World's worst airlines

Whether it’s because of a sketchy safety record or 14-hour delays, these airlines are worth avoiding.

The worst airlines for safety: Cubana Airline and Iran Air

With 8 fatal accidents and 404 deaths registered out of 320,000 completed flights, Cubana has the worst safety record of any international carrier in the world. Iran Air, with its 5 accidents and 708 deaths out of 970,000 completed flights is not far behind, and was banned by the EU in 2010 because of its poor safety rating. One review on Skytrax, the airline ranking website, reveals that a flight carried by Iran Air even stopped in the middle of the runway for last minute maintenance.

The worst airline for customer service: Turkmenistan Airlines

Once described by a passenger as “the worst airline and customer service ever seen,” Turkmenistan Airline has through the years collected the most impressive record of bad reviews. Several comments unveil the general discomfort, uncleanliness, inedible food and obscene delays. That said, it is the so-called “miserable staff” that suffer the worst criticisms, as they’ve been described as everything from rude to incompetent.

The worst airline for delays: Lion Air

Specialists in cancelling flights without warning anyone, Lion Air, an Indonesian company, carries a long list of delayed flights. One passenger reviewed that a “flight was delayed for almost 2 hours and no announcements were made.” Another passenger recalls checking-in at the airport and getting at the gate to discover that the flight he had booked 9 months before had been cancelled without any announcement.

The worst airline for entertainment: Air Koryo

North Korea’s state-owned and only airline offers dictator-approved entertainment in the form of documentaries about the great leader as well as free copies of ‘Pyongyang Daily.’ Safety instruction includes announcements that highlight how the flights are made possible by the dear leader. Entertainment aside, Air Koryo, with its Soviet-era planes, is the only airline rated with only 1 star on Skytrax, making it the world’s worst airline. Although, along with the recent modernisation of the company’s aircrafts, the reviews have also improved.

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.


Curate your bookcase with the full SUITCASE library. From Volume 2 through 26, we've been around the world, explored uncharted landscapes and reexamined travel perceptions along the way. We invite you to do the same; grow your collection today.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More