Airlines and airports are the traveler’s quickest link to getting where they want to be—and although the brands and terminals we use are often dictated by our final destination, there are still many options to choose from that will provide the best overall flying experience. The trick to finding the best of the best? Travel + Leisure’s editors and correspondents have flown around the world to bring you first-hand reports and reviews on the best carriers and airports available.
Each year, Travel + Leisure ranks the world’s airlines based on the quality of their food, in-flight service, customer service, cabin comfort, and value. Overall, genuine care by attendants, cushy seats, and leg room go a long way, as does complimentary in-flight entertainment and souped-up amenity kits. The highest-ranking carriers offer consistent service while meeting, and even exceeding, high expectations on every one of their planes. Today, the best airlines are making efforts to bring back the Golden Age of air travel—something every traveler can get behind.
What makes a great airport?
More than just stopovers, airports are often a traveler’s first and last impression of a place. From international hubs to small regional terminals, the best airports embody efficiency and accessibility—fewer flight delays, a fast and friendly check-in process, an easily navigable layout. Aesthetics-wise, the most well regarded airports are clean and modern, with top-quality food and drink options as well as premiere shopping and a distinct sense of place (from Changi Airport’s very Singaporean butterfly habitat to jasmine milk baths at the OM Spa inside Hong Kong International Airport)—not to mention great people watching.
Wondering which airports wowed travelers this year, or what airlines are best avoided due to their low delay rankings? Let Travel + Leisure be your trusted source for air travel news and reviews.