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Last Updated On: 7/18/2012
If you're taking a long haul international flight, your best choices for a comfortable and pleasant trip are the Asian and Middle Eastern airlines like Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Emirates. Surveys, awards and numerous passenger accounts have made it clear that America's airlines have fallen way behind their Asian and Middle Eastern rivals.
How America's Airlines Have Fallen
Time was when flying and the aviation business itself was synonymous with America and the American carriers. Today, America's airline companies are a shadow of their former selves. Massive and frequent layoffs, cost cuts, rise of well-funded Asian and Middle Eastern competitors and inept management have made the country's airlines often a second or third choice for savvy travelers when it comes to booking long-haul international flights. Today, it's the Asian and Middle Eastern airlines that rule the skies. And the gap between them and America's airlines only continues to grow.
Qatar Top Airline Again
For the second year in a row, Qatar Airlineswas ranked the World's Best Airline in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. At the awards ceremony announced during the prestigious Farnborough International Airshow in England recently, Asian and Middle Eastern airlines took the top spots in all categories. In what must rank as the acme of shame, there was not a single American airline in the World's Top-20 Airlines.
World's Top-10 Airlines

1. Qatar Airways

2. Asiana Airlines

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Cathay Pacific Airways

5. ANA All Nippon Airways

6. Etihad Airways

7. Turkish Airlines

8. Emirates

9. Thai Airways

10. Malaysia Airlines

It's a similar, depressing story in the other Skytrax award categories too. American airlines were not in the top-10 in the Best First Class, Best Business Class, Best Premium Economy, Best Economy, Best Cabin Staff, Best InFlight Entertainment, Best Seats (First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, Economy), Best Catering and Best First Class Lounge. Here are the top-three airlines in some key categories:

Best First Class Airlines

1. Etihad Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

Best Business Class Airlines

1. Cathay Pacific Airways

2. Qatar Airways

3. Oman Air

Best Economy Class Airlines

1. Singapore Airlines

2. Qatar Airways

3. Asiana Airlines

Best InFlight Entertainment

1. Emirates

2. Cathay Pacific Airways

3. Singapore Airlines

The next time you call your travel agent about booking an international flight, your first question to him should be about the Asian and Middle Eastern choices available. In the 1970s and 1980s, Americans used to joke about the shabby, lowly Soviet airline Aeroflot. Guess what? In the 21st century, America's airlines are the new Aeroflot.


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