Emirates has been recognized as the #1 airline in the world after coming out as the top choice for TripAdvisor's first ever 2017 Travelers' Choice Awards for Airlines. The Dubai-based airline also bagged the service awards for Best First Class and Best Economy Class in the World.
TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel planning and booking site, announced the winners Monday after taking into account flyer reviews and ratings from February 2016 to February 2017. Bryan Saltzburg, TripAdvisor Flights' senior vice president and general manager said that they decided to hold the awards in order to "recognize the carriers offering the very best experiences and value to the traveling public" and "to help travelers make the most well-informed air travel decisions, based on the experiences of the global TripAdvisor community." Including Emirates, TripAdvisor recognized 50 airlines and also named the top airline in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, 16 regional winners and by the level of service.
Emirates' President Sir Tim Clark took pride in the result that came from "unbiased reviews and feedback." Singapore Airlines and Brazil's Azul followed closely behind at the second and third spot, respectively. JetBlue of the US, awarded by TripAdvisor as North America's #1 Mid-Size & Low Cost Airline, landed #4 on the top global list while Delta Airlines, also of the US, clinched the Top Major Airline in North America. The United Arab Emirates shared the award for the Best First Class and Best Economy Class with Emirates while the Best Business Class went to Russia's Aeroflot and the Best Premium Economy Class to Air New Zealand.
While TripAdvisor honored the world's best airlines, United Airlines took flak on the recent controversy involving a passenger forcibly dragged off an overbooked flight Sunday. The backlash presented Emirates and Royal Jordanian an opportunity to rib United's CEO Oscar Munoz, who has said back in March that Gulf carriers "aren't airlines," according to CNNMoney. Emirates capitalized on being not just a "real airline" but the best one while Royal Jordanian tweeted that with them, "dragging is strictly prohibited."