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How airlines are nominated in global competition

International air transport rating organisation Skytrax however notes that the airline announced as the winner may not necessarily be the airline of choice for all parties.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Passengers look for their seats on a flight at klia2 in Sepang.
Passengers look for their seats on a flight at klia2 in Sepang.

Every year, airlines around the world are nominated and compete for the title of best airline.

The results are announced by Skytrax, an international air transport rating organisation, after collecting feedback from passengers through a series of questions in a worldwide survey. 

With the data it collects, Skytrax shortlists the airlines with the most votes before announcing the winners according to category.  

While there are several categories, the spotlight is usually on the World's Best Airline. 

The winner in this category for 2022 was Qatar Airways, followed by Singapore Airlines and Emirates in third place. 

Other categories include Best Low-Cost Airline, won by AirAsia; Best Cabin Crew (Singapore Airlines); and Cleanest Airline Cabin (ANA All Nippon Airways). 

Still other categories include cabin class, region and airport lounge. 

Airlines are also listed according to ranking from 1 to 100. 

The competition is open to any airline in the world, with passengers given the opportunity to vote for the company of their choice. 

According to the Skytrax website, 13.42 million eligible survey entries were accepted in the final results with 88% of them registered as of March 2020.

For the most recent contest, the survey was conducted from September 2021 to August 2022, with respondents from more than 100 countries voting for 350 airlines. 

Online voting is conducted through www.worldairlinesurvey.com, where entries are screened through IP checks to ensure that passengers do not vote more than once. 

Customers nominate their preferred airline and rate their satisfaction with their travel experience on a scale of 1 to 5.

Nevertheless, Skytrax also stresses that the airline announced as the winner may not necessarily be the airline of choice for all parties. 

Questions have also been asked about the survey method, and the possibility that the respondents include airline employees. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, aviation expert Germal Singh Khera did not rule out the possibility that airline employees were among the survey participants. 

Nevertheless, he said the sample size was too big for any one company to swing the survey results in its favour. 

"It's also possible that the respondents who participated in the survey were off-duty staff," he said. 

"In that case, they would be treated like a normal passenger." 

He added that the evaluation of the airlines depends on the categories involved. 

Participants are also polled only on the services offered by the airlines, not about the issues the airlines may be facing, he said. 

"For example, it will ask for their views in terms of comfort, price level, and crew service," he said. 

"They also differentiate between air and ground services. The feedback is then sorted into categories before comparisons are made between the various airlines." 

When contacted, Skytrax said measures had been put in place to prevent any abuse of process. 

"Our surveys office has very complex IP and AI checking systems in place, developed over 20 years, to prevent any misuse of customer voting, including airline employees," it said.