A new list is out claiming to name the world’s cleanest airlines according to passengers. Disclaimer: the rankings come from Skytrax. However, I actually tend to agree with the list.
Travelers were asked to rate airlines on the following cleanliness metrics:
- seating areas
- cabin panels
Unsurprisingly, Asian (specifically Far East) carriers claimed the top six rankings. Here’s the top-10 list:
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- EVA Air
- Asiana Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Hainan Airlines
The list continues:
- Korean Air
- Cathay Dragon
- Austrian Airlines
- China Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Garuda Indonesia
- China Southern Airlines
- Bangkok Airways
- Air New Zealand
- Etihad Airways
- Qantas Airways
- Hong Kong Airlines
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Oman Air
- Virgin Australia
- Air France
- Turkish Airlines
- Philippine Airlines
Notice that no American or British carriers made the top-30 cut…
When I flew China Southern I would have never guessed it would make the top-20 list, but other than that I don’t see any glaring errors on the list based upon my personal experience flying almost every single one of the airlines.
(In fact, I’ve flown 28/30 carriers listed above. Can you name the two I have not?)
Do you think the list is fair? What do you consider the world’s cleanest airline? I would move JAL to #1, but everything else is fine.
Oman and Cathay Dragon???
The two are…Hainan and Philippine? Pure guessing here. Hainan and Oman would have been me second guess.
Southwest would definitely make the list for one of the dirtiest airlines.
China Airlines, Philippine Airlines
being a Taiwanese I am very proud of EVA & China Airlines being ranked so high. As to the big 3 of US, I know AA & UA run like a football stadium after a Sunday game.
This is so perfect. I just flew UA Polaris IAH-SYD and my comment was that the lavs looked like those of a rock concert in a hockey arena.
Where has American pride gone? Where is the outrage by upper management in any American carrier? The most powerful country in the world and our airlines are pathetic
@ Matthew — I can’t believe American isn’t #1.
Ah, cleanliness. The one Skytrax award that nobody bothers to pay them off for.
Phillipine and cathay dragon?
Anyway…. Its surprising to see chinese airlines on the list. Then again, since it was according to passengers, maybe chinese people considered chinese airlines as clean. Put japanese as passenger… Well…
Note that the top four, and six of top ten, are *A.
And I agree with NH as #1.
I remember noting that Lufthansa aircraft generally feel clean. I notice that the FAs seem to wear pressed shirts and there’s an orderliness and cleanliness to the cabin. Same with SQ and the Japanese carriers. Purely anecdotal of course. I would like to see a more systematic assessment system and ranking… somehow I doubt Skytrax’s methodology would stand up to much scrutiny.
For the most part I definitely agree with the airlines in the top 5 or 6 as all my flights on those airlines have been topnotch clean.
I’m curious though whether the cultural backgrounds of the majority of the pax may make a difference. Japanese culture tend to prioritize cleanliness (look at a concert venue after it ended and compare it to one in the USA.)
In Japan, there’s definitely a cultural norm that you should take care of your own trash and clean up after yourself. In Japanese mall food courts, there are stations with wipes and cleaning sprays and people wipe down their tables on their own after. In Japanese cities you won’t see many (if any) garbage cans on the sidewalks and yet the streets are spotless because its assumed that people will just take their garbage home with them because its their responsibility. Compare that to New York where even in 2019 I see people littering all the time (just look at the tracks of the subway).
The JAL first class I was on had dust bunnies near the window behind the suite wall hidden from view.
Let’s not put them on the pedestal.
I’ve never flown EVA and unfortunately all I associate them with is that awful passenger who made the FAs wipe him in the lavatory. :-\
I think I’m having a hard time separating “comfortable” and “clean”. My recollection of Asiana flights is that the plane felt dirty…but maybe that was becasue of the upholstered seats. I much prefer the cheap leather slim-line American style seats, they automatically feel more clean as long as there are no visible crumbs or spills.
The airline is only part of the equation; passengers are the other part. The sad reality is, we have a widespread “somebody else’s problem” mindset. Latest of many such observations: on a SEA-CDG flight last week in Delta One, I was in row 3 and was last to use it before takeoff and second to use it again after takeoff. Only 1 other pax (4b) used before me. When I got in, the floor was wet, paper towel in the sink and tissue in the toilet, yellow fluid swishing – the pax did not flush.
That was not a rare, 1-off. My statement on widespread is based on direct experience and observation of friends, family, colleagues and strangers everywhere and from a couple of million miles of flying (2/3 domestic) over six years in my previous job. This is not limited to airlines, just look at the workplace, city streets, parks, etc… Not at all saying it’s roses elsewhere but in my experience, when somebody litters or makes a mess in the countries of those top listed airlines, they try to hurry away or pick up their mess when they’re called on it. Back home in the US, I’ve seen “hey bud, don’t just throw that on the ground man. The bin’s 10 feet away” turn into a physical altercation. I guess we’ll have to get used to being 3rd world and try to work our way back up.