As 2022 draws to a close, it is time for my annual “Top 10” series. Here, I’ll look back on my 10 favorite flights from 2022.
As a reminder, this is not a top-10 all-time list nor does it necessarily contain the 10 most luxurious flights I enjoyed this year. Rather, it represents my subjectively favorite flights. You’ll see the common thread among the list is great service onboard. While it is difficult to quantify the value of great service, it certainly makes a flight memorable in a positive way and in retrospect, always is a hallmark of my favorite flights.
10. Air Algérie A330-200 Business Class [ALG-DOH]
Emelle and Nazim were so amazing. What a blessing to end up with them working the cabin on my flight to Doha, which also featured a very comfortable seat.
> Read More: Air Algérie A330-200 Business Class Review
9. Delta A350-900 Business Class [DTW-AMS]
A great suite and great lamb shoulder (my meal of the year). This was a flight that went by far too quickly.
> Read More: Delta Air Lines A350-900 Business Class Review
8. JetBlue A321 Business Class [JFK-LGW]
JetBlue never fails to impress and the new A321, exquisite food, and great service onboard (from Sandra, Ashley, and Dustin on this flight) make it one of my favorite ways to cross the pond.
> Read More: JetBlue A321LR Mint Business Class New York – London Review
7. British Airways 787-10 Business Class [LHR-ORD]
I slept almost the entire flight to Chicago and find the Club Suite on the 787-10 the most comfortable business class seat in the sky. I do prefer the Qatar Airways Qsuite and ANA “The Room” product overall, the new business class seat on BA is generations ahead of the Club Word seat it is replacing.
> Read More: British Airways 787-10 Club World Suites First Impressions
6. Etihad Airways A350-1000 Business Class [IST-AUH]
The new Etihad A350-1000 is a beautiful plane and so is the business class cabin. I enjoyed superb service onboard from Amalia and Olja that brought back memories of Etihad’s glory days.
> Read More: Etihad Airways A350-1000 Business Class First Impressions (Simply Perfect)
5. Qatar Airways A350-1000 Business Class [DFW-DOH]
I still find it amazing what Qatar Airways can manage in terms of onboard service compared to even some of its Gulf competitors. The Qsuite is also my favorite business class product.
> Read More: Qatar Airways A350-1000 Business Class Review
4. Qatar Airways 777-300ER Business Class [NRT-DOH]
The service on this flight from Joey and Wattana was so personalized and attentive I really felt like I was flying first class. Superb food and a great rest as well.
> Read More: My Flawless Qatar Airways 777-300ER Qsuite Flight
3. Lufthansa 747-8 First Class [JFK-FRA]
Great service onboard this special birthday flight from Mark.
> Read More: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class New York – Frankfurt Review
2. Lufthansa 747-8 First Class [FRA-ORD]
I enjoyed superb service from Miguel and Patrizia on my flight to Chicago before Easter as part of the current trip report. Not only were they charming and gracious, but I enjoyed a great meal and rest onboard. A review is coming.
1. JAL 777-300 First Class [LAX-NRT]
Although I found the cabin stifling warm, I still consider JAL First from LA to Tokyo my best flight of the year thanks to the caring and gracious service of Yonemaru and Fujii onboard. What a delightful duo.
> Read More: JAL 777-300ER First Class First Impressions
I’ve decided that I will not do a “10 worst flights” list this year. Sure, I can count up a number of bad flights, but sometimes it feels like I am just nitpicking, especially because I mostly fly in premium cabins.
Conspicuously missing from this list: any United Airlines flights, even though I took more than 40 of them. That is not because I had bad flights on United in 2022. I really did not…
But the catering on United leaves so much to be desired and while I have not encountered any bad crew this year, I cannot recall any crew beyond the lovely Diana (flight attendant of the year in my book) who has gone so above and beyond such that the flight ranked among my top ten. Here’s to that changing in 2023!
What was your best flight in 2022?
IAD to Accra when I hit million mile status on UA. Sure the catering in Polaris was subpar but the crew was fantastic. I wasn’t expecting anything but they really went out if their way to make it a memorable event and flight.
I’m chuckling that between your top 10 and bottom 10, that’s at least 20 flights in the year. I’d love to hear how many flights you had TOTAL.
Me, personally, I need to be home much of the time now because I’m needed by my wife and child nightly. I’m happy that your wife is able to able to handle the homestead on her own much of the time but mine spends her time alternating between griping I “do nothing at home” and yet, I’m missed greatly for even the times I’m out at the gym and come home later in the evening.
Sadly, I was unable to fly a single time since we drove to Myrtle Beach and my wife’s vacation at her new job was limited. 2022 was difficult for us due to the war in Ukraine and we fly my father-in-law in from Poland (after he took rail from Odesa-Lviv-Krakow) and back. We hope 2023 to be better than 2022.
I think BA business (and F) is very underrated. They have DO&CO food. And the IAD lounge with Club World dining and a Concorde dining room if you manage to snag an upgrade are also very good.
Even the old BA biz wasn’t as bad as most people thought if you got it right. 747 upstairs in certain rows had a good wide seat, direct aisle access, privacy and storage.
These Top Ten posts are my favorites of the year. Thanks, Matthew. I know they may not get the clicks that keep you going. But I do know these are the posts that many of the av geeks coming back for. At least me.
Happy New Year to everyone…..
Fav flight of the year was upgrading the whole family at booking from Düsseldorf to Dubai on the a380 in emirates. Ticked off a lot of boxes! Also booking a ton of good “unicorn” redemptions before the world opened up (eg qantas to Sydney from Dallas using Alaska miles for my son and I, five aa seats to Europe in June, Singapore to ord via Tokyo on ANA). The joy of finding a good award especially for a family is still high!