Ranking My Top 20 Favorite Airlines

There’s just something magical about traveling on planes. Maybe it’s the feeling of being high above the clouds. Maybe it’s the feeling of experiencing hospitality in the sky. Maybe it’s the feeling of getting extra excited to get to your destination. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a plane, and it will be a while until I get to go on one due to COVID-19. Here are my top 20 favorite airlines, based on my experiences, family and friends’ experiences, and the experiences of the minds behind the YouTube channel Simply Aviation.

#20: Asiana Airlines. I’ve been hoping to one day travel to South Korea. A friend and former coworker has ties to the country. Per David from Simply Aviation, the seats are quite comfortable and the legroom is good, especially in economy class. Plus, they were amazing enough to serve a hot meal on a two-hour flight from Seoul to Tokyo! Peak hospitality at 30,000+ feet. I will absolutely consider them if I get to travel to South Korea.

#19: Qatar Airways. When I was watching a report created by Felix from Simply Aviation, I already got calming vibes. Qatar has calming boarding music and, at night, elegant boarding lighting. The treats and meals they serve look absolutely delicious! Overall, Qatar Airways seems to be an elegant airline with exquisite hospitality. I do hope I get to travel with them one day.

#18: South African Airways. Felix from Simply Aviation seems to have had an enjoyable time aboard South African Airways. When I was watching his Trip Report on the airline, there was really calming boarding music, and he appreciated the in-flight meal for the four-hour flight he was on. Although the IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) was down during the flight, it began working after the flight landed, and Felix mentioned that there were many good entertainment options. At the end of the flight, he thanked the airline for a pleasant flight. Those are major positive points that make me willing to use the company myself. They will provide good hospitality regardless of the length of the flight. I mentioned previously that I hope to go to South Africa, and I will consider this airline for my travels.

#17: Delta Air Lines. Last year in November, my mother and one of her closest friends (who also has the same first name as my mother) took a trip to Italy. Their first flight was with Delta Air Lines, and they had a decent experience, from what I was told. I also decided to ask a “Twitter acquaintance” if they preferred Delta or United. They said Delta. That’s when I knew that Delta was a good choice of airline. My cousin also agrees she prefers Delta to United. I enjoy how they closed off middle seats when the pandemic started wreaking havoc to protect passenger health. Plus, they’re based in Atlanta, Georgia. I have a sense of southern hospitality from them.

#16: SAS-Scandinavian Airlines. Since I am learning multiple Scandinavian languages, I would love to travel to each of the countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. From the report made by David from Simply Aviation, SAS  will ensure you have enough to eat since they offer a wide variety of snacks. The meals looked yummy, too. The flight David was on offered a wide variety of magazine options, too. European airlines are amazing for a reason.

#15: Hawaiian Airlines. My paternal great-grandmother, known as Tutu, has lived in Hawaii. As a result, I would love to travel to the state she has lived in and experience Hawaiian culture. David from Simply Aviation did a brutally honest review of the airline. Most of his expectations were met, a couple were exceeded. In addition to good legroom, a free blanket and pillow, and a hot meal, he was given a complimentary adult beverage and a goody bag filled with treats!  That’s a major sign that this is a good airline. I will absolutely consider them should I get the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii.

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A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner (

#14: Singapore Airlines. This Trip Report recorded by Felix from Simply Aviation gave me a good first impression, as earphones were offered upon boarding the flight. Economy class also has wonderful features like a tray table in a mirror and extra seatback pouches (I will have to triple check to see if it’s exclusive to the triple-7s, however). They did a lot of things to make Felix’s 13-hour journey enjoyable, from a hot towel to delicious-looking catering. It’s hard for me to deny that they deserve to be considered a top-notch airline for the amazing hospitality they have.

#13: EVA Air. I am endeared by the exquisite boarding music that is shown in the Trip Report by David from Simply Aviation. The music reminds me very much of soothing music from Nintendo games. Not only that, but they were amazing enough to serve a delicious meal and they have flowers in the lavatories! That is wonderful of them. I’m glad David enjoyed his flight with them and I can trust them to take amazing care of their passengers.

