An unlikely ranking list

Singapore girlTripAdvisor has published its Travelers' Choice awards 2019. They rank the world's airlines and on top of the list is Singapore Airlines. The awards' name refers to the fact that the ranking is based on travelers' reviews. An algorithm takes into account the quantity and quality of airline and ratings reviews over a 12-month period.

Doling out awards

TripAdvisor uses the same tactics as other listings by doling out a large number of awards, in this case 91. This guarantees quite a lot of free publicity because at least 91 airlines will advertise TripAdvisor's name.

Travellers' ChoiceHowever, the methodology is not crystal clear. It is based on the quality and quantity of flyers' reviews and bubble ratings for airlines on TripAdvisor.

Unclear categorization

In addition, the categorization raises questions. For example, the best US airline is Southwest Airlines. And Delta Air Lines is the best major airline in North America. But Delta and Southwest are both major airlines. The 3 largest US airlines in terms of passengers carried are in 2018 American Airlines (203,745,000), Delta Air Lines (192,465,271) and Southwest Airlines (163,605,833).

EmiratesEmirates is one of the class of service global winners as it offers the best first class. Qatar Airways has the best business class. Air New Zealand offers the best premium economy class. And Singapore Airlines has the best economy class.

Lack of credibility

Obviously, TripAdvisor's top-10 lacks credibility. It includes carriers that have never been included in any other top-10. Number 7, for example, is the Brazilian airline Azul. And number 9 ( is a British low cost carrier.

AzulIt seems that reviews from vacationers have an important impact on TripAdvisor's top-10. But tourists flying incidentally and only on low cost carriers apply other standards than regular flyers. Lumping everything together may not lead to a meaningful ranking of airlines.

Anyway, TripAdvisor's top-10 follows. Four carriers are from Asia, 2 from the Middle East, 1 from Europe, 1 from South-America, 1 from Oceania, and 1 from the USA.

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. EVA Air
  4. Emirates
  5. Japan Airlines
  6. Southwest Airlines
  7. Azul
  8. Air New Zealand
  10. ANA (All Nippon Airways)

Tags: Travelers' Choice awards, TripAdvisor, airline top-10

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