The Best and Worst Airlines and Airports: 2018

The 2018 AirHelp Score report has been released. AirHelp is a company that advocates on behalf of air travelers for compensation in cases of delays or cancellations. Its sixth annual survey uses data from the first quarter of the year to rank the 72 international airlines for which the company had statistically significant data.

Overall rankings are based on three factors: on-time performance, quality of service (gleaned from public reviews on an array of reliable websites), and a claims-processing score (which reflects how a company handles customer complaints).

“South African Airlines has a fantastic claims-processing score,” explains Ashley Raiteri, an industry adviser for AirHelp—the airline earned 8.69 points of a possible 10—and it’s also got a good track record of keeping flights on time.

“Irregularities in flights are going to happen,” Raiteri adds. “What’s important is whether the airline has planned for that so they can make the experience less hellish for the consumer.”

With that in mind, here are the best and worst airlines of the year, according to AirHelp, along with their on-time performance records.

The 10 Best Airlines of 2018

1. Qatar Airways (89 percent on-time performance)
2. Lufthansa (76 percent)
3. Etihad Airways (86 percent)
4. Singapore Airlines (85 percent)
5. South African Airways (85 percent)
6. Austrian Airlines (80 percent)
7. Aegean Airlines (90 percent)
8. Qantas (89 percent)
9. Air Malta (86 percent)
10. Virgin Atlantic (82 percent)

The Worst Airlines of 2018

63. Jet Airways (65 percent on-time performance)
64. Aerolineas Argentinas (85 percent)
65. Iberia (84 percent)
66. Korean Air (64 percent)
67. Ryanair (86 percent)
68. Air Mauritius (69 percent)
69. EasyJet (79 percent)
70. Pakistan International Airlines (61 percent)
71. Royal Jordanian Airlines (83 percent)
72. WOW Air (75 percent)

Surprises exist on both lists. Iberia—which ranked among the best airlines on a similar report from FlightStats last year that was configured purely according to on-time performance—appears in AirHelp’s worst airlines list, a reflection of its poor “claim processing score”.

KLM and Emirates, airlines with passionate fan bases, ranked 11th and 16th, respectively, just outside the top 10.

U.S. carriers didn’t fare particularly well: American Airlines Inc. performed best, at 23rd of 72, followed by United Airlines Inc. in 37th place and Delta Air Lines, Inc. in 47th place.

“Delta has a great on-time performance, but in dealing with claims, more often than not they either ignore them or reject them out of hand, forcing customers into court in order to pay what they’re legally obligated to pay,” Raiteri tells Bloomberg. While the three airlines won nearly identical scores in “quality of service,” Delta was the category leader by a few tenths of a point.

While budget carriers did not fare well, with Ryanair DAC, EasyJet Airline Co., and WOW Air all appearing among the bottom 10 airlines, there was one exception: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA ranked 12th overall, reflecting a 76 percent on-time record and very good scores both for claims processing and quality of service.

The data concerning best and worst airports contain similar surprises. No American hubs were ranked in the top 30—Seattle-Tacoma took the domestic lead, in the 33rd slot—while a large number of Brazilian airports dominated the charts, something Raiteri attributes to good local weather and a “hub and spoke” route network that keeps flights moving smoothly and on time.

AirHelp’s data for airports cover 141 destinations. They factor in on-time performance, quality of service, and online consumer sentiment, but its rankings heavily favor the first two criteria.

“Different airports deal with different problems,” Raiteri explains, saying that Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta has recently battled a series of power outages, while airports in Scandinavia tend to get knocked for weather delays, despite their sleek looks and efficient service.

“In some places, the local culture can leave people feeling cold,” Raiteri adds, describing the direct style of security agents in northern Europe. Here are the best and worst airports of 2018.

