The Best Airlines for Long-Haul Flights

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What do you do when you're thousands of feet up in the air, in a small and enclosed space, with a few hundred other people? You exercise, stretch, sleep, watch movies ?? anything to pass the time. Some airlines make the trip more bearable by proving certain perks and comforts. The following list is based on AirlineRatings' "Airline of the year" awards.



Delta was the winner for long-haul flights in the Americas in 2016 and 2017. Many people give the airline 4 or more stars for seat comfort and inflight entertainment. This is crucial if you're going to be on a plane for more than four hours.

NextNewMedia /

Air Canada

Air Canada was the winner for long-haul flights in the Americas for 2018. Seat pitch of 31 to 32 inch and width of 18 to 19 inch in the economy class. In the executive class, all seats have aisle access and transform into fully flat beds with 21 inch width except on A319s planes.

Christian Heinz /


They have dominated the air travel industry in the Middle East for many years. The airline won in the category of best long hail flight for the Middle East and Africa regions many time, the latest in 2018. Seat pitch of 31 to 34 inch with adjustable headrest and integrated footrest in the economy class. In diamond first class you get slippers, pajamas, cotton and silk duvet, large pillow, fitted sheet and amenity kit.

Dmitry Birin /

Cathay Pacific

They won the award for best long-haul airline in the Asia/Pacific in 2016. Passengers get at least meal services in economy class; upper classes serve more often or on demand. New seats in the economy class have seat pitch of 32 inch, 17.5 inch width and seat recline of 6 inch and are gradually replacing the fixed shell seats on 777-300 and A330 aircraft.

withGod /

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines won the award for best long-haul airline in the Asia/Pacific in 2017. Full meals and beverages provided with additional meals and snacks on long-haul flights. Seat pitch of 32 inch with standard recline and foot rests on some aircraft. A nice perk ?? in-seat power and USB port at each seat.

Agent Wolf /

Korean Air

The new winner for best long-haul airline in the Asia/Pacific in 2018 is Korean Air. Meals and snacks and beverages including alcohol are provided. Blankets and pillows are available, and amenity kits are provided on medium and long-haul flights. Seat pitch of 32 to 34 inch with 18 inch width and 121 degree recline on newer aircraft.

Senohrabek /


Lufthansa was the winner of the long-haul flight category for Europe in 2016. Passengers in economy class get full meal service and beverages and second meal service on extra long flights. Movie snacks are offered on some flights; there is a snack bar on A380s. WiFi is available on most of long-haul fleet; live sport channels as well.

Belish /

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has won the category for Europe for two consecutive years ?? 2017 and 2018. Seat pitch of 31 inch with extra legroom (additional 3 inch) or exit row seats are available for purchase. High tea on long-haul day flights comprising of cupcakes, finger sandwiches and tea selection is available in premium economy class. Virgin Atlantic has the longest bed on the London-New York route.

Arseniy Shemyakin Photo /
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