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World's Worst Airlines, Ranked

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World's Worst Airlines, Ranked

20. Avianca

On-time performance: 7.4
Quality of service: 6.5
Claim processing: 7.8
TOTAL: 7.22 (out of 10)

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Founded in 1919, Avianca is one of the oldest airlines in the world. It’s hubbed out of El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia, and flies to 108 destinations in 26 countries.

Things have been relatively quiet over at Avianca in recent years, though you might remember the airline’s horrific crash of 1990. The plane ran out of fuel on its way to New York From Bogota, which cause it to crash into a hillside, killing 65 passengers and eight crew members. The year before that, in 1989, a Colombian drug trafficker planted a bomb on an Avianca flight, causing it to explode shortly after takeoff. All 107 people aboard the flight were killed.

Today, however, the biggest complaints about Avianca are related to delays, baggage problems and customer service. “To say that Avianca has bad customer service is a gross understatement,” one traveler wrote. “Avianca has no customer service.”

19. Vueling Airlines

On-time performance: 8.8
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 6.5
TOTAL: 7.09 (out of 10)

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Bad communication, disorganized service and frequent flight changes and cancellations are common gripes about Vueling Airlines, a budget carrier based in Spain and the country’s second-largest airline behind Iberia.

The airline also had an embarrassing and strange snafu with professional soccer player Lionel Messi, though they’ve since apologized. Though it rivals the best airlines for on-time performance, Vueling didn’t do so hot on quality of service and claim processing.

Still, the flights to 131 destinations are super affordable, as long as you don’t mind the possibility of being frustrated during your trip.

18. Aeroflot Russian Airlines

On-time performance: 7.9
Quality of service: 8.0
Claim processing: 5.0
TOTAL: 6.97 (out of 10)

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Aeroflot has a long history that dates back to 1923. Today, it serves as the national flag carrier and the largest airline in Russia with a fleet of nearly 250 planes.

Though it’s listed as one of the worst airlines in the world based on AirHelp’s analysis, Aeroflot was also recently named one of the best airlines in Europe in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, so it seems people have mixed opinions on this one.

Based on public reviews, you’ll likely find cheap tickets with Aeroflot, but you may also experience flight delays, lost luggage and what one traveler described as “gritty” customer service.

17. Czech Airlines

On-time performance: 7.4
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 7.1
TOTAL: 6.81 (out of 10)

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Czech Airlines has been in business for 95 years, so you’d think they’d have this whole flying thing down pat. But apparently not, based on their ranking as the No. 17 worst airline in the world.

The national flag carrier for the Czech Republic transports passengers to more than 100 destinations around the world on its fleet of 17 airplanes.

Travelers say the airline’s baggage guidelines are confusing and several people described the staff as incompetent. “Avoid this airline at all costs if you value your sanity,” one disgruntled passenger warned.

16. Kuwait Airways

On-time performance: 7.6
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 6.4
TOTAL: 6.66 (out of 10)

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Based in Kuwait City, Kuwait Airwaysoffers flights to more than 30 destinations in Europe and Asia.

The airline has struggled in recent years, including experiencing major losses, a scandal involving a porn star in the cockpit and controversy over its decision to bar an Israeli woman from flying because of her nationality.

The airline has a decent score for on-time performance, but lost ground for quality of service and claim processing. Complaints range from the staff being unprofessional and unhelpful to the planes being dirty and in need of updating.

15. Air India

On-time performance: 5.8
Quality of service: 6.3
Claim processing: 7.8
TOTAL: 6.61 (out of 10)

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Travelers report being generally disappointed in Air India, the national flag carrier for India based at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Some of the airplanes aren’t very clean and the airline doesn’t have a very good track record of being on time.

“This will be my first and last flight with Air India,” one flier wrote online. “There is no proper greetings or service. The restroom was so unclean and horrible. The screens are not working. I'll never and ever will travel with this airlines.”

Still, Air India flies to 114 destinations in 27 countries, and they’re a member of the Star Alliance, so if you have frequent flier miles, it may still be worth it to book a trip on this airline.

14. Asiana Airlines

On-time performance: 5.7
Quality of service: 9.5
Claim processing: 4.0
TOTAL: 6.41 (out of 10)

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Asiana Airlines is one of two major airlines in South Korea (the other is Korean Air, the flag carrier). Though the airline has great quality of service, according to AirHelp’s analysis, it falls short in terms of on-time performance and claim processing.

Indeed, the airline recently announced that it would reduce its flight load to sort out several issues causing delays. The airline also had some funky troubles with its in-flight meals, though it appears they’re sorting that problem out now.

