10 Best Airlines in the World: The Best Airlines of 2023

by Jon Miksis
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When it comes to travel, the journey can often be as memorable as the destination. That’s why, if you’re flying, it’s important to choose the right airline.  There are countless carriers scattered across the globe, but the best airlines in the world stand out by offering superior comfort, in-flight services, customer service, and safety. Keep reading and I’ll share with you my picks for the top 10 best airlines in the world right now!

As a professional travel blogger, I fly a lot. And I mean a lot. From business class to first class, from domestic travel to international, I’ve done it all. In the process, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to identify which airlines are really worth my time and which ones aren’t. I know that choosing a good airline can sometimes be a time-consuming, overwhelming endeavor. That’s why I’ve decided to share some of my most valuable travel planning tips with you.

Specificially, I’m going to share my picks for the world’s best airlines. Whether you’re planning to fly in the US or you’re hoping to travel internationally, there’s no shortage of great airlines to choose from. The very best airlines in the world combine excellent in-flight amenities, luxury accommodations, consistent customer satisfaction, competitive prices, and a wide selection of routes. These are the biggest features I considered when compiling this list. Suffice to say, if you’re searching for the top airlines in the world, I’ve got you covered!

This article about the best airlines in the world contains affiliate links, where I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

How to score cheap tickets for the best airlines in the world

Before we get into my picks for the best airlines in the world, I’d like to first tell you about my secret weapon when it comes to saving money on flights. Of course, I’m talking about Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going). This website is designed to help travelers of all kinds find cheap airline tickets to anywhere in the world.

Using Going is incredibly easy. First, sign up for an account. Then enter in the name of your departure location and desired destinations. In no time at all, Going will start sending you free email alerts about unbelievably cheap airfare deals for your chosen route. These prices come from mistake fares and other, already discounted tickets that most customers don’t even know exist!

I should also mention that Going offers a features-packed premium version of its service, too. It costs $49 a year and sends you more emails more often, among other benefits. If you want access to cheap tickets to the best airlines in the world before anyone else, signing up for a premium membership is the way to go. The bargains you can get through Going truly are unbeatable.

What’s more, Going also has an elite membership that’s perfect for business and first class travelers. Though slightly pricier at $199 a year, an elite membership can save huge amounts of money on flights from the top airlines in the world. I personally have saved thousands of dollars with Going. I never fly anywhere without it, and I recommend you do the same.

Use my discount code Jon20 to save 20% when you join!

Top 10 Best Airlines in 2023: The World’s Best Airlines to Fly

For this list of the ten best airlines in the world, I didn’t just use my own personal experience. I also did a ton of research into prices, amenities, and user reviews. I also asked several experts and fellow travel bloggers to share their insights with me. Then I put that all together and used it to narrow down the countless carriers offering flights today to this: my list of the top airlines in the world. Happy travels!


 
 
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1. Qatar Airways

A passenger jet with branding from Qatar Airways, one of the best airlines in the world
Qatar flights are designed for passenger comfort, making this one of the best airlines in the world.

Headquartered in the heart of the Middle East, Qatar Airways has quickly risen to global prominence since its inception in 1994. It has emerged as a benchmark for luxury and customer service in the airline industry.

One of the airline’s standout features is its commitment to comfort. Every detail, from the generous legroom of its Economy Class seats to the luxurious Qsuite in Business Class, has passenger comfort in mind. Whether you’re crossing continents or hopping between neighboring countries, you will have a relaxing journey.

When it comes to in-flight services, Qatar Airways leaves no stone unturned. From a diverse collection of films, music, and games in their in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, to the on-demand dining service, the airline consistently goes above and beyond to keep passengers entertained and satisfied throughout the journey.

Customer service is another area where Qatar Airways shines. The airline is renowned for its crew’s professionalism and attention to detail. From a seamless check-in process to personalized in-flight service, passengers can expect top-tier treatment throughout their journey.

