapore Airlines

13 Singapore Airlines
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Serving more than 60 cities worldwide, SIA is often rated the world's best airline. In 2018, it was the only airline on Fortune's list of the 50 most admired companies worldwide.

Last year, 80 percent of SIA flights were on time. AirHelp rated it 8.7 for quality of service and 6.4 for claims compensation, with an overall score of 7.71.

12. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

12 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
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A SkyTeam alliance member, KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, or "Royal Aviation Company") is the oldest airline still in operation. In 2018, 78 percent of the Dutch carrier's flights were on time, and it merited a 8.1 for quality of service, a 7.4 for compensation claims and and a 7.74 overall.

11. Flybe

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A Flybe airline flag is pictured at Exeter Airport near Exeter on October 18, 2018 in Devon, England. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Launched in 1979, Flybe carries 8 million passengers annually between 81 destinations across the U.K. and the rest of Europe. This year, Flybe was purchased by Connect Airways, with the intention of operating under the Virgin Atlantic banner.

In 2018, 71 percent of Flybe flights were on time, according to AirHelp, which scored it a 7.7 in service and an 8.4 for claims processing. With a 7.75 score overall, this British budget carrier proves that you don't have to be high-end to earn high marks.

10. Emirates

10 Emirates
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Owned by the government of Dubai, Emirates is the largest carrier in the Middle East and the fourth largest in the world. Despite that volume, 75 percent of its flights were on time in 2018.

Airhelp scored Emirates an 8.9 for quality of service, a 7.1 for processing claims, and a 7.81 overall.

9. Austrian Airlines

9 Austrian Airlines
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Formed in 1957, this Vienna-based carrier flies to 130 international destinations in 55 countries. A member of the Star Alliance, Austrian Airlines managed to keep 71 percent of its flights on time last year.

It earned a 8.1 for quality of service, 8.5 for compensation claims and a 7.90 overall.

8. Luxair

8 Luxair
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Luxembourg's only passenger airline operates 64 scheduled flights to cities in Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Last year Luxair saw 78 percent of its flights meet their schedule, receiving an 7.8 from AirHelp for quality of service, an 8.1 for claims processing and 7.91 overall.

7. WestJet

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Westjet

The second-largest carrier in Canada, this budget airline ferries 66,130 passengers daily.

In 2018, 74 percent of WestJet's flights were on time. It earned a 7.6 for service, 8.9 for claims and 7.96 overall.

6. LATAM Airlines

6 LATAM Airlines
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This Chilean carrier is the largest airline in Latin America. (Its name is a palindrome of Chile's LAN Airlines and Brazil's TAM Airlines, which merged to create LANTAM in 2012).

In 2018, 77 percent of LATAM's flights were on-schedule. AirHelp scored it a 8.1 for service, 8.2 for claims processing and 8.01 overall.

5. Qantas

5 Qantas
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Qantas is known worldwide for its stellar safety record, having never suffled a fatal crash or hull loss. The Australian airline also kept 79 percent of its flights keep to their schedule in 2018, earning a 8.3 for service, 7.9 for claims and 8.04 overall.

4. SAS Scandinavian Airlines

4 SAS Scandinavian Airlines
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A founding member of StarAlliance, this Northern European airline flew 28.6 million passengers in 2017 alone. The following year, SAS saw 73 percent of its flights keep their schedule. AirHelp rated it a 7.9 for quality of service, 9.0 for claims processing and an 8.07 overall.

3. Aeromexico

3 Aeromexico
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Headquartered in Mexico City, AeroMexico serves 90 destinations[ in Mexico; North, South and Central America; the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

In 2018, 78 percent of Aeromexico's flights were on time. Airhelp scored it a 8.4 in quality of service, 8.0 for claims and 8.07 overall.

2. American Airlines

2 American Airlines
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The world's largest airline by fleet size, revenue, passengers carried and number of destinations served, AA is also the highest ranking U.S. carrier on AirHelp's list.

In 2018, 75 percent of its flights kept to their schedule. It earned a 7.9 for service, an 8.8 for compensation claims, and a 8.07 overall.

1. Qatar Airways

1 Qatar Airways
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Serving more than 170 destinations, Qatar Airways has been a member of Oneworld alliance since 2013. It routinely tops best airline lists from SkyTrax, TripAdvisor and the Airline Passenger Experience Association.

According to AirHelp, 84 percent of Qatar Airways flights were on time in 2018. It received a 8.4 for quality of service and 7.8 for claims compensation, with an overall score of 8.23.