Asiana Airlines is also apparently facing lots of competition from low-cost airlines in China and the Middle East.

13. Tap Portugal

On-time performance: 6.9
Quality of service: 6.3
Claim processing: 6.1
TOTAL: 6.4 (out of 10)

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Based on AirHelp’s analysis, Tap Portugal is a pretty average airline across the board.

The airline, founded in 1945, has a number of online complaints about delayed and lost luggage, plus some confusion about baggage pricing in general. Still, if you’re flying in and out of Lisbon, where Tap Portugal is hubbed, there’s a decent chance you’ll be traveling on this airline, so prepare yourself.

One passenger was so frustrated he wrote: “Worst airline to fly with, try walking instead.” Now that’s an interesting idea.

12. Jet2.com

On-time performance: 8.5
Quality of service: 6.8
Claim processing: 3.8
TOTAL: 6.37 (out of 10)

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Jet2.com, formerly known as Channel Express, is a low-cost airline that flies primarily from the United Kingdom to more than 50 vacation destinations.

You can get truly dirt-cheap flights through Jet2.com, just be aware that if something happens and you need them to process a claim, you might be disappointed.

Also, apparently the airline really likes to play the Jess Glynne song “Hold My Hand” on repeat, which could get on your nerves pretty quickly. But, hey, not everyone hates Jet2.com — the airline was named to the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Award list in 2018.

11. Thai Airways

On-time performance: 6.9
Quality of service: 8.0
Claim processing: 4.2
TOTAL: 6.36 (out of 10)

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Founded in 1960, Thai Airways is the national flag carrier for Thailand and is hubbed out of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Travelers have complained about the airline’s staff members being unfriendly and that, as a whole, the airline doesn’t do a great job handling luggage — lots of people posted online about late or missing luggage when flying with Thai Airways.

The airline was also involved in a scandal involving bribery payments from Rolls-Royce that came to light in 2017. Rolls-Royce, which was accused of paying more than $36 million in bribes to secure contracts with the airline, eventually settled the case for more than $870 million.

10. Jet Airways

On-time performance: 6.5
Quality of service: 6.5
Claim processing: 5.6
TOTAL: 6.2 (out of 10)

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Coming in at No. 10 on AirHelp’s list of the worst airlines in the world is Jet Airways, the struggling airline based in Mumbai, India. Compared to other airlines on the list, Jet Airways received average marks on all counts (for comparison, the best airlines in the world received scores above 8 or 9).

The airline, the second largest in India behind IndiGo, was founded in 1992 and currently flies to 66 destinations around the world. It’s been in the news recently for financial problems and an investigation into alleged embezzlement— yikes.

9. Aerolineas Argentinas

On-time performance: 8.5
Quality of service: 6.5
Claim processing: 3.6
TOTAL: 6.2

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Next on the list is Aerolineas Argentinas, the national flag carrier for Argentina. The airline was founded in 1950 and today flies to 59 destinations in 13 countries, including 35 locations in Argentina. All told, some 11.5 million people fly with Aerolinea Argentinas every year.

Despite its low marks, travelers may still want to consider the airline if flying within Argentina; in August 2018, the company launched a promotional deal offering round-trip domestic flights for 30 bucks.

8. Iberia

On-time performance: 8.4
Quality of service: 7.8
Claim processing: 2.3
TOTAL: 6.13

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Iberia was founded in 1927 and has served as the flag carrier for Spain ever since, traveling to 127 destinations in 48 countries. Though Iberia received some decent marks, apparently their claim processing procedures are, to put it mildly, lacking.

On social media, you’ll find complaints ranging from lost baggage to shoddy customer service.

Korean Air

On-time performance: 6.4
Quality of service: 8.3
Claim processing: 3.7
TOTAL: 6.13

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This flag-carrier airline for South Korea was founded in 1969 and flies to 124 destinations in more than 43 countries. The family-run company recently made headlines when two of the CEO’s daughters resignedfollowing several embarrassing incidents and accusations that the family used the airline’s planes to get out of paying taxes on luxury goods.

Alas, due to its formidable presence, if you want to fly in and out of South Korea and other parts of Asia, chances are good you’ll end up flying with Korean Air. At least it earned a solid score for quality of service.

6. Ryanair

On-time performance: 8.6
Quality of service: 6.3
Claim processing: 3.3
TOTAL: 6.03

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Coming in at No. 6 on the list of worst airlines in the world is Ryanair, the budget airline based in Ireland. The airline operates 2,000 daily flights from airports in 37 countries, serving more than 130 million customers each year.