Furthermore, Qatar Airways maintains a modern fleet of aircraft and holds an excellent safety record. Its safety protocols are rigorous, and they have been transparent about the measures taken to ensure passenger safety.

2. Singapore Airlines

A Signapore Airlines jet in flying through the sky
Since 1972, Singapore Airlines has been one of the highest-rated airlines in the world.

A stalwart in the aviation industry, Singapore Airlines has been defining high standards of air travel since its founding in 1972. Known for its iconic ‘Singapore Girl’ stewardesses, the airline’s dedication to offering a high-quality passenger experience remains unparalleled.

Comfort is intrinsic to the Singapore Airlines experience. The airline’s seating, irrespective of travel class, is designed with passenger comfort as the top priority. Business Class passengers can enjoy flatbed seats, while those flying First Class can experience individual cabins, offering a new level of privacy and luxury.

In-flight services offered by Singapore Airlines are some of the best in the world. Their ‘KrisWorld’ in-flight entertainment system boasts an extensive range of movies, TV shows, music, and games. Likewise, the ‘Book the Cook’ service allows premium-class passengers to pre-order their choice of main course, prepared by world-class chefs.

Singapore Airlines’ commitment to exceptional customer service is evident in every interaction, from the ground staff to the cabin crew. They’ve set an industry benchmark for their attentive, personalized service that makes passengers feel well-cared for throughout their journey. Singapore Airlines also boasts one of the youngest aircraft fleets worldwide, ensuring passenger safety and reducing environmental impact. Their dedication to safety and transparency regarding safety protocols reinforces passenger trust.

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

Airport employees signal a passenger jet owned by ANA, one of the best airlines in the world
In addition to being one of the best airlines in the world, All Nippon Airways is the largest carrier in Japan.

Japan’s largest airline, ANA All Nippon Airways, founded in 1952, has grown to be a dominant force in the aviation sector, particularly known for its impeccable service and high standards of cleanliness. ANA’s commitment to passenger comfort is evident in all their classes. Economy class offers comfortable seating and thoughtful amenities, while First Class delivers a world-class experience with suites featuring fully flat beds, personal doors for privacy, and even a personal wardrobe.

In-flight services on ANA flights are nothing short of excellent. The in-flight entertainment system offers the latest movies, music, games, and even e-books, catering to all age groups and preferences. The airline also serves a wide variety of meals, from traditional Japanese cuisine to western dishes, all carefully prepared to delight passengers.

But what truly sets ANA apart is its exceptional customer service. The staff, both on the ground and in the air, are known for their meticulous attention to detail, professionalism, and politeness, embodying the spirit of Japanese hospitality, or “Omotenashi.” These factors together are the main reason I included ANA in my post about the best airlines in Japan, but it’s more than that. It’s also one of the best airlines in the world.

4. Cathay Pacific Airways

View of a Cathay Pacific Airways carrier jet as seen from inside the airport terminal
Cathay Pacific Airways has one of the safest and most modern fleets of any airline today.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, established in 1946, has carved a niche for itself in the aviation industry with its focus on sustainable development, comfort, and exemplary service.

In terms of comfort, Cathay Pacific has designed each class with careful consideration. Whether it’s the reclining seats with ample legroom in Economy or the fully flat beds in First Class, every passenger can expect a comfortable journey. Cathay Pacific’s in-flight services include an impressive entertainment system. Called StudioCX, it features a vast library of movies, TV shows, music, and games. The airline also prides itself on its dining options. They offer a range of meals inspired by the diverse cultures their routes connect.

Cathay Pacific’s customer service is notable for its personal touch. The airline’s staff go the extra mile to ensure every passenger’s needs are met, providing an unforgettable travel experience. When it comes to safety, Cathay Pacific has a robust safety management system in place. Their fleet is one of the youngest and most modern in the world, ensuring passengers’ security and comfort.

