Choosing the right airline for international travel from the United States is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. However, since every traveler has a different budget, unique needs, and a specific itinerary in mind, people have different opinions on what constitutes “the best airline.” 

For some, it’s a cheap price. Meanwhile, others are happy to have a non-stop route to an unpopular destination they frequent. At the same time, some travelers seek the best service and most comfortable amenities. For this reason, there is no simple answer when people ask which airline is truly best for international flights. 

Fortunately, choosing the ideal airline for your needs can be straightforward. Despite the vast array of choices, this guide will assist you in making a well-informed decision. We’ll review essential factors like safety, comfort, customer service, and value for money so you don’t have to sacrifice anything to get what matters most. 

Keep reading for an in-depth analysis of the best airlines that can take you to stunning European destinations!

How to Choose Your Ideal Airline

Selecting the ideal airline involves considering factors that can impact the travel experience. Arguably, reliability, on-time performance, and safety records are the most important. Although air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, it’s still important to research each airline’s record to learn more about its reputation. 

Websites like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provide valuable information on these aspects. Keep in mind that airlines with favorable safety records may slack in other areas, such as on-time performance. It’s essential to look at these factors as a whole when selecting an airline. 

Comfort is another central area of importance, especially for long-haul flights. Consider seating comfort, legroom, in-flight entertainment, and other cabin amenities when evaluating an airline. Business travelers might prioritize work-friendly environments and cancellation policies, while families could look for child-friendly services. 

Many airlines have revamped their premium economy, business class, and first-class cabins to make these spaces more comfortable for passengers on transatlantic flights. If comfort is a priority for you, choosing fares that include lie-flat seats is a great idea, especially when you need to arrive rested and ready to work or explore. 

An Insider Look at Premier Airlines for International Travel

A few airlines are repeatedly recognized for their exceptional service on international routes from the United States. Here are some of the top choices. 

  1. Delta Airlines: This U.S. airline offers extensive international routes with reliable service. Delta One suites provide private areas with direct aisle access, catering to business travelers. Those traveling with pets also appreciate their in-cabin policies that allow dogs and cats to travel under the seat in front with no weight limit. 
  1. American Airlines: Known for its broad network and frequent flights to Mexico, Europe, and the Caribbean, with hubs in Los Angeles and New York. Flagship First and Business classes offer lie-flat seats, premium dining, and exclusive lounges. AAdvantage members can also redeem miles from flights on other OneWorld alliance members. 
  1. British Airways: Connects the US with numerous destinations worldwide, not just the UK. Some of their primary routes include Australia, London, and India. Their Club World business class features flatbeds and access to luxurious lounges. 
  1. Lufthansa: Celebrated for efficient service and comfort, Lufthansa’s first class terminal in Frankfurt and business class seats enhance the travel experience. 
  1. United Airlines: Offers comprehensive international coverage. United Polaris business class provides high comfort, gourmet dining, and lie-flat seats. As part of the Star Alliance, frequent flyers can use rewards and get perks on 25 partner airlines. 
  1. Air France: Chic service with a French flair and many European connection options. La Première first class offers personalized service and exclusive lounges. 
  1. Air Canada: Connections between America and Canada, as well as destinations worldwide. Air Canada Signature Class features lie-flat seats and gourmet dining.  
  1. KLM: Offers efficient service and a wide range of destinations, such as China and Dubai. World Business Class provides lie-flat seats and top-notch amenities. 
  1. Virgin Atlantic: Stylish service and innovative cabins. Upper Class offers luxurious flatbeds, a social space onboard, and access to airport lounges. 
  1. Swiss Airlines: Offers premium service with a focus on comfort and stands out for a sleek design. Swiss First and Business classes provide lie-flat seats and exclusive access to lounges, making it voted the best business class in Europe on multiple occasions. 
  1. Alitalia: Connects the US with Italy and other European destinations. Magnifica business class offers lie-flat seats, fine Italian dining, and access to lounges. 

Solving Common Travel Dilemmas

Traveling internationally often involves navigating various challenges, but understanding pricing strategies is crucial to overcoming them. While some airlines offer seemingly low base fares, additional costs for amenities like extra legroom, in-flight meals, and baggage can add up. For instance, while low-cost airlines might appear cheaper initially, full-service carriers like Delta or Lufthansa often provide better value when considering the included amenities. 

Loyalty programs significantly enhance the value of travel. For instance, SkyMiles and AAdvantage provide perks such as upgrades, complimentary flights, and additional rewards. Many international airlines have partnerships that allow travelers to earn and redeem miles across different carriers, increasing flexibility and value in their travel plans. 

Catering to Every Traveler’s Needs

Different travelers have different needs, and some airlines excel in catering to specific preferences. 

Business Travelers

For business travelers, several airlines stand out with superior products and work-friendly amenities, such as premium dining, lie-flat seats, direct aisle access, priority check-in, Wi-Fi connectivity, and lounges to get some work done pre-flight. Top airlines that offer similar high-quality services include Delta, American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, and United.


Airlines catering to families typically provide early boarding, meals for children, entertainment choices, and stroller support. Notably, Delta Airlines and American Airlines feature such family-oriented services, including special meals for kids. 

Virgin Atlantic offers extensive entertainment options and special meals for children. Air Canada and KLM provide excellent family services, including stroller assistance and kid-friendly amenities. These services are available in economy class, so there is no need to upgrade to benefit from them. 

Luxury Seekers

There are exceptional airlines for this class of travelers, like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic. From private suites and onboard showers to premium seats and more attention from flight attendants, these airlines prioritize comfort and unparalleled luxury. 

What’s Next in Air Travel?

 The airline sector is in continuous flux, with emerging trends and innovations driving the evolution of international travel. A notable shift is towards sustainability, with carriers investing in fuel-efficient planes and alternative energy sources to minimize their environmental impact. For instance, Delta Airlines aims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral airline

Additionally, technological developments are progressively improving the travel experience. Innovations such as biometric boarding, improved in-flight connectivity, and virtual reality entertainment are all becoming more common. 

Regulatory changes also impact international travel. Travelers should stay informed about visa requirements to Europe, which will change for Americans in 2025, health regulations, and other policies that can affect travel plans. 

Book International Airfare with Business Class Experts

Selecting the right airline can transform your international travel experience. From evaluating safety records and comfort to understanding pricing strategies and loyalty programs, the tips in this article can help you make an informed choice! 

When planning your next journey abroad, book through Business Class Experts for personalized advice and expert assistance. Our team can help you find the best deals and ensure your satisfaction, no matter your needs!