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Some of the requirements to achieve 5-Star Airline rating

  Is 5-Star Rating all about luxury or premium features an airline offers?
  No. Whilst we appreciate that airlines generate high revenue levels from their premium First or Business Class customers and have to look after this top end of the market, our Ratings reflect that the largest number of an airline's customers are those travelling in the economy class seats. These are the customers that don't get premium check-in services, don't get fast tracked through airport processes, and don't get invited to enjoy a glass of champagne in a first class lounge! They are however the "majority" element, and their travel experience, enjoyment and comfort is of paramount importance in determining an airline's suitability for 5-Star rating.

As with all areas of Skytrax Rating, the 5-Star rating is all about balance .... and away from the core product items of seats, IFE etc, it is often the quality of staff service that will decide the 5-Star Rating award.

If you stay at a luxury hotel with 5-Star bedrooms, dining and other facilities, these "product" items mean little unless the hotel staff also provide you with a true 5-Star service.

  Is 5-Star rating needed for every category of ranking assessment?
  No. Were that the case, we would effectively not be able to create a 5-Star listing within the industry.

There are some airlines with excellent Premium product and service standards, some airlines with higher quality Economy cabin standards, but these do not necessarily deliver a straight set of 5-Star ratings. Skytrax are focussed upon achieving a "balanced" Star Rating analysis that reflects the airline as a whole.

There are airlines where "every" product feature may not always reach 5 Star status,  but their staff service quality is at (or even above) the 5-Star rating level.  By applying a balanced cross-section analysis and weighting between product and service, the Skytrax rating can emphasise the "relative importance" and measure relevant qualitative areas.

It has to be remembered that Skytrax reputation is "on the line" in terms of ensuring that every airline which is awarded 5-Star status is able to deliver and meet these very high quality expectations for the very large majority (if not all) of their customers.

  Are there "essential" elements that form part of a 5-Star Rating?
  Yes, we have key items covering both Product features and Staff Service where we expect a minimum standard to be met for an airline's 5-Star eligibility.

An airline operating long haul flights need to have full-flat seats in both First Class and Business Class. Economy class 5-Star seat pitch requirements have traditionally been set at 32-33 inches, but with newer slimline seats this is an area that Skytrax discuss with an individual airline to determine personal "seat space" that customers receive. The width and cabin layout (configuration) for Economy class seats is an area of discussion and change in the rating requirements for 5-Star airlines.

We do not require an airline to have 100 per cent seat type consistency at time of 5-Star Certification, but Skytrax do need to see a formal commitment and schedule that as an airline adds new aircraft or retrofits existing aircraft, these 5-Star seat products will be provided.

Other key requirements within 5-Star rating include AVOD options for IFE, minimum comfort amenity standards (blankets, pillows etc), catering choices/standards. Cabin staff service techniques/efficiency combine with specific soft-service/attitudinal areas that are used to determine rating. For Airport service ratings, the airline is assessed on it's home base airport, where we have 5-Star targets that cover all product and service topics associated with arriving, transfer and departing passengers.

  Will Skytrax extend the Star Rating classification beyond 5-Star Airline rating ?
  Currently the 5-Star Airline Rating represents the highest Quality rating for commercial airlines Product and Service quality standards.

Skytrax have been asked to extend the Star Rating programme in 2014 to cover private jet and executive jet operators, and in this market we will likely be using our 6-Star and 7-Star Airline quality classifications.



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