The first place on the list published in the magazine's November issue went to Singapore Airlines, which has been readers' favorite airline for 17 years in a row. Air New Zealand ranked second, followed by Emirates, Korean Air and Cathay Pacific Airways.
The world's top 20 airlines were selected according to parameters of cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service, value and food. The list is dominated by airlines from East Asia and the Gulf emirates, including Asiana Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai International Airways, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.
Other airlines on the list include Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Qantas Airways, JetBlue Airways and Swiss International Airlines. El Al ranked 18th, followed by Finnair and Lufthansa.
The magazine writes that "El Al hasn’t made the top 20 since 2007, and last year it was down the list at No. 31. Better cabin comfort and greatly improved service in the air and on the ground were key factors.
Readers gave El Al's food winning marks this time out and think the airline now offers better value. In an innovative twist, the El Al Upgrade program enables you to submit a bid to upgrade your flight from economy class to business class."