5. Emirates

A airplane on the tarmac bearing the branding of Emirates, a Middle Eastern carrier that is one of the best airlines in the world
Emirates’ high level of customer service has made this Middle Eastern carrier one of the best airlines in the world.

Founded in 1985, Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East. It’s recognized globally for its superior services and is a preferred choice for international travelers.

Comfort is a defining aspect of the Emirates experience. The airline offers spacious seating across all classes, plus personal entertainment screens. In First Class, private suites with sliding doors, personal mini-bars, and even a shower spa are available. Emirates’ in-flight services are world-class. The ICE entertainment system boasts an unmatched range of options, from Hollywood blockbusters to live TV and music. The airline also offers regionally inspired gourmet dishes and complimentary drinks.

Customer service is another strength of Emirates. Whether on the ground or in the air, the airline’s multicultural team delivers exceptional service, setting a high standard for others to follow. On the safety front, Emirates has a strong commitment to maintaining a modern and efficient fleet. The airline follows stringent safety standards, ensuring passenger peace of mind during their travel.

6. Air New Zealand

An airplane owned and operated by Air New Zealand, another of the best airlines in the world
Air New Zealand’s extensive in-flight entertainment and meal options are second to none.

As the national airline and flag carrier of New Zealand, Air New Zealand has a reputation for being approachable, warm, and authentic. Its focus on comfort is evident in its spaciously designed cabins and comfortable seats. The airline provides extensive in-flight entertainment and a variety of meal options, which include a focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.

Air New Zealand’s customer service is exceptional. Staff members are friendly and go above and beyond to ensure passenger comfort and satisfaction. The airline has an impressive safety record and commitment to maintaining a modern fleet, adding to passenger peace of mind. If you’re planning to vacation in New Zealand this year, there’s no better choice than Air New Zealand.

7. EVA Air

A jet owned by EVA Air, a highly-rated Taiwanese airline
EVA Air is known for its innovative amenities, including ergonomic seats and specialized meal options.

Taiwan’s EVA Air offers an air travel experience marked by comfort and innovation. Its cabin classes, including the innovative Premium Economy, provide ample space, ergonomic seating, and high-quality amenities. EVA Air’s in-flight services include a wide selection of entertainment options and meals that cater to a variety of dietary requirements.

EVA Air is recognized for its outstanding customer service, with staff noted for their professionalism and attention to passenger needs. Safety is a high priority, with the airline boasting a modern fleet and stringent safety protocols.

8. Etihad Airways

An Eithad Airways airplane connecting to an airport jetway
In addition to being one of the best airlines in the world, Eithad Airways is also one of the safest and most luxurious.

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, offers a luxurious travel experience. Its cabins, especially The Residence and First Apartment on A380 flights, set new standards for luxury in the sky. Etihad’s in-flight services feature extensive entertainment options, à la carte dining, and premium amenity kits.

Etihad is known for its customer-centric approach, ensuring passenger comfort and satisfaction at every stage of the journey. The airline places a high emphasis on safety, maintaining a modern fleet, and following rigorous safety procedures.

9. Qantas Airways

An idling airplane with branding from Qantas, one of the cheapest and best airlines in the world
Australia-based Qantas Airways doubles as one of the best and cheapest airlines in the worlds.

When it comes to the cheapest international airlines, Qantas Airways deserves special mention for providing comfort that goes beyond just seating. With ergonomically designed interiors and in-flight extras like amenity kits and pillows, every flight is a comfortable experience. The airline offers a variety of in-flight services, too, including an advanced entertainment system with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and music. Likewise, its dining menu caters to a wide range of palates, focusing on fresh and high-quality ingredients.

Known for its exceptional customer service, Qantas staff are attentive and accommodating, ready to assist passengers with their needs. As the world’s second-oldest airline, Qantas has a strong safety record and is known for its commitment to maintaining a modern and efficient fleet. Especially if you’re flying in or around Europe, Qantas is one of your best choices.