#12: JetBlue. My sixth-grade language arts teacher lived in New York City previous to accepting a position at the middle school I attended. She traveled to New York with JetBlue, and from what I remember, she had a good time. Since I do hope to travel to New York to see Yankees and Mets games (maybe see them play each other at each other’s respective stadiums) as I want to see all the MLB Ballparks, I will consider JetBlue for my travels to New York and the New England states.

#11: Austrian Airlines. Since the minds behind Simply Aviation are Austrian (at least from what I believe), I am pleased to hear that they enjoyed their time on their country’s flagship airline. The lounge featured in David’s video looks absolutely amazing. The fac that amenities are available in the lavatories is kind. The food served looks absolutely delicious and the entertainment options were wonderful. I feel like catering and entertainment can really shape someone’s flight experience. Since Austrian Airlines is a European airline, it comes as no shock to me as to why their hospitality is amazing.

#10: Qantas Airlines. One of my bucket list items is to visit Australia, and one of the airlines I’d like to consider is Qantas. The first impressions that I got in the Trip Report video by Felix from Simply Aviation is that there is excellent Australian hospitality on board. The food looked absolutely delectable. There even were little chocolates served! I adore chocolate very much and this, along with the other factors, sold me on the opinion that Qantas is a good airline. Absolutely worth considering.

#9: Thai Airways. A Simply Aviation Trip Report by David on Thai Airways almost didn’t happen. His flight from Taipei came in an hour late and he had to book it to make it to his connecting flight in just 50 minutes. Thai Airways staff were very helpful and helped him and other passengers make it to the Frankfurt flight in only eight minutes. That is amazing of the staff to do that! I noticed that economy class came with amazing features and had an elegant color scheme. The meals looked really yummy and beer is served in economy class. Shout out to Thai Airways for being helpful to passengers. Thailand seems like a beautiful country. I hope to travel to Thailand one day on Thai Airways and experience this world class jet hospitality.

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The elegant pink and purple economy class interior of a Thai Airways Airbus A380 (Credit: Australian Business Traveller)

#8: Turkish Airlines. I’m noticing this theme that European airlines have exquisite hospitality, and according to our friends at Simply Aviation, Turkish Airlines is no exception. Their colorful economy class cabin livery is a great first impression, as well as the wonderful features. Their entertainment selection is wonderful and the meals look very tasty. Good livery, good catering, good comfort features, and good entertainment options? Sign me up! That’s the formula for a wonderful airline, at least from my perspective.

#7: LOT Polish Airlines. Poland is a country I am interested in traveling to, as one of my closest longtime friends is of Polish heritage and I am learning to speak the Polish language. My first impression of the airline from a Trip Report by Felix from Simply Aviation is that the economy class seats are comfy-looking, with great features and leg space. The food looked delicious and the service seemed top notch. I do hope I get to experience LOT Polish Airlines for myself one day.

#6: Japan Airlines. I’m not saying that Japan Airlines has one of the most barbarically exquisite economy class cabins I have ever seen, but Japan Airlines has one of the most barbarically exquisite economy class cabins I have ever seen. David from Simply Aviation would very likely agree. I am impressed with the very elegant boarding music that was played on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The crew makes sure you have plenty to eat during the flight and the seats look extremely comfortable. Should I ever go to Japan, I’d totally consider this airline.

#5: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. My family still has amenity kits from our travels to Amsterdam many, many years ago. I don’t remember much of the trip since I was four years old at the time and I am now 23 years old, about to turn 24. I did look up some photos of what KLM planes look like today, and they are beautiful. I love the blue seats, in my opinion, blue is a very calming color. Not only will I be surrounded by a color that will calm down my anxiety and persistent paranoia, I will be surrounded with an airline I believe will give me wonderful hospitality. I’m highly confident my family enjoyed our time with KLM, considering the fact he still have our amenity kits all these years later.

