Flying off to somewhere new, or even somewhere familiar, should be an extremely fun exercise. Unfortunately, more often than not, the whole process can be a little bit draining in more ways than one - which sucks. Of course, that isn't necessarily always the case, but a big reason as to why it swings one way or the other is the quality of the airline.
It doesn't matter where you are in the world, because having a good airline can massively impact your flying experience one way or another. It's a shame that they can't all be on par with each other in terms of quality, but as is the case with most things in life, you're always going to get a variety when it comes to these kinds of things.
As you're about to read, several of these airlines are pretty cost-effective, meaning that they tend to be quite popular with a lot of travellers. If they're the only options for you then we aren't going to sit here and tell you to save up double the amount of money in order to afford something better, because that'd just be wrong. What we are going to do, however, is pose our own personal reasons for not booking with them.
We all want to be able to jet off on a spontaneous holiday, mainly because that sense of adventure is one of life's great thrills. Alas, it doesn't always work out that way, and as frustrating as it may be, we're pretty confident in the efficiency of our list.
20 US Airways - Don't fall into the trap
There are a whole bunch of airlines that will fly you up, around and across the United States of America, but when it comes to US Airways, please don't be fooled into using them purely because of the simplicity of their name. Seriously, don't fall into the trap.
Numerous customers have complained about them over the years, to the point where many people will actively protest against them. The primary reasons for that are their poor customer service and their tendency to lose luggage which, of course, are two of the primary fears that people have once they actually go travelling for the first time.
19 Virgin Atlantic - Overhyped
Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin in general, gets a lot of criticism from a bunch of different directions, and there are some somewhat understandable reasons for that. One of the big issues we have with the airline specifically, however, is that it's massively overhyped.
We've flown with them on three separate occasions, and we've had similar issues every time: there's less foot room than there is on budget airlines, the staff can be incredibly rude, and the in-flight services are nowhere near good enough when you consider what we have to pay for them. That sounds 'stuck up' but trust us, it's the truth.
18 TUI Airways - No Consistency
TUI Airways are most well known for putting together package deals for people who want to go on affordable holidays abroad, but don't know the first place to look. Oh, and they also sponsored Tottenham Hotspur's home kit around a decade ago, but that's neither here nor there.
The biggest issue with TUI is that they're incredibly inconsistent. For example: in the package deals they'll give you the Dreamliner plane on the way to your destination which is fine, then on the way back, you'll be on a budget plane without so much as a warning from the company. Seriously.
17 Ryanair - Extra, Extra, Extra
Here's a summary of Ryanair in a nutshell: they've been tweeting out about strikes and cancellations every single day for the last three months, to the point where if they had a day where that didn't happen, it'd actually be considered an anomaly.
On top of that, there are just no real 'ethics' associated with the company. They don't care about their customers and they never have, forcing you to pay extra for every single little thing imaginable - even though the best thing about them is the fact that the flights themselves are exceedingly cheap. No, we aren't kidding around.
16 Frontier Airlines - The Little Things
Frontier certainly know how to market themselves and from the outside looking in, you could say that they've got a pretty unique and fun product. Alas, that isn't the case when you take a closer look, as they just don't seem to take the smallest details into account, which is crucial when it comes to being an efficient airline.
The worst thing of all is how long it takes to actually board the plane because, for one reason or another, something always seems to be late. It's an incredibly frustrating process for people who aren't fans of standing in line for hours on end, and we can't say that we blame them.
15 United Airlines - Borderline behaviour
United Airlines have been in the headlines more times than we can count over the last twelve months, and almost every single time it's been for something negative. The most notable example came when security guards were filmed dragging an individual off of a plane.
It was a disgusting sight to see, and it's no coincidence that their numbers have dropped significantly since then. The worst part of all is that they don't seem to be at all interested in rectifying any of the issues that have been presented to them, and that just showcases their lack of empathy.
14 Tigerair - Stay Alert
The tiger theming on the plane looks pretty cool here, right? We agree. Unfortunately, it's not always a great sign when that is the single most interesting and relevant thing about your airline.
Tigerair is known for being a rather unsafe airline to fly with, and we don't say that lightly. From bad landings to poor safety regulations, it honestly feels like they enjoy living on the edge as they do. They apparently want to take steps towards improving their image and we aren't exactly annoyed at them for that, but is it too little too late? Maybe it is.
13 Pakistan International - Prepare For The Worst
Pakistan is a country that deserves to be viewed in a much more positive light than it currently is, but there are several reasons as to why that still isn't the case in 2018. Some of those reasons are beyond our control, but when it comes to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), it all gets a bit insulting.
The main issue we have is that PIA is just never on time for their flights, and that can make a serious impact given how many long-haul flights they operate with. They've had a number of routes terminated in the last few years because of financial issues and things of that nature, and it shows no signs of changing any time soon.
12 Lion Air - No Professionalism
Lion Air takes 'not being professional' to a whole new level, and we mean that sincerely. Case in point: there have been several reports that suggest some of their pilots haven't been fit to fly on more than one occasion, and that alone should be enough to turn you off them.
On top of that, they've had a series of close calls with poor landings, as well as delays and actual cancellations. We can somewhat understand why people go for these types of cheap airlines because we've done it before too, but Lion Air really has redefined the term 'poor quality'.
11 TAP Portugal - Do Your Job
As well as being one of the primary airlines in Portugal, TAP actually used to have an okay reputation - for the most part. Alas, over the last few years many passengers have noted how dissatisfied they've been, primarily because they feel like the airline has become quite lazy.
