The Best and Worst Airlines and Airports of 2018

Last summer, on a bucket list trip through Southern Africa, I took a total of six flights with South African Airways. On the first one, a 15-hour trip from New York’s JFK Airport to Johannesburg, my air vent and seat-back screens were both broken. On my next five flights, the situation was only marginally better. Within a week of my return, a customer service agent at South African Airways received an angry note from me, citing the airline’s outdated planes and unsympathetic flight attendants. Surely, I wasn’t the only one complaining: The company seemed well-versed in responding to inquiries of this nature. Staff apologized quickly and gave me a mileage credit. It didn’t undo the terrible flights, but the swift show of humanity is rare in the aviation industry. It’s also the reason that the deep-in-debt carrier took the fifth slot in this year’s 2018 AirHelp Score report from AirHelp, a company that advocates on behalf of air travelers for compensation in cases of delays or cancelations. Its sixth annual survey uses data from the first quarter of the year to rank the 72 international airlines for which the company had statistically significant data. Overall rankings are based on three factors: on-time performance, quality of service (gleaned from public reviews on an array of reliable websites), and a claims-processing score (which reflects how a company handles customer complaints). South African Airlines has a fantastic claims-processing score,

Source: Civil Aviation Authority