Personal Finance

Lately, when an airline is in the news, it’s not all good.

This month, Delta said it was investigating the death of a Pomeranian, which didn’t survive one of its flights. Last year, authorities were caught on video dragging a doctor off a United Airlines flight.

If all of the drama has you wavering about how to travel to your destination, a new ranking of the world’s best airlines by passenger rights company AirHelp can make the decision simpler.

Hint: United and Delta were pretty far down on the list. In fact, no American airline made it to the top 10.

“It is clear the U.S. is in need of significant improvement, with overbooked flights and cancellations making national headlines month after month, and the consistent mistreatment of U.S. consumers,” said AirHelp CEO and co-founder Henrik Zillmer, in a prepared statement.

Anthony Black, a spokesman for Delta, suggested the ranking didn’t tell the airline’s whole story.

“While survey methodologies may vary, what remains consistent is Delta’s industry-leading operational performance, customer service and complaints,” Black wrote in an email. “All of which is the result of the hard work of Delta people.”

Officials at United Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Qatar Airways came in first place, due to its timely departures and arrivals along with its efficient claims processing system, according to AirHelp. The airline’s CEO made headlines recently when he suggested a woman couldn’t do his job.

“We hope more airlines take note of what these impressive competitors are doing,” Zillmer said.


Here are the top 10 airlines, according to AirHelp.

1. Qatar Airways, Qatar

2. Lufthansa, Germany

3. Etihad Airways, United Arab Emirates

4. Singapore Airlines, Singapore

5. South African Airways, South Africa

6. Austrian Airlines AG dba Austrian, Austria

7. Aegean Airlines, Greece

8. Qantas, Australia

9. Air Malta, Malta

10. Virgin Atlantic, United Kingdom

…and the top 10 airports

1. Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

2. Athens International Airport, Athens, Greece

3. Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan

4. Cologne Bonn Airport, Cologne/Bonn, Germany

5. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore, Singapore

6. Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya, Japan

7. Viracopos International Airport, Campinas, Brazil

8. Amman Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan

9. Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport, Recife, Brazil

10. Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador

(According to AirHelp, Airlines are rated on (1) On-time performance, (2) Quality of service and (3) Claims Processing. Airports are similarly rated, using criteria including 1) On-time performance, (2) Quality of service and (3) Online consumer sentiment).

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