Calling them “the friendly skies” doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking to fly them. Air travel can be quite stressful, and for good reason. No matter how many flight survival tips you stick to, with flight delays, cramped space, crowded bookings, and the mystery that is airplane food, flying has the potential to be a horrible experience — but it doesn’t have to be.
Airlines around the world work hard toward making the in-flight experience bearable, if not enjoyable, for their passengers. At the Paris Air Show this past summer, the Skytrax 2017 World Airline Awards announced exactly who succeeded the most in doing so. Known as “the Oscars of the aviation industry” the World Airline Awards judge 320 airlines from around the world based on passenger satisfaction surveys. Every aspect of the airline experience was covered, including all aspects of ground and cabin service, as well as onboard product. The winners were drawn from among airlines across Europe, Asia, and Oceania — North America, interestingly, was absent — and the list shifted quite a bit from last year. So if you’re looking to fly with the best in the coming year, here are the best world airlines of 2017.