British Airways has been named the fifth best airline in the world according to eDreams – one of Europe’s largest online travel agency brands – in its most recent ‘Best Airlines in the World’ Report. The survey has been updated this year to reflect the unique and complex year faced by travellers and airlines alike, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The top rankings went to those airlines that provided exceptional service in spite of the challenges they faced – not only on board their aircrafts, but throughout the entire customer journey, from contactless check in to reliability, ticket flexibility, value for money, overall experience, refund performance and safety. 

Top 3 airlines 

Qatar Airways took the top spot in the world rankings, proving to be consistently excellent across the board, scoring top marks for airline refunds and ticket flexibility in particular. Delta Air Lines came in second with unwavering commitment to passenger safety and customer refunds. In third place was Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways, ranking highly for customer satisfaction, refunds and the implementation of new safety measures. 

Best for Refunds

In the top 10 rankings, British Airways, Qatar Airways and Delta Air Lines scored highest as the best airlines for refunds. All three airlines authorised eligible refunds requested by eDreams on behalf of its customers, and on average processed refunds in less than two weeks*. 

Best for Reliability: Ticket flexibility and flight cancellations

Airline cancellations during the first COVID-19 lockdown were inevitable – a crucial step in reducing the spread of the virus. In order to calculate the most reliable airlines in the world, eDreams recorded the percentage of flights cancelled during the post-lockdown period (July – December 2020), for each airline. Qatar Airways cancelled the fewest scheduled flights and offered excellent ticket flexibility, allowing customers to rebook their tickets multiple times, to different destinations or on different dates, free of charge. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Turkish Airlines came in joint second place.

Best for Customer-Experience

Data collected from a survey of over 61,000 reviews sent to eDreams customers, showed that All Nippon Airways was voted the highest customer-rated airline based on the overall passenger experience and perceived value for money, followed closely by Qatar Airways.


Due to the spread of COVID-19, airlines have all increased and improved their health and safety protocols and implemented new measures to keep passengers safe. The airline with the most COVID-19 prevention measures was Delta Air Lines, setting itself apart from the rest with its commitment to reducing capacity on board by blocking its middle seats. Four airlines follow closely behind Delta Airlines: All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways, all offering contactless check-in, compulsory masks, temperature checks, hygiene kits, daily aircraft disinfection, HEPA air filters, PPE for their stewards and limited onboard services.

Pablo Caspers, Chief Air Supply and Advertising Officer at eDreams ODIGEO, comments: “as the largest online travel agency in Europe, our priority during these uncertain months has been to remain loyal to our 17 million clients. This ‘Best Airlines in the World’ study offers consumers a clear understanding of the current travel market, particularly addressing consumers’ main concerns during the pandemic and allowing travellers to make more informed decisions when booking trips abroad. This study is another example of the added value that eDreams brings to travellers as a leading online travel agency”.

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