Qatar’s national carrier has ranked at the top of a recent study that rates airlines on flight delays and compensation claims.
Qatar Airways beat out 50 other carriers for the honor, including regional rival Emirates, which fell several spots down the index this year to 44th.
However, there is clearly some dispute about which carrier really is the best. Emirates this month took the world’s best airline title from Qatar Airways in the annual Skytrax awards.
This other report was released in March by AirHelp, a company that assists travelers with compensation claims for delayed, canceled or overbooked flights.
According to the company, Qatar Airways scored a 10 out of 10 in the quality & service category, which factors in the experience mid-air and on the ground.
It also got an 8.4 for on-time performance and 7.6 for claim processing, for an overall score of 8.7.
In a statement to Lonely Planet this week, AirHelp marketing manager Marius Fermi explained how the rankings work:
“Our score uses a database that aggregates multiple data points from a variety of reliable sources such as government agencies, airport databanks, flight-tracking vendors, historical resources, commercial data brokers and so on.
We are therefore able to maintain an accurate, real-time picture of flight disruptions occurring across the globe, the circumstances surrounding these disruptions and the likelihood of further disruptions occurring.”
Qatar Airways does indeed have a strong record of punctuality. Last year, it was even named the world’s most reliable airline by travel site WanderBat.
But many in Qatar may take issue with the airline’s high scores for customer service, frequently complaining about how difficult it can be to reach someone to file a claim.
And last month, the airline was criticized for failing to communicate with customers after more than 250 passengers due to fly from Copenhagen to Doha were delayed for 37 hours.
In addition to the national carrier, Singapore Airline, KLM, Lufthansa and Air Canada rounded out the top five on AirHelp’s list.
The five worst airlines in terms of punctuality and customer service were Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, the UK’s Thomas Cook Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines and Sata Interational from Portugal.
Four of those five were newcomers to the index.