10. Lufthansa

A Lufthansa airplane idling on the airport tarmac
Lufthansa has been consistently rated one of the best airlines in Europe as well in the whole world.

Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa, is one of the world’s best airlines based in Europe. Over the years, it has become extremely well-known for its reliability, service, and premium offerings. The airline’s seating arrangements have passenger comfort in mind, offering ample legroom and a relaxed travel atmosphere. 

Lufthansa’s customer service is professional and efficient, ensuring that every journey is as smooth as possible. The airline prioritizes passenger safety and has implemented stringent safety protocols while maintaining a young and modern fleet.

Last but not least, Lufthansa’s in-flight services include a wide selection of entertainment options. These range from blockbuster films to engaging audiobooks, plus a culinary experience that combines international cuisine with a touch of German tradition. I hope you like strudel!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the best airlines in the world

Flying with the best airlines in the world is usually a convenient, stress-free experience. Even still, it’s a good idea to know a few important details ahead of time. To make sure you’re fully prepared, I’ve put together a helpful guide to the most frequently asked questions about the world’s best airlines.

How can I save money booking with the best airlines in the world?

When looking to save money on flights with the top-rated airlines in the world, there are a few important travel hacks to remember. First, be flexible with your travel dates and times. The best airlines in the world tend to offer lower fares for midweek or early morning flights. Additionally, booking well in advance or taking advantage of last-minute deals can help you secure discounted tickets.

Another way to save is by being open to alternative airports or connecting flights, as they may offer more affordable options. Utilizing frequent flyer programs and credit card rewards can also result in significant savings. Comparing prices across different airlines and using flight search engines can help you find the best deals. Traveling light and avoiding additional fees by knowing the airline’s baggage policies is crucial.

Finally (and most importantly), I have to reiterate my tip from earlier. Use Going (formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get mistake fares and other deep discounts delivered right to your inbox. By using my discount code Jon20, you can save 20% on a premium or elite membership! This will give you even access to even better bargains and more features. Once you’ve seen how much you can save, you’ll never fly anywhere without checking Going first.

A pair of first class airline passengers sharing beverages
The best airlines in the world enable passengers to travel in unparalleled comfort and luxury.

When is the best time to fly with the best airlines in the world?

The best time to fly with the top airlines in the world depends on various factors. Generally, midweek flights tend to be less crowded and more affordable compared to weekends when many people travel for leisure. Flying during off-peak seasons, such as avoiding school holidays or major events, can also result in lower fares and less crowded flights. Additionally, early-morning or late-night flights are often less busy and offer potential savings.

However, it’s important to note that the best airlines prioritize customer experience and strive to provide exceptional service regardless of the time of day or day of the week. They maintain high standards throughout their operations. This ensures comfort, quality, and convenience for passengers regardless of when they choose to fly.

To determine the optimal time for your flight, it’s recommended to consider your personal preferences, schedule, and budget. Ultimately, the best time to fly with the world’s top airlines is when it aligns with your travel plans and offers the best combination of convenience, affordability, and availability.

What is the difference between economy, business, and first class airfare?

Economy class, business class, and first class are the three main ticket classes of airlines. Each provides distinct differences in comfort, amenities, services, and overall experience.

Also known as coach class, economy class is the standard class for most passengers, offering basic amenities and services at an affordable price. Economy class seats are typically arranged in a 3-4-3 or 3-3 configuration, with limited legroom and a fixed recline. Passengers in this class usually have access to shared in-flight entertainment screens and are served standard meals and beverages.

Business class, also known as executive class, offers a higher level of comfort and service compared to economy class. Business class seats are more spacious, often convertible into fully flat beds, with increased legroom and privacy. Passengers enjoy enhanced meal options, including gourmet cuisine served on fine china, and a wider selection of beverages. Business class passengers often have access to dedicated lounges, priority boarding, improved in-flight entertainment systems, and amenities such as luxury bedding and amenity kits.

