What makes the world's best airline?

Story highlights

  • Richard Quest shares tips on how airlines become a flying favorite
  • He says the key to frequent flyers' hearts is consistency
  • Vital for airlines to make sure all the tech and gadgets are working properly

I am always being asked "'what makes the best airline?"

The answer is consistency. With any airline there is no point having a great flight on Monday, an awful flight on Tuesday and a mediocre flight by Friday. It is the ability of an airline to provide what it promises on every flight, every day that makes the difference.

Read: Emirates wins best airline

And that is much more difficult than it seems. Remember, the airline has hundreds of planes spread across 24 time zones. Its staff are also jet lagged and tired after red-eye crossings and may not have slept well on their layover.

Service levels have been improved and our expectations have risen with them. When the screen doesn't work, the seat won't recline and the toilet breaks down, we rightly get miffed.

Then there is the sheer amount of modern technology that can go wrong from complicated premium business class seats with motors and electronics, to the inflight entertainment which is a selling point for many airlines. When it goes wrong, everyone suffers and complains.

Those airlines that maintain the creature comforts as well as the aircraft machinery are the ones that win awards. They recognize we have a choice when we book tickets -- often even within the same alliance you have a choice of different carriers to your destination: For instance, when I fly London to Cape Town with Star Alliance, I could go South African Airways, EgyptAir, Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines.

Consistency and care, time and again. That is what wins you awards!

      Paris Airshow

    • Transformers become a reality

      Is it a plane? Is it a drone? Next time you look up and see vapor trails spreading across the sky, bear in mind that the aircraft you're looking at might just be both.
    • Raytheon's JLENS aerostat is designed to carry out surveillance missions, hovering high in the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 30 days at a time.

      The new age of the airship?

      Previously the airship was hailed as the future of flight: as glamorous, luxurious and fashionable. Is it the new dawn of the dirigible?
    • On the ground at the airshow

      CNN's Richard Quest and Bryony Jones have been at the 50th International Airshow this week. Here's what they've seen and heard.
    • File picture showing passengers about to board an Air France plane at Le Bourget, airport, North of Paris in 1946. The French national airline Air France will celebrate its 70th anniversary on 07 October 2003, a week after striking a deal with the Dutch KLM in a French takeover that would create Europe 's largest airline and one of the world's biggest carriers. The deal between Air France and KLM mean the de facto privatisation of the French carrier, in which the government holds a 54 percent stake. AFP PHOTO STR/FILES (B/W) (Photo credit should read STF/AFP/Getty Images)

      Timeline: Paris Airshow turns 50

      From Charles Lindbergh's record-breaking landing to solar flight, CNN takes a look back at the Paris Airshow's most memorable moments
    • The Patrouille de France acrobatic team performs a flying display at the Paris International Air Show on June 24, 2011 at Le Bourget, near Paris.

      On your marks, jet set, go!

      Hollywood's stars may have left Cannes, but the real "jet set" will descend upon Paris for the 50th International Air and Space show.
    • air france plane flying

      Quiz: Test your aviation knowledge

      Are drones being used for pizza deliveries? When did the first commercial jet plane make its maiden voyage? Find out if you are a plane geek.
    • U.S. Air Force drone operators conduct a training mission at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

      Flying lessons: Piloting a drone

      Police and military forces are increasingly reliant on unmanned aerial vehicles to carry out risky tasks. So just how easy is it to pilot one?
    • Biofuels: The future of flight?

      Aircraft maker Boeing and parts manufacturer Honeywell both flew planes to the 2011 Paris Airshow using a mixt of biofuels and jet fuel.
    • Pilot of a Sukhoi superjet 100 practices his flight presentation routine on June 11, 2009 as workers prepare the Bourget site prior the opening of the week-long 48th international Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport outside Paris running from June 15 until 21, 2009. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/GettyImages)

      More from the Paris Airshow

      See the full coverage, including all the aerial acrobatics and business buzz, of the 2013 international airshow at Le Bourget airfield in Paris.