Lonely Planet Writer

Survey names Qatar Airways as world's top airline

Qatar Airways, KLM and Air Baltic have been named as the world’s top three airlines in a ranking of 34 of the globe’s biggest carriers.

Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways. Image by curimedia PHOTOGRAPHY / CC BY 2.0

The survey by AirHelp rated airlines on punctuality, on-board services and how they deal with customer claims for delays or lost items.

For reliability on departure and arrival times, Air Baltic – based in Latvia – did best of all with just 6% of its flights failing to arrive punctually.

Wizz Air and Finnair were next best for avoiding delays with Qatar Airways, KLM and Irish low-fares airline Ryanair also scoring well.

The picture was not so rosy at either WOW Air or Icelandair where over 30% of flights were delayed, based on official figures from August 2015.

AirHelp, which helps customers make claims for cancelled or severely delayed flights, also ranked the different airlines using a Skytrax rating and their own scoring system.

Those ratings covered on board services but also services at the home airports, with Qatar Airways the only airline to be awarded top marks.

The company said: “Air travel is about more than just the price of a ticket. We compare each of the airlines, head to head, to tell you how they perform – from amenities and on-time departures, to how well they resolve flight delay compensation claims.”

AirHelp also ranked the airlines on how quickly and efficiently they dealt with claims from customers.

They said they took into consideration how often an airline wrongly rejects a claim, how long it takes to handle a claim, and how long to pay out compensation.

For handling claims, the top four airlines were Croatia Air, Wow Air, Air Baltic, and Icelandair – all of whom were rated at least nine out of ten.

However, when all the different categories were taken into account, it was Qatar Airways that came out on top with Dutch carrier KLM, Air Baltic, Air France and Lufthansa making up the rest of the top five.

AirHelp’s top 5 ranking airlines

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. KLM
  3. Air Baltic
  4. Air France
  5. Lufthansa