SKYTRAX recently released its annual airline rankings, and the message is clear: given the choice, it is better to fly on Asian carriers and to avoid American ones.

Emirates was voted the top airline by flyers across the globe, followed by Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways (ANA). It is the first clean sweep of the top five for Asian carriers since 2013. (Turkish Airlines, now seventh, made the cut in the intervening years.)

And the big four airlines in the United States? To find them, you’ll have to scroll down a bit. And then a bit more. Delta lies in 35th place, trailed by Southwest at 66th, United at 68th and American at 77th—just below Ethiopian Airlines and above the Japanese low-cost carrier Peach.

This is nothing new; in fact, last year, the top performer among the country’s big airlines, Delta, was all the way down at 45th. One smaller American airline, meanwhile, has managed to climb to the top of the United States pack. Virgin America, ranked 46th in 2014, ascended to 26th...Continue reading