They don't take as much care in looking after their passengers, the crew often don't even try and make an effort in giving you a pleasant experience, and the seats are really uncomfortable. We wouldn't be surprised if their numbers dwindle a lot over the next few years, to the point where they're in trouble.
10 EasyJet - So Many Strikes
EasyJet makes up the other half of the UK cheap airline 'couple' alongside Ryanair. Now while we need to stress that EasyJet is much, much better than Ryanair in every conceivable way, that doesn't mean that their flying experience is that enjoyable.
They're absolutely awful when it comes to delays, their in-flight entertainment system is pretty much non-existent, and they often take quite a while to actually begin the boarding process. Like we said, they're the better alternative, but if you can find something that's a little bit more expensive, we'd suggest you give them a go - you know, just in case.
9 Air Mauritius - Must Do Better
Air Mauritius is a sizeable airline, and you can see that based on the above image alone. They operate in big numbers which is hardly a surprise given how popular the location is as a holiday destination, and ironically enough, our main problem actually revolves around the idea of size.
For an airline this significant, their service should be a lot better than it actually is. It's a pretty uncomfortable form of flying in comparison to other planes around that size, there's often miscommunication between passengers and the staff, and they don't really promote their own nation all that much which seems like a massive waste.
8 Wow Air - Ironically, No wow-factor
Wow Air has been consistently ranked as one of the world's worst airlines, and we can't say that we're all too surprised about that. The Icelandic airline allows passengers to make changeovers in Iceland before heading off to somewhere even more exotic, but most of the time, you'll be wondering why you didn't just fork out the money for a direct flight.
Sure, the design of the plane is pretty cool, but that doesn't really mean all too much when your luggage is lost and you can barely move because of how cramped you are on the plane itself. We understand that certain measures need to be put in place, but we don't want to be a part of it.
7 Spirit Airlines - No Team Spirit
For any professional wrestling fans out there, you've probably seen that several superstars both past and present have openly complained about Spirit Airlines before. That's because they tend to be popular due to how cheap they are, meaning that people who travel regularly reluctantly decide to use them quite often.
Aside from how unsafe the flight itself usually is due to the relative inexperience of the pilots, their planes just aren't very clean. Whether there are stains on the seats from the previous passenger or a lingering smell, it often seems as if they don't even try to hide how lazy or incompetent they are.
6 Pegasus Airlines - Dear Oh Dear
With some airlines, you could argue that we've been scraping the barrel for legitimate reasons to put them on this list, and while we disagree with that sentiment, we can understand why you may think that. With Pegasus Airlines, however, there's no way of disguising just how bad they are.
There are no in-flight meals provided as well as there being no in-flight entertainment system. They have a bucket load of delays on a daily basis, and their communication skills are utterly laughable. Please, if you value your sanctity, don't fly with these guys - or at the very least make some suggestions to them when you leave your review.
5 Bulgaria Air - Runway skids galore
Bulgaria Air is figurative babies when compared to a lot of the airlines on this list, so we can somewhat forgive them for their shortcomings. Alas, that doesn't mean we don't get to talk about them, because otherwise what would be the point in including them?
There are no real safety regulations that are put in place for the majority of their flights, which has caused several problems between them and the foreign airports that they land into. On top of that they've had some issues when it comes to skidding along the runway when landing, and to be perfectly honest, that doesn't sound like something we want to endure.
4 Iberia - Step It Up
We've said it before and we'll say it again: if you're considered to be the main airline of any given nation, especially when it's one as big as Spain, you need to be delivering the goods (so to speak). With Iberia, we really don't feel like they live up to that reputation.
From delays to poor conditions on the plane itself, it often feels like they take for granted the fact that so many people decide to fly with them. They only need to make a handful of adjustments in order to improve, but unsurprisingly, they don't seem all too interested in doing that.
3 Jet Airways - Maximum Discomfort
It doesn't matter whether you're travelling for business or pleasure, because you're bound to have a bad time with Jet Airways. The biggest problem that travellers will face is the upright and uncomfortable seats, to the point where you quite literally can't even move a muscle.
On top of that they aren't great with keeping track of your luggage, and if you try and complain, you'll be greeted by some pretty rude staff from the airline itself. It's as if they need a complete cleansing from top to bottom, and that's never a good sign when you've only been in business for 25 years.
2 Jet2 - Good, But Not Good Enough
As a cheap alternative to the likes of EasyJet and Ryanair, we'd argue that Jet2 is probably the best of a bad bunch. Unfortunately, that isn't saying much, and while we understand there's only so much they can do, we just feel like flying with Jet2 doesn't give you that 'friendly' experience that they like to claim it is.
They tend to have really inexperienced pilots more often than not, the landings almost always cause problems with passengers in terms of frightening them, and it feels like they care more about getting you off and on the plane than they do about your own safety.
1 Air Koryo - Just Don’t Do It
Air Koryo serves as one of the primary North Korean airlines, and on top of that, it also serves as one of the only airlines in the world to possess a one-star rating out of five. Of course, star ratings don't always mean that much, but you can understand our trepidation.
There are just no real redeeming qualities to flying with these guys, from the discomfort in the seats to the cookie cutter-like nature of your interactions with the staff. You're meant to feel safe and at ease when you're in the air, and we don't get that feeling from Air Koryo.