After a rocky two years, the travel industry and airlines are slowly making a comeback.
Travel restrictions are lifting worldwide (even though mask mandates are still a thing), and travelers are eager to get back into the skies, exploring far-flung destinations or local haunts.
But there is always the one conundrum: who is the best airline to book your next vacation with?
Who has a stellar safety record, incredible perks, and excellent value for money?
To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the best domestic and international airlines to make planning your trip that much easier.
The Best International Airlines
Singapore Airlines is one of the best airlines in the world.
It’s the epitome of sky-high luxury.
Whether you’re sitting in first-class, business, or economy, you can expect nothing but the best. All three cabins have luxurious and comfortable interiors and an in-flight menu that goes beyond bland chicken or beef.
Not enough to convince you?
Singapore Airlines is the world’s most awarded airline and currently holds the titles of the best overall airline, best economy, and best premium class.
Emirates is an airline that is all about innovation.
Its First Class private suites are a sought-after travel experience with a shower spa and onboard lounge at 40,000 feet.
And that’s not all.
The Emirates Boeing 777 comes with a First Class suite that boasts industry firsts like zero-gravity seat positions, mood lighting controls, virtual windows, and personal climate control.
Emirates also became the go-to airline for coffee connoisseurs. It’s the first airline to offer iced Americano and Affogato onboard to First and Business class travelers.
With such a consistent history of innovation, and a long list of international destinations, it’s no surprise Emirates sweeps up travel industry awards.
At the Business Traveler Middle East Awards 2021, the airline won “Best Airline Worldwide” for the eighth consecutive year.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand may be one of the smallest international airlines, but it packs a punch.
Despite its size, the airline sweeps up awards thanks to its innovative in-flight entertainment.
I mean, who can forget their famous Lord of the Rings in-flight safety video?
It’s that type of creative thinking that sets the airline apart from everyone else and helps it crush the competition despite its limited offerings.
Over the last couple of years, it’s won the World’s Best Airline award at the AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards six times and currently holds the titles of Best Long-Haul Airline Pacific, Best Premium Economy, and Best Economy.
Plus, Air New Zealand is the safest airline in the world.
Do you hate those “reclining” seats in economy class?
Switch to Qantas for your next international or domestic Australian flight and enjoy the simple luxury of flatbed seats.
That’s only one of the features that make Qantas one of the top airlines in the world.
As the largest airline in Australia (and the third oldest globally), Qantas has an excellent safety record. It won Best Lounges and Best Domestic Airline Service at the annual AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards.
No best airlines in the world list is complete without mentioning Qatar.
While its economy class isn’t top tier in the industry, the airliner’s Business Class offerings are exceptional.
The QSuite cabins are the only business class suites with privacy doors and fully flatbed seats. So it’s not surprising Qatar won the World’s Best Business Class at the 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
That’s not the only award the airline picked up at Skytrax. It also took home the World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, Airline of the Year, Best Airline in the Middle East, Best Business Class Onboard Catering, and Best Airport in the World – Hamad International Airport.
The Best Domestic Airline in the United States
JetBlue is comfortable for air travel, even on a budget. With expansive legroom (in economy class, too), an extensive route network, and excellent customer service, booking a flight with the airline is a no-brainer.
I’m not the only one that thinks this.
JetBlue is the second-highest-rated American airline and ranks number 32 globally.
Especially when you consider its destination network is smaller than some of the other major US carriers.
Want even more reasons to fly with JetBlue?
The airline offers “Fly-Fi” internet access on all its flights, has a partnership with Amazon Prime, and on-demand food service for business class passengers.
Delta Airlines is one of the best U.S. airlines.
Not only does it have one of the largest fleets in the world, but it operates 5,000+ flights every day to over 300 different destinations.
Its high flight numbers are also why Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the busiest airport in the world.
Besides flying to almost any destination your heart desires, Delta’s SkyMiles reward program is jam-packed with travel perks. It is one of the most reliable domestic carriers, with cancellations and delays a rare occurrence.
Once upon a time, Alaska Airlines was a small charter plane service.
Fast forward to 2022, and it’s one of America’s largest airlines transporting people all around the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize.
But what makes Alaska one of the top airlines in the world?
Well, if you get peckish on board, you can sip on Starbucks coffee and nibble on Beecher’s artisan cheese.
For those looking to splurge on a seat upgrade, premium class will get you perks like extra legroom and free alcoholic beverages.
And if that’s not enough to tempt you, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will have you reaching for your credit card.
The rewards program is one of the few that lets you earn miles by how many miles you fly and not how much you spend. Also, Alaska is one of the few areas in the world where you may go on a Kodiak bear hunt (for more info, check https://www.teamahn.com/hunts/143/kodiak-bear-sitka-blacktail-roosevelt-elk-mountain-goat/). Many individuals embark on these hunting vacations to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle and to be in the wild.
Want to visit the island paradise of Hawaii? You’ll need to catch a flight with Hawaiian Airlines.
Coming in at 74 on the global airline’s list, the carrier mainly focuses on bringing passengers to Hawaii from the mainland or trips between the other islands.
But it’s not a strict domestic-only airline.
Hawaii is a gateway to Asia and Oceania as well. You can grab flights to destinations like Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and other Pacific Islands.
While you’re in the air, you’re almost guaranteed an incredible experience. Hawaii Airlines has one of the best track records among U.S. airlines. Lost luggage, late flights, and cancellations are few and far between, taking out some of the stress of travel.
If you are flying economy, you’ll still get a first-class experience. Passengers still get a full meal, and you can opt to pay in for an upgraded meal.
Who do you think is the best international and domestic airline? Let me know your opinion and why that airline is your top choice in the comments below.