Flying is often a fundamental element of travel, and airlines have the ability to make or break a trip. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which ones offer the best service, comfort, and value for your money?
To answer that question and establish which airlines are the best, an expert panel nominated their top picks across six categories, then readers decided the winners by voting for their favorites.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Airline: Delta Air Lines
10Best readers prefer Delta Air Lines — Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Delta ranks among the most highly rated U.S.-based carriers due to its on-time record, extensive route offerings, robust frequent flyer program, and excellent lounges at airports across America. Even smaller planes have seat-back TVs to keep passengers entertained on their journeys.
Full list of winners: Best Airline »
Best Business & First Class: Korean Air
Enjoy a VIP experience in Korean Air’s first class cabins — Photo courtesy of Korean Air
First class aboard Korean Air means private spaces, lie-flat sleeper seats, and large entertainment screens. Passengers are provided an in-flight amenity kit from Atelier Cologne and upgraded food and wine. Passengers aboard the A380 can relax in the Celestial Bar over craft cocktails.
Full list of winners: Best Business & First Class »
Best Cabin Crew: Play Airlines
Play Airlines has the best cabin crew, according to our readers — Photo courtesy of PLAY
On Play Airlines, expect to enjoy your flight from start to finish. “This low-cost Icelandic airline is staffed with a friendly, fun-loving, bilingual crew,” 10Best contributor Allison Tibaldi says. “They wear cute red puffer jackets emblazoned with the PLAY logo, adding a casual note.”
Full list of winners: Best Cabin Crew »
Best Economy Class: Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines offers the best in economy class — Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Each economy cabin seat on Delta flights has its own entertainment touchscreen. However, it’s worth upgrading to Comfort+, the airline’s version of premium economy, for extras like dedicated overhead bin space, up to 3 extra inches of legroom, and an amenity kit on long-haul international flights.
Full list of winners: Best Economy Class »
Best Inflight Entertainment: Virgin Atlantic
Time flies when you’re flying with Virgin Atlantic, thanks to their amazing inflight entertainment — Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic
Vera, the entertainment platform for Virgin Atlantic, is loaded with movies, TV shows, a music library, and a selection of games. The audio programming includes The List, exclusive interviews with a range of influential artists.
Full list of winners: Best Inflight Entertainment »
Best Inflight Food: Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is also favored by our readers when it comes to airplane food — Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Meals aboard Delta Air Lines are reimagined every season, using ingredients from local artisans and farmers when possible. Delta One passengers often enjoy fresh, regional flavors, thanks to collaborations with culinary experts.
Full list of winners: Best Inflight Food »
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in our other Readers’ Choice Awards contests.