Top 5 worst airlines in the world

Everybody knows the best airlines, but what about those that consistently provide poor service? Here I examine 5 airlines that I personally have an issue with.

A340 taxiing at Sydney
A340 taxiing at Sydney

5. Virgin Atlantic

Having had the misfortune to fly ‘across the pond’ to Florida on 3 occasions with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick (every time on a B747), I can safely say that Virgin are not among the best airlines in the world – and that’s an understatement. They have very simple service, with a drinks run being offered immediately after takeoff, and then…NOTHING. No more drinks at all throughout the flight. This is a very basic, penny-pinching tactic that you would not expect of an airline that seems to spend so much in advertising and self-promotion. Of course, you can get up and ask for a drink if you want (they sometimes reply that they have “run out” of what you ask for), but this is a lack of service quality that Asian and some Middle-Eastern carriers would never be seen dead allowing to creep into their cabins.


4. Pakistan International Airlines

I just had to include PIA in this list. Universally recognised as one of the worst airlines in the world, I am lucky to say that I haven’t flown with them yet. I don’t really want to, either. While most of the stewardesses of PIA are polite and friendly, there are always horror stories about passengers being treated rudely onboard and at the airports before departure. Their aircraft usually only have a drop-down TV in the centre of the cabin with subtitled documentaries instead of seatback PTV. Many people will claim that the catering on PIA is also a let down, with the food being well-nigh inedible. The absolute worst thing about PIA though is the reliability and punctuality of its services. Expect LONG delays and short-notice cancellations if you have to book with them!

Aeroflot taxiing at Moscow-DME

3. Aeroflot

One solitary narrow-body flight from Moscow to Rome is all I needed to realise that I wouldn’t be flying with troubled airline Aeroflot again. A member of the cabin crew spilt a drink on me during the meal service and proceeded to laugh at my misfortune! Fortunately a more senior member of the team took the situation seriously and gave me a few towels with which to dry myself. Aeroflot also have a bad reputation within Europe for punctuality and cancellations, and not to mention that their safety record leaves a lot to be desired…


2. Air Koryo

Not many people have flown with Air Koryo, and neither have I, so really my inclusion of this airline is a bit of a cheek, but I am basing it on the opinions of friends who have made trips from Beijing to Pyongyang. Before and after the flight you are forced to watch propaganda of the North Korean Government, and there is no in-flight entertainment to speak of. The aircraft used by Air Koryo are also antiquated and barely air-worthy.


1. Air India

Absolutely the worst airline I have ever flown with, and I know many people who would say the same thing. One thing I love about Air India is its lovely cabin crew. They try very hard and are always so friendly; they represent their People and nation proudly. However, that’s where the compliments for Air India stop, I’m afraid. The planes I have flown in (two international flights, and one jam-packed domestic flight from Delhi to Mumbai) have been dirty and not cleaned properly. There was still mess on the tray tables that hadn’t even been wiped! I found old sweet wrappers in the seatback pockets – and the in flight entertainment didn’t work on my PTV in economy class on a 7 hour flight. Air India also have a terrible record with punctuality and reliability, and are becoming something of a joke because of this record; every time I look at a departure screen in an airport (say, Singapore Changi), I always notice that an Air India flight has been cancelled. Once at Indira Gandhi Airport on my way to Mumbai, I was delayed for 7 hours and there was no information being relayed by the ground staff! Clueless! I love the Indian people, and I love the Indian country. Just a shame they have such a rubbish airline.

Do you agree with my choices? Any more suggestions for a worst airline to be included in this list? I would love to hear from you!


15 thoughts on “Top 5 worst airlines in the world

  1. U forgot Iran airlines ..
    They are all death machine .
    All their plane is more than 30 years old
    And as official says more than 2.000 people dead in plane crashes in past 10 years .

    I flight with them twice and it’s scariest experience ever … Sooooo dirty and all things broken and not working include plane ..

    (It’s all because of sanction Iran face that can’t buy any airplane or even repair planes .

    And among politicians fights it’s innocent civilian who get killed )


  2. look on the bright side, Air india prepares you in advance, great people, late trains and busses and a bit messy, but lovely all the same. I’m voting for Air Koryo, never flown with them, but being forced to watch their propaganda videos is the best/worst I’ve ever heard of, I doubt any other air line can top that for being ridiculous. thanks for the report.


  3. What a coincidence! The one and only time I flew Air India (from New Delhi to Shanghai), my television also did not work. It was a very sad experience. The next time I went to India I took Emirates … SUCH A DIFFERENCE!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Im sorry about your bad experiences 😦 it happens I guess, with all of us!! Of all the 5 I’ve only flown with Alitalia and it wasnt that bad. The worse one ever for me was Ryanair… NEVER again, even if the ticket is for free!!


    1. Oh yeah, Ryanair are bad! Very cheap, but very very bad! The owner of Ryanair has been trying to get rid of seatbelts in his planes because they take up too much weight! He says that in a crash, the seatbelts wont save you anyway, so what’s the point of having them. I will never fly with Ryanair!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG are you serious? Thats pretty bad!!! Yeah NEVER EVER fly with them….when I did I felt that the plane would fall any time and they wouldnt stop selling you crappy things on board, like bingos and stuff like that! 😦


  5. Anything and everything operated & run by the indian Government is pathetic, inefficient and a torture to humanity.
    There is no sense of order and the entire system thrives on chaos.
    Air India has no facility for wheelchair passengers, specially when they use a bus gate.
    My mum had to be lifted in a CRANE to board the flight…
    Their planes are always late because the cockpit crew never shows up on time. They think they are doing their passengers a favour by coming during the wee hours of the morning to take them to their destination. Their seats are ready to fall apart and the upholstery is torn, stained and smells like the flatulence of all the passengers who have used it before.

    Their ONLY nice aircraft is the B787 because it is NEW. But that won’t be for long because the local proletariat will destroy it in no time.

    One cannot blame Air India per se. It has more to do with the Indian mentality and attitude. Try asking airline staff of OTHER International airlines such as CX etc. as to what they think of their Indian passengers when they are on India bound flights. There won’t be a single positive comment.

    The new PM wants to improvise the image of Air India and has threatened to privatise it if they don’t shape up. Lets hope he doesn’t fail in this….because when something good happens for India, they people find a way to destroy it so that they can continue to maintain their corrupt and chauvinistic lifestyle.


  6. My worst experience as an Indian is ALWAYS BRITISH AIRWAYS. In Economy class they treat passengers like S*IT. Highly arrogant crew. Terrible in flight entertainment, lousy food to name a few. Yeah I don’t believe Air India deserves to be on top of the list. Their International Economy product is far superior than British Airways!

    Liked by 1 person

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