First class represents the most luxurious travel experience. It offers the highest level of comfort, privacy, and personalized service. First class cabins feature spacious seating in private suites or enclosed pods, with fully flat beds, luxurious bedding, and ample storage. Passengers can also indulge in exquisite fine dining, accompanied by an extensive selection of premium wines and spirits. First class in-flight entertainment systems are state-of-the-art, and exclusive amenities like designer kits and personalized service from dedicated flight attendants are provided.

A passenger sharing her passport and boarding pass with a flight attendant
Passengers can expect convenience and courtesy every step of the way when flying with the world’s best airlines.

What is the top 1 airline in the world?

When it comes to the top airline in the world, Singapore Airlines takes the spotlight. Renowned for its exceptional service and attention to detail, Singapore Airlines offers a luxurious flying experience that sets it apart from the rest.

From the moment you step on board, you are greeted with warmth and professionalism. The airline’s stylish cabins, including their iconic Suites, Business Class, and Economy options, provide comfort and sophistication. In-flight, you’ll be treated to delectable meals, curated by renowned chefs, and a wide range of entertainment options.

Singapore Airlines goes above and beyond to anticipate passengers’ needs, with services like pre-ordering meals through their Book the Cook service. With their dedication to excellence and their iconic Singapore Girl service, Singapore Airlines ensures that your journey is seamless and unforgettable.

For those seeking an extraordinary flying experience, Singapore Airlines takes the crown as the top airline in the world, delivering a touch of luxury and grace in the skies.

What kind of amenities do the best airlines in the world offer?

The best airlines in the world strive to provide exceptional in-flight amenities to enhance the travel experience of their passengers. These amenities vary but often include a range of services and offerings. One of the most common amenities is spacious and comfortable seating arrangements. Premium airlines often offer seats with generous legroom, adjustable headrests, and ample recline for a more relaxed journey.

Additionally, they may provide personal entertainment systems, including individual screens with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games to keep passengers entertained during the flight. Some airlines offer noise-canceling headphones to further enhance the audio experience.

Another prevalent in-flight amenity is the provision of high-quality meals and beverages. The best airlines offer gourmet cuisine, including a variety of options to cater to different dietary preferences. Passengers can enjoy well-crafted menus that include appetizers, main courses, desserts, and complimentary beverages, including alcoholic drinks on long-haul flights.

Top airlines also prioritize passenger comfort by offering amenities such as blankets, pillows, and amenity kits. These kits often include toiletries, eye masks, socks, and other essentials to ensure a comfortable journey.

Moreover, excellent customer service is a hallmark of the best airlines. Flight attendants provide attentive and personalized service, addressing passengers’ needs and ensuring a pleasant travel experience. Additionally, some airlines offer exclusive lounges for premium passengers, providing a quiet and comfortable environment with amenities such as complimentary snacks, beverages, and Wi-Fi access.

What is the safest airline in the world?

Buckle up and prepare for a thrilling flight through the world of aviation safety! When it comes to identifying the safest airline in the world, we embark on a journey where caution and excellence soar to new heights.

Among the vast fleet of carriers, one name consistently shines like a beacon of safety: Qantas Airways. Hailing from the Land Down Under, this airline has earned an impeccable reputation for its commitment to passenger well-being.

Qantas takes safety to soaring levels with its stringent maintenance procedures, state-of-the-art aircraft, and a pilot training program that would impress even the most seasoned aviators. The airline’s track record of zero fatalities in the jet era is a testament to their unwavering dedication to keeping passengers out of harm’s way.

So, if you’re on the lookout for an airline that prioritizes safety without compromising on adventure, Qantas is your ticket to peace of mind. Sit back, relax, and let Qantas take you on a safe and thrilling journey to your dream destinations. After all, when it comes to safety, this airline has truly reached new heights!

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