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An annual ranking of the most well-known airlines in the world is often produced by AirHelp.


How do we come up with the score? We combine a lot of information — from the factual data on airlines’ on-time performance, to customers’ opinions based on their own flying experience. And we’re in a unique position to factor in how airlines behave when flights don’t go to plan.

We aim to rank the most popular and best-known airlines. From a list of 805 airlines globally, we selected the biggest in terms of passenger numbers, and popularity with passengers. Some airlines are excluded where we are unable to get data.

To help you understand our data, we’ve broken down the 3 metrics we use in the airline AirHelp Score.


1. On-time Performance (33.33% of the score)

AirHelp maintains a database of flight data that ranks among the most reliable and accurate in the world. We use our database to find statistics for every flight between 1st January and 31st October 2022, which allows us to calculate how many of any given airline’s flights were on time.

What counts as ‘on time’?

We count any flight that arrived within 15 minutes of its published arrival time as an on-time flight. We calculated how many flights were on time and expressed this number as a percentage. The higher the score, the higher the percentage of flights arriving on time. For example, a score of 8.5 means 85% of flights were on time.

What makes the AirHelp database so reliable?

AirHelpcollects data from multiple commercial vendors. We combine this data to create our own sophisticated database of flight data.

To ensure our database ranks among the most accurate available, we cross-reference our statistics with a variety of reliable sources including government agencies, airport databanks, flight-tracking vendors and historical resources.

If we find any conflict between sources, we do not ‘estimate’ an average of the time. Instead, we rank sources by authority, taking the most authoritative figure to be true.

2. Customer Opinion (33.33% of the score)

To assess the quality of service for both airports and airlines, we asked the people who use them. We ran hundreds of surveys where we asked air travelers from more than 30 countries for their opinions — and we collected over 9,300 rankings of airlines.

We asked passengers to rate the airlines they had most recently flown with on 5 factors:

  • Cabin crew
  • Aircraft comfort
  • Aircraft cleanliness
  • Food offering

Entertainment onboard

Passengers rated each factor on a scale from ‘very good’ to ‘very bad’. We gave each rating a numeric value from 1 – 5, and added these ratings together to arrive at a final score. The higher the score, the better the airline did across all of these service factors.

3. Claim Processing (33.33% of the score)

We believe that an airline should be assessed not just by how they treat their passengers during business as usual, but also by the consideration they show customers when things go wrong. We have unique insight into this thanks to our own data on how well airlines process valid customer claims for compensation.

To arrive at a score, we break their performance down into multiple factors:

Claim handling: how do airlines treat valid claims? Do they ignore or wrongfully reject claims, or otherwise require us to escalate them to lawyers?

Claim turnaround: how quickly do airlines respond to claims, and pay their passengers once a claim is accepted?

Claim payout: do airlines reliably settle the valid claims they accept?

Disputed claims: how quickly do the valid claims which have to be escalated get resolved?

The higher the score, the higher the airline has performed across all these factors.


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