The 10 Best Airports of 2018

1. Hamad International Airport, Doha (DOH)
2. Athens International Airport, Athens (ATH)
3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Tokyo (HND)
4. Cologne Bonn Airport, Cologne, Germany (CGN)
5. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)
6. Nagoya Chubu Centrair Airport, Nagoya, Japan (NGO)
7. Viracopos International Airport, Campinas, Brazil (VCP)
8. Amman Queen Alia Airport, Amman, Jordan (AMM)
9. Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport, Recife, Brazil (REC)
10. Quito International Airport, Quito, Ecuador (UIO)

The Worst Airports of 2018

132. Eindhoven Airport, Eindhoven, Netherlands (EIN)
133. Bordeaux Merignac, Bordeaux, France (BOD)
134. Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh (EDI)
135. Boryspil International Airport, Kiev, Ukraine (KBP)
136. Manchester Airport, Manchester, United Kingdom (MAN)
137. Stockholm Bromma Airport, Stockholm (BMA)
138. Paris Orly, Paris (ORY)
139. Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport, Lyon, France (LYS)
140. London Stansted Airport, London (STN)
141. Kuwait International Airport, Farwaniya, Kuwait (KWI)

One note of optimism: Raiteri says most airlines and airports that descended in the rankings this year did so because the marketplace is becoming more competitive, not because their individual performance is declining.

“What we mostly see is improvement, to be honest,” he tells Bloomberg. “Most airlines have been late to recognising their responsibility, but after all the publicity that United got last year, we’re seeing airlines taking a much different approach to dealing with passengers.”

For both airlines and airports, he says, “We don’t see folks falling in rank due to poor performance, but because another entity is doing better and pushing them down.” Consider it a silver lining the next time you’re stranded at the gate.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: IOL [1]. Image sources: Terence Ong [1].

Why You Should Use a Relocation Provider and What to Look For

Relocating employees can be a time-consuming, costly, and confusing process. But it doesn’t have to be. Making use of a Relocation Service Provider has numerous advantages for your business. We asked our Director, Rene, for an overview of the reasons you should do so, and what to consider when looking for the best service provider for your needs.

What would you say are some of the downsides to a company deciding to manage relocating their employees in-house?

Companies could end up spending 80% of their time on 20% of their employees. Unless all those relocating are going to the same location, it’s difficult to build resources and have a bank of information about each location when not using experts in each of those locations. In contrast to Destination Service Providers, companies might not have capability to negotiate on behalf of their employees. Human Resources’ time could be better spent – potentially making the business more money and developing employees.

What are some advantages to using a Relocation Provider?

Focused knowledge, expertise, and support along the journey. There are also potential cost and time savings due to the reasons mentioned above.

What should I look for when choosing a provider?

Don’t only look at cost – it’s only one factor. A successful assignment has other elements to it. Consider compliance – whether the provider has all the necessary checks and balances, such as ISO 9001 and industry quality standards. An example is whether a provider has reached the audit requirements to gain the EuRA Global Quality Seal (EGQS). Also look into how long the provider has existed for, and judge whether they are likely to continue to be in existence when you need them a few years into the future.

Look into how they vet and recruit their people, as well as whether they have the required insurance. Get feedback from previous clients of theirs, and, if possible, perform a site visit to see if what they are saying about their presence in a location is accurate. Consider their alliances and memberships, such as with The International Relocation Associates (TIRA).

Finally, there is a big difference between a mover and Destination Service Provider (DSP), and there can be confusion in the industry. DSPs focus on people, not boxes. It is important to understand exactly what the provider does, and where its focus areas are and capabilities lie.

What should I do if I’m struggling to work with my current provider?

Ultimately you want to fix the problem. Partner appropriately – remember you are both trying to service the client (assignee) as best as possible. Focus on bringing things back from red to amber to green as soon as possible. Work together to solve the problem, rather than pointing fingers. Consider whether the problem is a first, or a repeating one, before considering moving to a new provider. Resolve the issue in the best interests of the assignee.

Is it best to go with a global company, or one that is located in and specializes in the area I’m interested in?

It is definitely better to use a regional provider – one located in the country the assignee/s will be moving to, as it is too broad for one global provider to have expert experience in every area. If, for example, you are moving employees into or around Africa, use a provider that has years of experience focused on that continent.

Any insights on industry trends happening right now?

One trend is the shift from longer-term programs to shorter-term programs. Another is finding ways to add value for assignees and clients by using available technology and data. There is a general trend of companies disproportionately placing price over value, quality of service, and compliance. This needs to be considered in terms of risk aversion, taking new legislation such as GDPR into account, as well as long-term success working with the provider, in order to enhance the true overall value of using an expert.


