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Flight delays and safety rankings were among the factors considered in the survey...

When it comes to air travel, competition is fierce between the carriers ferrying us around the world. But which is the best? And, more importantly, how about the worst?

  

 

According to a new survey, for the best flight experience you'll need to head to America. Keen to avoid the worst? You may need to stay away from China.

The survey was conducted by Get Going, a UK medical insurance provider, and ranked over 40 airlines according to safety, cancellations and delays over a one-month period in September. That is, of course, the month that Hurricane Irma hit - but all the airlines involved gave their approval for its findings to be published.

Here's the rundown of what they say are the best - and the top spot may surprise you. 

GoJet Airlines

It might not be an international name, but domestic US airline GoJet, which flies from airport's including Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Denver, is considered the best of the lot on this scale, with an 8 out of 10 customer rating, an average delay of only 33 minutes and top marks (seven out of seven) for safety. 

ANA

Japan's ANA had a tiny 0.17 per cent of flights cancelled in the surveyed period, a perfect safety ranking and an eight out of 10 for customer satisfaction. That said, in May 2017, one customer was left somewhat bemused when his 'gluten-free' meal on a nine-and and-a-half-hour flight consisted of a banana wrapped in cellophane. 

Air New Zealand

A frequent "best airline" winner, Air New Zealand came third in the survey, with a cancellation frequency of less than one per cent and just over five per cent of flights delayed. In 2017, it announced a relaxation of red-tape rules for flights between LA and New Zealand, while the airline is also lobbying to have similar rules dropped for routes between Auckland and London.

Swiss

Though Swiss fell short on both safety and customer satisfaction (five out of seven and six out of ten respectively), it was still ranked fourth in the list, with low cancellation and delay rates. 

Turkish Airlines

With political upheaval and terror incidents, 2017 wasn't an easy year for Turkish tourist boards and operators, but the national carrier came fifth in the survey with low flight cancellation numbers and a perfect safety ranking.

Emirates

Ahead of hefty competition from regional rivals Qatar Airways and Etihad, Emirates came sixth in the survey despite a relatively high delay time of 46.5 minutes. The UAE-based airline had an embarrassing incident in May when a customer service representative accidentally sent an explicit email to a complaining customer but it was ranked the world's best airline in 2016 by Skytrax and continues to perform highly at major aviation awards.

KLM

Although KLM had a relatively high number of delays (15.12%), over all cancellations fell under two per cent, while the Dutch carrier achieved a 10 out of 10 for customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the high cancellation numbers can in part be explained by high winds in September, which led to more than 10,000 passengers missing connections. 

SAS

SAS, better known as Scandinavian Airlines, performed poorly for customer satisfaction, but still ranked eighth due to low delay numbers, a cancellation rating of under one per cent and a perfect safety score. 

In 2017, the innovative airline trialled putting an electronic chip in an employee's hand to test the possibility of biometric boarding passes. 

Air Nelson

Another small airline, New Zealand's regional Air Nelson came ninth, with a seven out of 10 for customer satisfaction, perfect safety and under two per cent of flights cancelled. 

Lufthansa

The German carrier may have had strikesin 2016 and its proposed takeover of Air Berlin has proved controversial, but it still came 10th in the survey, with low cancellation numbers. However, with a delay rating of 21.05 per cent, it was the most delayed airline on the list. 

And the worst

It was bad news for Air China, which came bottom of the 10-strong list, with a 4 out of 10 customer satisfaction rating. And there are surprises in the bottom 10, including Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue. The worst airlines, according to this ranking, were: 

31. Virgin Atlantic

32. Hainan Airlines

33. jetBlue

34. Air France

35. West Air

36. Hong Kong Airlines

37. Eastern Australia Airlines

38. Cobham

39. Air Asia

40. Air China 

 

 

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