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Best airlines to fly with
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The world's top 10 airlines

Monday, February 11, 2008

By Kim Wildman
MSN NZ Travel writer

From check-in staff wrangling over luggage limits and long hours spent doubled-up in undersized seats to children crying and running around the aisles and harried flight attendants pushing drink carts into unsuspecting elbows — flying really can be quite a harrowing experience. The good news is, it doesn't have to be. In fact, on some airlines you'll find the flight is as much a part of the holiday experience as the destination itself.

What airline do you prefer to fly and why? Have your say below.

Each year London-based consultancy firm Skytrax (www.airlinequality.com) polls millions of passengers around the world to find out which airlines are the cream of the crop.

According to their most recent survey released in 2007 the winners were:

1. Singapore Airlines
No stranger to awards, Singapore Airlines snatched the overall Airline of the Year title for the quality of both its economy and premium class services. From top-notch food to friendly flight attendants, any long-haul flight on this airline, which flies more passengers every year than the entire population of Singapore, is bound to be a pleasurable experience.

Website: www.singaporeair.com

2. Thai Airways
Jumping up from fourth position in 2006, Thai Airways came in second place overall. Famous for its in-flight service and well-dressed cabin crew, the airline also won the Best First Class Lounge award for its lounge at Bangkok Airport which includes a Royal Spa complete with sauna and yoga classes. Oh to travel first class!

Website: www.thaiair.com

3. Cathay Pacific
A former title winner, Cathay Pacific performed well overall ranking in the top four or five positions in almost every section of the survey. The flagship carrier of Hong Kong is also one of only six airlines worldwide to carry Skytrax's prestigious five-star rating.

Website: www.cathaypacific.com

4. Qatar Airways
A relative newcomer, Doha-based Qatar Airways has drawn plenty of attention for its international service. While economy class passengers are treated to excellent in-flight service, with the airline taking out the Best First Class Airline tag, it's the first class passengers who, as usual, remain king.

Website: www.qatarairways.com

5. Qantas
Long celebrated for its exceptional flight safety record, Qantas has dropped from second place in 2006 to fifth place. Australia's leading airline, however, consistently performs well and its budget domestic carrier, Jetstar, was named the World's Best Low-Cost Airline.

Website: www.qantas.com.au

6. Malaysia Airlines
Moving up three places from the previous year, Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysia Airlines also regained its crown for the world's Best Cabin Staff Award, snatched away by Thai Airways in 2006. Along with Cathy Pacific, it is one of only six airlines worldwide to hold Skytrax's five-star rating.

Website: www.malaysiaairlines.com

7. Air New Zealand
At last, New Zealand's flagship carrier has finally nudged its way into Skytrax's top 10. Long recognised locally for its quality passenger service, it's good to see this Kiwi icon taking on the world's best.

Website: www.airnewzealand.com

8. China Airlines
A surprising addition to this list is state-owned China Airlines, which in fact moved up two places from 2006. With its base in Taiwan not China, because of political tensions, passengers to and from mainland China must fly through a third port.

Website: www.china-airlines.com

9. Emirates
Consistently cited as one of the world's best airlines, Emirates is the largest Middle Eastern Airline. Based in Dubai, most of its flight attendants are recruited from overseas.

Website: www.emirates.com

10. British Airways
Relying too heavily on past reputation, British Airways has slipped from its first place ranking in 2006 all the way down to 10th position. The founding member of the Oneworld travel alliance obviously needs to lift its game if it wants to regain the top spot.

Website: www.britishairways.com

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Have your say: what airline do you prefer to fly and why?

User comments
I would like to say that the TORA TORA Plane of Pal Express is the best... Experience the comfort of warzone inside...
I have flown on most overseas airlines. .United would have to be the complete total pits..How they ever manage to keep flying after yelling at patrons walking away when asked questions. Singapore airlines ok but wouldn't fly them again seating too cramped was placed in first class then asked to re seat in economy due to my mother being in a wheel chair. Air New Zealand always for us wonderful clean planes food and service excellant. Our last flight home from San Fran it was Mothers day back here in NZ. They woke me and serviced me a silver breakfast tray with chicken champagne orchids and a NZ Women's Weekly...Now hows that for service...Good on you Air New Zealand....
garuda is one of the best airlines i flown from singapore to bali the inflight service was very good and it has a very kind of cabin crew
I appreciate the comments are about 1st class but taking Thai as a whole this is totally unjusified. I have just flown with them between london and Bangkok and was shocked at how outdated their economy service is. Aside from the excellent leg room, no in seat entertainment is a throw back to a decade or so ago. The service was adequate but nothing to write home about, food quality was poor and I have to say I would not choose to fly with them again.
thank god emirates is der in top 10 i think u all shud try emirates .... in feb i am travelling in emirates. luv it......
did any one know Oman air. its the best i think .... did you
The best airline is malaysian air
I don't know why does Air France is not present in this list? As for me this airline is really the best!!! I had a great pleasure to fly with this company!!! Service is very nice, a lot of tasty food, kind stewardesses........ I hope next time to see it in this list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I totally agree that Philippine Airlines is one of the best airlines one could ever fly. Korean Airlines, I would place in high ranks, too. Turkish Airlines also offer a comfortable flight and delicious meals, whereas they have to upgrade their planes, I believe.
AIR INDIA WHERE ARE YOU???????????????

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