So there you have it. Using a trusted Relocation Provider can not only save you time and money, but help prevent unforeseen problems with relocating employees around the globe. With over 25 years of experience across the African continent, Relocation Africa would be happy to assist you with your mobility needs, and help you embrace the unknown.


Sources: [1]. Image sources: Kyle Glenn on Unsplash [1].

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

How We Have Adapted to GDPR

With the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation laws now in place, we thought we’d share what we’ve done over the past while in order to ensure we are compliant as a South African business. Much of what the GDPR has identified in terms of Data Protection were things that, over the past 25 years, we have already implemented, to ensure that we are a quality provider. Nonetheless, our Compliance Committee took the opportunity to review the requirements and ensure that we continue to meet global compliance requirements. Some of the areas we have worked on are:

  • Divisional Data Audits have taken place, providing us with an overview of how each business sector handles their data.
  • Our Data Protection Policy, that governs data protection for the entire business, was reviewed to ensure its compliance with GDPR requirements.
  • GDPR training systems have been implemented, containing guidelines to comply with the new regulations. The training can be updated as needed.
  • A revised Data Privacy Policy has been added to our website.
  • Our email disclaimers have been amended.
  • We have taken the step of introducing a few new processes in terms of authorizing our Ground Consultants to deliver services, as well as closing off files, to ensure higher levels of data protection.
  • Our IT systems have been reviewed to ensure all data is secure while in transit, and when stored.

Going forward, we will be actively monitoring the legislation’s roll-out, to keep ahead of any possible changes. If you would like more information about our GDPR compliance, feel free to reach out to us. We implore all businesses, even those based outside the EU, to ensure that they have strict data protection policies in place – even those that extend further than the new GDPR requirements. The protection of personal information is becoming increasingly important in a time when more information can be sourced and disseminated online.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1]. Image sources: rawpixel on Unsplash [1].

Our Key Takeaways From EuRA’s 2018 Conference in Croatia

Last month, we attended EuRA’s 2018 Conference in Dubrovnik, and beyond having a great opportunity to connect with those in the industry, we attended a number of talks and workshops. Below, we have summarized our key takeaways.

Eura Conference – Croatia 2018 – by René Stegmann

Attending the EuRA conference in such a picturesque location, with the sunshine all day everyday, made for a pleasant business experience. On our way to Dubrovnik, Croatia, we managed a slight detour to experience some culture and wine in Kotor, Montenegro. Learning some of the history and meeting the locals, sampling their food and wine all made for a good start to the conference. We were guided by a local guide to get the full picture of their more recent history.

The conference venue was a resort outside Dubrovnik itself. We arrived early to represent Relocation Africa at the TIRA Day, which was an opportunity for all the TIRA members to benchmark, share knowledge, and ensure we are leaders of best practices in our businesses. It was a great day, and ended with a beautiful boat trip and dinner in Dubrovnik itself.

The next day was filled with Supplier – or as I prefer to refer to them, partner – meetings of which there were many, all with their unique delivery of sharing what each of their businesses are seeing as trends, and how their businesses are adapting.
There are a number of trends which are similar across all partners, and generally in certain locations, volumes are lower, however, in other locations, volumes are good. There seems to be a fair amount of consolidation in the industry as Lexicon has acquired Sterling, Weichert has acquired The MI Group, Madison Dearborn Partners has acquired Sirva, and K2 Mobility has acquired Harbour HR.

There were big talks on GDPR and the impact on our businesses, with the new regulations having just been implemented as at 25th May 2018. As a South African/African business that operates Globally, it is important to ensure we are compliant, in order not to contravene the new legislation.

It seems the discussion between the DSPs (Destination Services Providers) and the RMCs (Relocation Management Companies) has been managed in a palatable fashion. However, there was a feeling that some of the questions were not answered fully. I am sure this will be taken up by those that need to, as it is an opportunity to raise concerns, however, the view is that you don’t want to be offering opinions that will possibly impact your business – even if it is for the improvement of the industry as a whole. During this session, questions were also asked as to why RMCs are now requesting commission from their partners, as traditionally RMCs request a management fee from their clients to cover these fees. There was a feeling that, should these be disclosed and as a DSP we are able to account for them in our fees, it would be appropriate. But note that this is a deviation from the norm of business over the past 25 years Relocation Africa has been in business.

