An ever-increasing number of flyers have the chance to try Asia and Middle East-based airlines. Publications and the general public have a strong positive opinion about them. Even at the economy level, these relative newcomers to the American market have more amenities and offer more comfort to their customers, and the gap gets even bigger as you move up in the price range. The premium cabins offered by some of these can be the best first class experiences in the sky that money can buy.
Travel + Leisure Magazine asks its readers each year about their opinions about their travel experiences around the world. Readers share their opinions about hotels and resorts, cities and cruise ships, spas and restaurants, and there is a separate section where they can vote for the best airlines they have had the chance to try in the previous year. This year, the top 10 international airline operators voted best by the magazine’s readers are all based in Asia and the Middle East.
The winner of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s poll this year is Singapore Airlines. The operator with the world’s longest flight (Singapore – New York, starting in 2018) spoils its passengers with a premium-economy option that is as good as – or maybe even better than – business class at most of its competitors. Here, the seats are wider, offering travelers extra comfort to “sit back, relax, and smile.” The airline’s “New First Class” cabins offer travelers extra wide seats covered in plush, extended curved partitions for more privacy, mood lighting, and the possibility to reserve the main course 24 hours in advance, and consume the dish in a restaurant setting with full table service, and wines to match.
Emirates was voted the second best by the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine. The airline offers its passengers a unique Emirates First Class experience, with selected amenities aimed to enhance their comfort in-flight. Passengers can enjoy a glass of exclusive wine or champagne while enjoying privacy in their own Private Suite, feast on a gourmet meal or nibble on a midnight snack, reawaken their senses in the onboard Shower Spa, and socialize with other jet-setters in the airline’s revamped A380 Onboard Lounge.
Number three on the list is Qatar Airways, which boasts spacious cabins, sumptuous cuisine, and world-class hospitality destined to elevate your experience in the sky. Qatar Airways has received numerous awards this year, including Airline of the Year and World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge from Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017, Best Airline Innovation of the Year award for its Qsuite from ULTRAS 2017, and the Airline with the Best Cabin Crew award from Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2017.
To see the whole list of results, visit Travel + Leisure Magazine.