What is a 5-Star Airline?

A 5-star airline is one that delivers the highest level of service and the best in-flight experience. 

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Similar to hotels, airlines have a rating system that indicates the overall level of quality of an airline. A five-star airline is one that delivers the highest level of service and the best in-flight experience.

One of the companies that rates airlines is the UK-based research company, Skytrax, which has been awarding individual airlines with between one and five stars. These ratings are based on “analysis of between 500 and 800 product and service delivery assessment items,” such as cabin service, flight attendant and agent language skills, check-in facilities, and overall staff friendliness.

What are the benefits of flying a five-star airline?

Similar to the difference between a no-frills one-star hotel vs a full-service five-star one, a five-star airline generally offers a more pleasant experience with elevated service and much higher quality amenities. 

These could be things like increased legroom and more comfortable seats, better quality food served during the flight, thoughtful touches like amenity kits even in economy. Airport perks include nicer lounges and friendlier staff. You may also find things like a more generous checked baggage allowance included with the ticket price or a frequent flyer program with better rewards.

Which airlines are designated as 5-star?

There aren’t many airlines that can claim the coveted 5-Star Airline Rating. At the time of this writing, there are only 10 airlines on the five-star list:

  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines

We always consider airline quality when determining what deal to send members of Going, and when we send a deal on a five-star airline, we’ll note it in the email so you can be fully informed on what to expect.

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Last updated Jan 11, 2024