5-Star Airlines: What it Means and Who Makes the Cut

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Published April 25, 2023

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a “5-star airline” and what sets them apart from the rest?

In this post, we’ll go over what 5-Star means, and take a closer look at the factors that make an airline truly worthy of the prestigious rating.

What is a 5-Star Airline?

A 5-star airline is an airline that has been awarded the highest possible rating by the airline rating agency Skytrax. This prestigious rating signifies that the airline provides exceptional service, quality, and customer experience across all aspects of its operations, from inflight amenities to airport lounges.

What factors contribute to a 5-Star Airline rating?

Several key factors contribute to an airline earning the coveted 5-star rating:

  1. Inflight Entertainment: Top-rated airlines offer a wide selection of high-quality entertainment options, such as movies, TV shows, music, and games, on user-friendly systems with clear audio and visuals.
  2. Cabin Comfort: 5-star airlines ensure their aircraft cabins are clean, spacious, and designed with passenger comfort in mind. This includes ergonomic seating, adequate legroom, and adjustable headrests and footrests.
  3. Cabin Crew Service: Attentive, professional, and friendly staff are a hallmark of 5-star airlines. Cabin crew members are trained to anticipate and meet passengers’ needs efficiently, with a genuine smile.
  4. Food and Beverage: Exceptional in-flight dining is another crucial aspect of a 5-star airline. The quality, taste, presentation, and variety of food and beverages on offer should be on par with fine dining establishments.
  5. Airport Lounge Services: Premium lounges are expected to provide a relaxing, comfortable, and quiet environment where passengers can unwind or work. 5-star lounges should also offer a range of high-quality food and beverages, business amenities, and shower facilities.
  6. Consistency and Global Coverage: To be considered a 5-star airline, the airline must deliver a consistently high level of service across its entire network, regardless of the route or aircraft type.

Which airlines have been awarded 5-Star ratings?

As of April 2023, the following airlines have been awarded the 5-star rating by Skytrax (please note that ratings may change, so always check the Skytrax website for the most up-to-date information):

  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines

If you’re wondering what happened to Lufthansa, who was previously on this list, they were reclassified to 4-stars in 2022.

How can I find out if an airline is 5-Star?

To find out whether an airline is rated 5-star, you can visit the Skytrax website and search for the airline in question. Their detailed airline profiles include the current rating as well as individual category ratings and customer reviews.

They also show rating breakdowns by level of service (economy vs first, etc.).

Why should I choose a 5-Star Airline for my next trip?

Flying with a 5-star airline means you’ll receive top-notch service, comfortable amenities, and a premium travel experience from start to finish (at least in comparison to other airlines).

While it may be a bit more expensive than flying with a lower-rated carrier, the exceptional experience is often worth the investment, especially for long-haul flights.

Also, it’s worthy noting that even the best airlines and staff have off days, so there’s no guarantee that your service will be exceptional. The ratings just give you an idea of what has historically been the experience of travelers.


Now that you have a better understanding of what it means to be a 5-star airline, you can make an informed decision when booking your next flight. By choosing a 5-star airline, you could be well on your way to ensuring a more comfortable, enjoyable, and stress-free travel experience.

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