Singapore Airlines offers best service, says 2010 Zagat survey

Singapore Airlines is known for its high quality meals. (Photo:

Singapore Airlines offers the best service of any domestic or international airline, according to the latest Zagat survey.

The airline’s premium class service earned a near-perfect score (28 out of 30 possible points). Not surprisingly, its economy class service was rated lower (24 points) but still beat the competition.

Virgin America was the top scoring domestic airline in premium class (24 points) and economy class (21 points).

The Zagat ratings were based on four criteria: comfort, service, food and website. 8,000 frequent fliers completed the online survey.

Decline in ratings

The airline industry has experienced major changes since Zagat began its survey in 1990.

In the survey’s early years, in-flight meals were available (if not tasty), checked bags were free and security guards steered clear of passengers’ genitals.

“In recent years, most major airlines’ ratings have dropped precipitously,” Zagat noted in a press release.

TV chef Gordon Ramsay is on Singapore Airlines' culinary panel. (Photo:

The food factor

Why does Singapore Airlines reign supreme in the Zagat survey? In-flight meals may have pushed the international carrier to victory.

Singapore Airline’s International Culinary Panel develops their menu and counts celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay among its members.

They have developed a wide array of special meals, including six vegetarian options and an “ulcer diet meal.”

When food is served on an airline, it’s usually not a meal you’d want to recreate at home.  However, loyal passengers can purchase the Singapore Airlines Cookbook, which contains 50 recipes from the carrier’s top chefs.

For more information on the Zagat airline survey, visit


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About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.