AirHelp Score 2023: How did we rank the airlines?

AirHelp Score 2023: How did we rank the airlines?

Last updated on December 4, 2023

The AirHelp Score is back again! Our 2023 annual global ranking of the world's best-known airlines compares 83 airlines during the period 1st January - 30th September 2023.

How do we calculate the score? We combine a lot of information — from the factual data on airlines’ on-time performance, to customers’ opinions based on their own flying experience. And we’re in a unique position to factor in how airlines behave when flights don't go to plan. 

We aim to rank the most popular and best-known airlines. From a list of over 800 airlines around the world, we selected the biggest in terms of passenger numbers and popularity. Some airlines are excluded where we are unable to get data.

To help you understand our data, we’ve broken down the 3 metrics we use in the airline AirHelp Score.

On-time performance

AirHelp maintains a database of flight data that ranks among the most reliable and accurate in the world. We use our database to find statistics for every flight between 1st January and 30th September 2023, which allows us to calculate how many of any given airline’s flights were on time.

On-time performance contributes 33.33% of the score

What counts as ‘on time’? 

We count any flight that arrived within 15 minutes of its published arrival time as an on-time flight. We calculated how many flights were on time and expressed this number as a percentage. The higher the score, the higher the percentage of flights arriving on time. For example, a score of 8.5 means 85% of flights were on time. 

What makes the AirHelp database so reliable? 

  • AirHelp collects data from multiple commercial vendors. We combine this data to create our own sophisticated database of flight data. 

  • To ensure our database ranks among the most accurate available, we cross-reference our statistics with a variety of reliable sources including government agencies, airport databanks, flight-tracking vendors and historical resources. 

  • If we find any conflict between sources, we do not 'estimate' an average of the time. Instead, we rank sources by authority, taking the most authoritative figure to be true.

Customer opinion

To assess the quality of service for both airports and airlines, we asked the people who use them. We ran hundreds of surveys where we asked air travelers from more than 58 countries for their opinions — and we collected over 15,300 rankings of airlines. 

We asked passengers to rate the airlines they had most recently flown with on 5 factors: 

  • Cabin crew

  • Aircraft comfort 

  • Aircraft cleanliness

  • Food offering 

  • Entertainment onboard

Passengers rated each factor on a scale from ‘very good’ to ‘very bad’. We gave each rating a numeric value, and averaged these ratings to arrive at a final score. The higher the score, the better the airline did across all of these service factors.

Customer opinion contributes 33.33% of the score

Claim processing

We believe that an airline should be assessed not just by how they treat their passengers during business as usual, but also by the consideration they show customers when things go wrong. We have unique insight into this thanks to our own data on how well airlines process valid customer claims for compensation. 

To arrive at a score, we break their performance down into multiple factors: 

  • Claim handling: how do airlines treat valid claims? Do they ignore or wrongfully reject claims, or otherwise require us to escalate them to lawyers?

  • Claim turnaround: how quickly do airlines respond to claims, and pay their passengers once a claim is accepted?

  • Claim payout: do airlines reliably settle the valid claims they accept?

  • Disputed claims: how do the valid claims which have to be escalated get resolved?

The higher the score, the better the airline has performed across all these factors.

Claim processing contributes 33.33% of the score

The Final Score 

Each of the above categories contributes equally to the airline's overall score and ranking.

Back to the AirHelp Score 2023 Airlines Ranking

Did you also know that you can claim compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights from up to 3 years ago? AirHelp is here to help you check if your flight is eligible — it’s quick, easy, and totally risk-free! 

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