The continuation of driving costs down and improving service delivery is on the top of each RMC’s mind’ and we as a consolidated group need to review how we can do this.

Essentially both the RMC and the DSP need to collaborate better to build partnerships with their clients, and have a direct impact on cost efficiencies and value creation. However, I noted that we as a DSP in Africa, and all the others are often referred to as suppliers. Without us as partners, the RMC could not service the client, and we should therefore never be referred to as suppliers, but only as partners. As you can tell I am pretty passionate about this particular point, but I believe when we are treated as partners, the value creation and cost efficiencies will ultimately be identified to the benefit of the client.

We had many meetings with RMCs, DSP partners, and others who were attending the conference, which allowed our business to appropriately benchmark and remain current in the industry.

We also attended a farewell to Beverly Mayhew, who has been a leader in our industry, carving a groove for many of us to follow. She recently sold her business, and although she has officially retired, she wants to remain involved in the industry.

The next EuRA conference we will attend will take place in Munich, Germany, from 30 April to 3rd May 2019. To learn more, click here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1]. Image sources: Dominic Tidey [1], [2]; Sorin Cicos on Unsplash [3].

GDPR: How Europe’s New Internet Rules Affect You

On May 25, Europe’s new set of Internet privacy rules, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will go into effect – reshaping the way our online world works.

From that date, if your personal data is being used by any company in the European Union, then you have rights that didn’t exist before. This has a global impact because so many internet companies have employees or users somewhere in Europe.

GDPR does have good intentions, however, some of the law itself really breaks the internet.

Jason Bier, Engine Media Group

Data is a billion-dollar industry and the new law applies to all global Internet companies processing user data in the EU. They include everything from credit card details to photos and even biometric data.

This is in response to protect internet users in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving their illegal harvesting of data to craft ads supporting Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Brexit campaign.

Under the new rules, companies must clearly ask for consumer’s consent to harvest data, so they have to actively “opt-in” and be informed how their data is being used and for what purpose.

Those in breach of GDPR can be fined up to four percent of annual global turnover. And users who no longer want their personal data processed have the right to be forgotten and have their data deleted.

Potential pros and cons of GDPR

Jason Bier of Engine Media Group believes that “GDPR does have good intentions, however, some of the law itself really breaks the internet.”

“There’s a lot of confusion in how … personal data will be interpreted by the data protection authorities in each member state,” says Bier.

“There has been the addition of an IP address, which is considered personal data, that if it’s processed before consent is given by the user that would be a violation of the GDPR. And as we all know the IP address is an essential building block of the Internet. Every communication that’s sent between a device and the webpage exchanges that simple data.”

“So it’s really a question of, what is consumer data, what is personal data? And that definition has been broadened dramatically.”

Bier thinks Google and Facebook will be empowered by GDPR, because “they’re very familiar to people, their services are widely used … so they’re going to get opt-in consent. That’s really the issue here. Small businesses can’t get opt-in consent because they don’t collect personally identifiable information like Google and Facebook do … They’re going to collect more, not less, data on individuals and associate that to personally identifiable information.”

Diego Naranjo, a senior policy adviser at European Digital Rights, doesn’t agree with Bier that the new privacy rules will benefit big companies like Google or Facebook.

“The new regulation brings a lot of strength and mechanisms, it brings potential big sanctions, so I don’t think they will be able to directly benefit from it. If they follow the rules, they will be able to do their business as anybody else. Of course, they’re big, so they’ll be able to adapt quickly but I’m not sure this will reinforce these two companies – but rather the opposite,” says Naranjo.

He admits that not enough has really been done to educate and inform people about GDPR and its implications.

“We’ve been telling the European Commission that such a change needs a proper campaign to tell people how their rights are going to be reinforced. We’ve seen a lot of misinformation by private companies who see their business model potentially affected by this regulation,” says Naranjo.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: Al Jazeera [1]. Image source: [1].