Ryanair falls short in terms of quality of service and claim processing, but it does earn high marks for on-time flights. In fact, according to Ryanair’s own statistics, 88 percent of flights arrived on time within the last 12 months.

It’s pretty hard to beat the airline’s often absurdly low prices, but be warned: The company charges you extra for for pretty much everything, including carry-on luggage and the privilege of sitting with loved ones.

5. Air Mauritius

On-time performance: 6.9
Quality of service: 7.8
Claim processing: 3.3
TOTAL: 5.99

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The island nation of Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Madagascar, is perhaps best known for its sandy beaches, turquoise sea waters and tropical climate. Its airline, Air Mauritius, however, leaves something to be desired.

Air Mauritius was founded as the national carrier of Mauritius in 1967, the same year the nation gained independence from Britain. Since then, it's garnered a middling reputation, with many people on TripAdvisor particularly grousing about its subpar food.

4. Easyjet

On-time performance: 7.8
Quality of service: 7.8
Claim processing: 1.3
TOTAL: 5.66

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The United Kingdom’s budget airline Easyjet is also one of the worst in the world, thanks primarily to the airline’s awful claim processing.

The airline flies to 132 airports in 31 countries, making it a popular choice for cheap, short-haul flights. But Easyjet is a fairly young company, with just 21 years under its belt. And, as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” If you’re looking for the cheapest flights and nothing else matters, you might still be satisfied with ridiculously inexpensive Easyjet...despite its low score.

3. Pakistan International Airlines

On-time performance: 6.1
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 4.2
TOTAL: 5.43

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Pakistan International Airlines, known colloquially as PIA, is the national carrier for Pakistan — but that might change soon as the country looks to privatize the airline. It’s experienced a host of issues in recent years, including massive financial losses, management issues and increased competition from at least five new airlines. And, in 2016, 47 people died in a crash on one of the airline’s flights.

Given all that, perhaps it’s not surprising that Pakistan International Airlines is ranked as the third worst airline in the world. 

2. Royal Jordanian Airlines

On-time performance: 8.3
Quality of service: 6.3
Claim processing: 0.8
TOTAL: 5.13

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Royal Jordanian Airlines, which is hubbed out of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, isn’t quite the worst airline in the world — but it’s pretty darn close.

Though the national carrier of Jordan does an okay job getting passengers to their destinations on time, it falls short on claim processing and its quality of service. One bright spot, though? Royal Jordanian recently landed on a list of the 20 safest airlines in the world.

You win some, you lose some.

1. WOW Air

On-time performance: 7.5
Quality of service: 6.0
Claim processing: 1.7
TOTAL: 5.04

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Coming in at “No. 1” on the list of the worst airlines in the world? The not-so-aptly-named WOW Air.

Of course, if price is all that matters to you when you’re looking for cheap flights to Iceland and Europe from the United States, you’ll probably still fly with this uber-budget airline; the airline’s famous “flash sales” offer tickets on long flights for less than $100.

Just don’t expect any bells and whistles, and know that you may be complaining, loudly, about the customer service you receive.

RELATED STORY: "World's Worst Airports, Ranked"

 

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I’m not surprised aro-flop are on the list absolutely shite flew them once to Thailand many many moons ago never again I’m sure it was a cargo plane with seats just thrown in ....I flew Kuwait earlier this year the business class was garbage.....only decent thing about the flight was the baggage allowance which is why I booked  them 66kg in business class and I was still  2kg over but nothing was said I don’t think they even checked ....the airport is a shithole and security is shite ......I have fed better food to my dogs .....staff are friendly enough, but you can not make a silk purse out of a pigs ear..........

Not flown with Thai since 2007 , I had a hell of a lot airmiles with them as I used to fly business class .........says it all really. 

Not flown with any of the other airlines....

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I've flown with a handful of these airlines, Korean Air many times.  It seems they place a lot of weight on "claim processing" which may have biased the score differently than we would have, unless of course you file a lot of claims.

The only complaint I'd have about Korean Air is that their menu never seems to have changed in the 25+ years I've used them. I wouldn't downgrade them or Asiana this far personally.

I flew Kuwait Airways once.  My biggest complaint was with the terminal in Kuwait City.  It was like a rabbit warren, signs in weird places containing out of date and even bogus data.  Ground staff was helpful to me but that was when I couldn't walk so much of it might have been pity.

I'm a bit surprised that none of the Chinese airlines made the cut here.  I've flown China Eastern, they were a crime against humanity, and the Beijing airport is a slaughterhouse.

In all I find it hard to get too worked up about bad airline travel.  I fly coach except under very specific circumstances, specifically someone else is paying, so ALL air travel sucks a gigantic peen to me.