#4: Norwegian Air Shuttle. Last year in September, my sister decided to take a vacation to London to see a longtime friend. Originally, she was going to travel on British Airways, but decided to stick with Norwegian Air Shuttle instead. From what she told me when she returned to the United States, she had a good experience. I remember her describing something along the lines of them having good hospitality and good in-flight entertainment options. A good option when considering a trip to the European continent.

#3: British Airways. Both my brother and Simply Aviation had good experiences with British Airways. My brother traveled with them when he was going to study abroad in the United Kingdom and I appreciate that the airline got him to Britain in one piece. Also, the trip report created by David from Simply Aviation is one of the videos that lead me to subscribe to that YouTube channel. Not only do they have an amazing lounge at the Heathrow airport, but they have water in their Club World cabin for their passengers! The wonderful hospitality David got on his flight really solidified the fact that this is a great airline. 100 percent will consider for the trip I hope to take to Britain one day.

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British Airways’ Club World on a Boeing 777 (Credit: The Points Guy)

#2: Southwest Airlines. My sister has had many, many good experiences with Southwest. They even sent her an amenity kit because she really appreciates them. There are many, many places I want to travel to, such as Arizona, San Diego, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Nashville. I one hundred percent will use Southwest to travel to these destinations, if at all possible. A decade ago, my sister brought home peanuts from Southwest. I munched on them. Very yummy. Although Southwest no longer serves complementary peanuts for allergy reasons, I bet they still serve yummy treats and drinks on their flights. I also really appreciate the actions they took in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to do whatever it takes to protect public health. Great hospitality and public relations! However, there is one airline I adore even more.

#1: Lufthansa. Best of the best, based on my family experience and my own personal experience. There is a reason that my grandmother has traveled with them for literally years. They treat her the way she deserves to be treated, and they get her to her destinations safe and sound. When I was returning home to the United States after a six week vacation to visit maternal family members in Moscow, the flight attendants were amazing. They taught my family some basic German and I do like how, when my family departed from the United States to begin the journey, they gave my brother little toys to play with. What I appreciated most was how wonderful a passenger was on a flight from Germany to Moscow. My belly was really hurting and a stranger gave me their paper bag in case I got ill from my belly discomfort. That experience shaped my opinion of Lufthansa, big time. Also, as for the seats, I will say they are comfortable enough for me to sleep like a rock for a big portion of the flight.

HONORABLE MENTION: Air New Zealand. I remember their security video based on the Hobbit film trilogy very fondly. Turns out, their reputation is as wonderful as their Hobbit safety briefings. Felix from Simply Aviation got a hot meal on a shorter flight to Brisbane, Australia, from Auckland, New Zealand. That’s really wonderful of them. Also, the seats look really comfortable and they have versatile tray tables. That’s a good look for Air New Zealand.

HONORABLE MENTION: Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific gives me the impression they are a caring airline with a reputation of serving excellent experiences. From the vibes I get from Felix from Simply Aviation’s Trip Report, that is true. Premium Economy on Cathay Pacific sounds very comfortable and they give people soda before takeoff. Also, the catering looks delectable, and the in-flight entertainment seems to give many good options. I was correct about my impressions. I’d like to fly with them one day.

HONORABLE MENTION: ANA-All Nippon Airways. I’m going to be quite honest. I am very envious that David from Simply Aviation got to go on the Star Wars plane. I am an avid fan of Star Wars, having seen (and enjoyed!) the last three films (if you’re curious, I cried at Episode Nine, and I’m thankful I packed tissues in my pocket). I really want to watch the Mandalorian on Disney+ (or, as I like to call it, the Baby Yoda Show). I love the Star Wars boarding music! I also like how the airline has menus in economy class, also the catering looks tasty. The Star Wars everything is so cute! The people in charge of public relations and graphic design at that airline deserve a raise.

What are some of your favorite airlines? Which airlines would you like to travel with most? Let me know in the comments below.

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