There’s no way around it: Sometimes traveling is just plain uncomfortable and frustrating. From tiny airplane seats to obnoxious flight delays, we put up with a lot to get to our final destination. That said, there are some airlines that always seem to make the journey just a little bit worse.
Travel company AirHelp, which helps travelers get compensated for flight delays, wanted to find out how dozens of airlines around the world stacked up against each other, so they crunched some numbers to create a ranking. The final list accounts for quality of amenities, on-time arrivals and how well the airlines resolve flight-delay compensation claims.
Wondering which airline AirHelp named as the best in the world? Qatar Airways, which received high marks across the board, followed by Lufthansa and Eithad Airways.
Wondering which one landed dead last? Read on.
Colombian airline Avianca flies to 108 destinations in 26 countries
On-time performance: 7.4
Quality of service: 6.5
Claim processing: 7.8
TOTAL: 7.22 (out of 10)
Founded in 1919, Avianca is one of the oldest airlines in the world. It’s hubbed out of El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia, and flies to 108 destinations in 26 countries.
Things have been relatively quiet over at Avianca in recent years, though you might remember the airline’s horrific crash of 1990. The plane ran out of fuel on its way to New York From Bogota, which cause it to crash into a hillside, killing 65 passengers and eight crew members. The year before that, in 1989, a Colombian drug trafficker planted a bomb on an Avianca flight, causing it to explode shortly after takeoff. All 107 people aboard the flight were killed.
Today, however, the biggest complaints about Avianca are related to delays, baggage problems and customer service. “To say that Avianca has bad customer service is a gross understatement,”
One traveller wrote. “Avianca has no customer service.”
Vueling Airlines is Spain’s second-largest airline after Iberia.
On-time performance: 8.8
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 6.5
TOTAL: 7.09 (out of 10)
Bad communication, disorganized service and frequent flight changes and cancellations are common gripes about Vueling Airlines, a budget carrier based in Spain and the country’s second-largest airline behind Iberia.
The airline also had an embarrassing and strange snafu with professional soccer player Lionel Messi, though they’ve since apologized. Though it rivals the best airlines for on-time performance, Vueling didn’t do so hot on quality of service and claim processing.
Still, the flights to 131 destinations are super affordable, as long as you don’t mind the possibility of being frustrated during your trip.
On-time performance: 7.9
Quality of service: 8.0
Claim processing: 5.0
TOTAL: 6.97 (out of 10)
Aeroflot has a long history that dates back to 1923. Today, it serves as the national flag carrier and the largest airline in Russia with a fleet of nearly 250 planes.
Though it’s listed as one of the worst airlines in the world based on AirHelp’s analysis, Aeroflot was also recently named one of the best airlines in Europe in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, so it seems people have mixed opinions on this one.
Based on public reviews, you’ll likely find cheap tickets with Aeroflot, but you may also experience flight delays, lost luggage and what one traveler described as “gritty” customer service.