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Korean Air is one of my personal favorites. I fly with them all the time. I would not put a dog I hated on an American Airlines or Delta flight. 

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2 minutes ago, Steelers4Life said:

Korean Air is one of my personal favorites. I fly with them all the time. I would not put a dog I hated on an American Airlines or Delta flight. 

I’m surprised some of the US airlines are not on the list ...methinks this survey is flawed ...........

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Just now, Chokdeekap said:

I’m surprised some of the US airlines are not on the list ...methinks this survey is flawed ...........

Maybe because a lot of US carrier international flights are code-shares run by other carriers?

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My biggest gripe with the Internal flights in the US is the constent overbooking...fuck me they are lethal at it .....

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3 minutes ago, Chokdeekap said:

My biggest gripe with the Internal flights in the US is the constent overbooking...fuck me they are lethal at it .....

I rarely give up my seat, in fact did it only once on a domestic Delta flight.  Got nearly US$4K in gift cards for it!  Mentioned this in other threads BTW.

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Some seriously flawed marking in those scores I think. Some of those airlines deserve to be there, but as Ray as mentioned, a lot of scoring based on claim processing! Most, if not all airlines, are shit at claim processing! After all, which airline wants to hand over their hard earned profits to you, or wants to admit liability (before finally paying out) on lost or damaged baggage!!

I'm guessing this "survey" only asked 100 (* insert family fortunes catchphrase here*) passengers on their views on airlines, because anyone who gives those kind of good marks to Ryanair seriously need to give their heads a wobble!!!

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Pretty hard to argue with Jet2 and Ryan Air absolute garbage the pair of them..

Nowadays it's like Chav Airways on the pair of them too.

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39 minutes ago, roomark said:

Pretty hard to argue with Jet2 and Ryan Air absolute garbage the pair of them..

Nowadays it's like Chav Airways on the pair of them too.

I would rather canoe across the channel than ever give a penny to that scumbag O'Leary.

 

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49 minutes ago, roomark said:

Pretty hard to argue with Jet2 and Ryan Air absolute garbage the pair of them..

Nowadays it's like Chav Airways on the pair of them too.

I do not use Jet2 a lot but for a low cost carrier I do not think they are bad.  I used them for the LBA to Prague trip I did in July this year.  I did a package through Jet2 holidays site.  It was a direct flight leaving LBA in the morning and departing Prague in the early evening, so I got maximum time in Prague.  The only other alternative from LBA is KLM with one stop in Amsterdam.  The hotel was offered on a Bed and Breakfast basis and was about £50 cheaper for four days than I could get anywhere else.

 

On these Jet2 packages one is allowed free 20kg check in luggage and indeed they encourage passengers to check in small cases which normally go as hand luggage.  That does prevent the overhead lockers from being packed.

 

Food and drink on the plane is an extra to be paid for, however for a short flight I rarely have anything other than a drink.

 

I have never had anything go wrong so I can not comment about their complaints procedure.

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3 minutes ago, Al McReady said:

Surprised BA never got a mention.

Apparently it was miles ahead in the vote until they noticed high incidences of multi voting from a Cambridgeshire internet address.

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4 hours ago, roomark said:

Pretty hard to argue with Jet2 and Ryan Air absolute garbage the pair of them..

Nowadays it's like Chav Airways on the pair of them too.

Prefer Jet2 to any other low cost airline.

From being able to call them and speak with someone in the UK, to good service with plenty of people to help in the airports and on the plane, to great prices, I like them.

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4 hours ago, Krapow said:

Prefer Jet2 to any other low cost airline.

From being able to call them and speak with someone in the UK, to good service with plenty of people to help in the airports and on the plane, to great prices, I like them.

Yes mate used them in the past and never had any problems.

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15 hours ago, Rompho Ray said:

and the Beijing airport is a slaughterhouse.

 

+1 

Had a nearly 2 hour layover for a connecting flight arriving on UA and then Thai Airways to Bangkok. Was a constant challenge/struggle running to the gate just as they were closing it. Horrendous layout and security operations for connecting flights.

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13 hours ago, roomark said:

Pretty hard to argue with Jet2 and Ryan Air absolute garbage the pair of them..

Nowadays it's like Chav Airways on the pair of them too.

Yeah Ryan air terrible.  Air France, British airways, Eva, don't like them.

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2 hours ago, jcolorado said:

Horrendous layout and security operations for connecting flights.

Yep, only airport I've ever been in where I had to wait in line and get a stamp in my passport as a transit passenger.

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