10 Airlines Keep Their Planes Squeaky Clean

Skytrax ranked airlines for their cleanliness based on traveler feedback across five areas: seating, toilets, tables, carpets, and cabin panels.

While I’m generally skeptical of Skytrax ratings generally, the top airlines in their list unquestionably do an incredible job. I always marvel at ANA for its cleanliness, down to flight attendants cleaning lavatories continuously throughout long haul flights.

Here are the 10 cleanest airlines:

  1. All Nippon Airways
  2. EVA Air
  3. Asiana Airlines
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Japan Airlines
  6. Cathay Pacific Airways
  7. Qatar Airways
  8. SWISS
  9. Hainan Airlines
  10. Lufthansa

These are the airlines you could proverbially eat off the floor on, but I wouldn’t try it — even for ANA.

It’s not surprising to see Asian carriers known for their attention to detail ranking well in cleanliness. EVA Air really pays attention to small details, getting them right.

Singapore Airlines approaches their product with incredible care. It’s not enough for them to pick great wines, or work through what flavors will hold up at altitude. They have a pressurized room to simulate a cabin environment for tasting. When it came time to retire their 747s very old first class seats were still beautifully maintained and immaculate.

No US airline was in the top thirty. Fortunately US airlines are cleaning planes more frequently than they did when economic times were tougher for them.

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. We flew China Airlines this past Xmas/New Year’s holiday season, and throughout the entire 16+ hours flight to Taipei from JFK and the 15 hours on the return flight, all of the lavatories clustered between the Premium Economy and regular economy sections I used during those flights were exceptionally clean – and of course, included music that the airline is known for featuring in its loos.

    And considering that China Airlines uses those atrocious 10-abreast “densified” Boeing 777 beasts packed to the gills with 356 or so passengers (fortunately, we were in PE) for those flights that have the about the same capacity as the 747s they replaced, but 4-6 fewer loos, I found it pretty impressive at how clean all of the lavatories were throughout both very long flights.

    All four of China Airlines’ planes we flew were pretty clean overall, too.

    However, I suspect its Airbus A330s, some of which haven’t been updated with more modern interiors, and possibly the remaining 747s still in service, which also have dated interiors (which we did NOT fly on this trip but did see in service in at adjacent gates in Taipei and Hong Kong), may have been a factor that lowered their overall rating.

    It’s not that the China Airlines A330s we flew weren’t clean, because in actuality, they were.

    However, the interior of one of its A330s was aged, and it showed; while the other was not as old, but still didn’t match the interior of the Cathay Pacific interior on that airline’s A330 we also flew on this trip.

    That said, even though the Cathay Pacific A330 was more modern and “fresher” than the pair of China Airlines A330s we also flew, in the end we found the economy class meal and service on both of our CI flights far and away exceeded the tasteless and lackluster meal served by Cathay Pacific – and for sure we’d choose CI over CX for intra-Asia regional flights based on those recent experiences!

    So, while EVA Air beat hometown rival China Airlines and made SkyTrax’ top 10 list for cleanliness, if our four flights on China Airlines over the holiday season are any indication, then they’re still light years ahead of the US-based airlines, and several popular European airlines we’ve flown in recent years – including an airline we flew last year that we love, but who also had one of the dirtiest planes ever (yes, it was THAT gross and filthy), too!

  2. In a medium-haul aircraft, there are two toilets for, an average of 150 economy class passengers

    All aircraft toilets should be professionally cleaned before each flight

  3. I just flew ANA roundtrip to Tokyo. The planes are spotless. I also was impressed with the airports’ cleanliness. Haneda, Narita, and Otami were clean and so organized.

  4. Air New Zealand deserves to be on that list as well based on past experience. We saw crew on a long haul clean the lav floors multiple times.

  5. Any airline aircraft fly hundreds of passengers every day

    All airline aircraft should be professionally cleaned before each flight

  6. AA planes are much cleaner I have noticed in the past 2 years. DL is hit and miss and UA. . .someone should tell them that planes need to be cleaned.

  7. If only the passengers knew how to use the lav..They are a mess even on short flight!!The men seem to pee all over the place and trash is thrown all over the floor!! Along with the wet and paper products it is a soggy mess quickly… ANd why do people have to clog up the toilets with diapers and who knows what??> my frame of reference is mostly delta..

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