About the

World ClassTM Award

The WORLD CLASSTM award was created as a collaboration between APEX, the Airline Passenger Experience Association, and Yates+Partners, an aviation guest experience consultancy, to recognize excellence.

Qualifications for the WORLD CLASSTM award are through a combination of one year’s guest experience ratings, in tandem with extensive audits by industry professionals, rating every aspect of the guest experience over many flights and in every class.

It is the WORLD CLASSTM award’s focus on a wide and relevant array of customer happiness drivers that is raising the bar for aviation.

The inaugural recipients of the 2022 WORLD CLASSTM award were recognized in October 2021.

Insights into the rigor of WORLD CLASSTM

WORLD CLASSTM is considered across extensive, customer-relevant dimensions clustered under three constructs.

Safety & Well-Being

experience "keep me safe"

The Safety & Well-Being construct is composed of three dimensions – minimalizing, safe travels, and reassuring. As travelers return to the skies, health, safety & well-being are top of mind. Airlines that consistently and seamlessly deliver an onboard experience where safety & well-being are clearly prioritized while still being able to connect warmly with each passenger are entering the WORLD CLASSTM threshold.

Exceptional performance


experience “care for our environment”

The sustainability construct is composed of seven dimensions – published commitments, digitalization, weight, circular mindset - single-use plastics, active promotion of good practices, materials and waste. As the recent COP26 Summit has demonstrated, reducing environmental impacts are critically important. It is no longer sufficient to simply verbalize aspirations, WORLD CLASSTM airlines are publishing their commitments and taking clear and visible actions.

Exceptional performance


experience “designed space that comforts, recognizes, engages, executes F&B with style”

The Service-Guest Experience construct is composed of five dimensions - brand Integrity, comfort, engagement, presence, personalization (Business class), attentiveness (Economy class), and F&B execution. Airlines that deliver a consistently exemplary guest experience in both Business and Economy class, paying attention to critical details to ensure evidence of care and thoughtfulness shine through at every touchpoint, are recognized as WORLD CLASSTM.

Exceptional performance

Congratulations to the world classTM award recipients

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Recently Rated

Triangulation and

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, it a leading metric used by companies to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty.  It is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (dissatisfied and highly dissatified customers) from the percentage of promoters (highly satisfied customers).  The average NPS score for airlines in 2021, according to Satmetrix, was 45.

For each flight sector, an NPS score was calculated for both economy class and business class, based on auditor ratings.  These NPS scores were benchmarked against the 2021 average NPS score for airlines, a year's worth of airline-provided NPS data for each service class and flight sector, and Best-in-Class APEX audits to enable each airline to see where they shine, and more importantly, detailed, actionable diagnoses of the potential causes of non-best-in-class NPS scores.

  • Farris, P.W., Bendle, N., Pfeifer, P.E. & Reibstein, D. .  (2010).  Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance.  Pearson: London
  • see Fisher & Kordupleski (2018); Romaniuk,  Nguyen & East (2011); Keiningham, Cooli, Andreassen & Aksoy (2007); Mecredy, Wright & Feetham (2018); Sharp (2008); Pinitore, Morgan, Rego, Gigliotti & Meyers (2007); Lewis & Mehmet (2019).
  • NICE Satmetrix 2021 Consumer Net Promoter Benchmark Study, available [www.satmetrix.com/nps-benchmarks/]
  • Although the NPS is calculated on a scale of -100 to +100, the general rule that any deviation of less than 5 percentage points  is managerially not actionable has been adopted here  see: Kennedy, Scriven & Nenycz-Theil (2014); Anesbury, Winchester & Kennedy, (2017).
  • See Halvorsrud, Kvale & Følstad (2016).


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