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The World's Best Airlines

When you think of catching a flight, what comes to mind? Cramped seats, baggage fees, endless delays, long check-in lines and a $5 sandwich? In a world of booming budget travel, flying economy has quickly become less than luxurious.

However, not all airlines are made equal. The 10 best international airlines were recently announced at the annual World Airline Awards in Paris. The awards are run by U.K. market research firm Skytrax, which audits airlines and airports, conducts research for commercial airlines and also runs the consumer review site AirlineQuality.com.

The rankings presented here were developed based on overall customer satisfaction across first, business and economy class, using surveys from 18.8 million airline passengers worldwide. The surveys were conducted over a 10-month period through various methods, including online questionnaires, telephone interviews, business research groups and travel panels. The data cover 38 individual aspects of airline service, such as check-in, boarding, seat comfort, cleanliness, food and beverage and staff service.

Most of the top airlines on the list are based in the Asia-Pacific region, while no North American or Western European carriers made the cut.

Click ahead to see which airlines are considered the world's best.

By Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani
Posted: July 11, 2011

Photo: Benedict Redgrove | Getty Images