Ranking US Airlines
Offers budget-friendly fares and lots of flexibility around re-booking options when plans change. Ranked highly for most affordable connections to the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and praised for the option to check 2 bags for free with an economy class ticket.
Often ranked last for affordability, this airline leans into a higher pricing model that correlates with consistent, reliable service and comfortability in-flight.
Honorable Mention: Spirit/Frontier
These recently merged budget airlines are known for their cheap airfare, but not without fees and upcharges for any kind of amenity or convenience. Low fares often come hand in hand with less-than-stellar inflight service. Remember: You get what you pay for.
According to customers and plenty of travel news sites with airlines ranked by safety, Delta consistently ranks the highest in terms of overall flight safety. Enforces health policies avidly to protect customers against COVID-19.
Spirit often ranks lower than most other US-based airlines for safety as it doesn’t possess the IOSA certification (not mandatory for airlines) and it has been fined for some maintenance reasons in the past.
Honorable Mention: Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines ranks 8th worldwide for various safety initiatives that keep passengers safe and its attention and dedication to heath and safety. The only reason we don’t place it as best here is due to it having fewer destinations and coverage than most major US airlines.
This airline has lately been placing funds in the way of heightening operations- and it shows. In a summer known for flight complications, Delta has shown the fewest number of cancellations and delays, giving customers the best possible chance of getting to their destination on time.
Reported to have had an extremely high number of delays and incidents that kept passengers from getting to their destination on time, some of these keeping flights on the tarmac for over two hours. Passengers with cancelled flights often have to wait at the airport for extended lengths before another available seat opened up for them on the next flight to their destination.
Honorable Mention: Hawaiian Airlines
This airline boasts a 90.1% on-time rate for flights, based on numbers from 2021.
Across the board, JetBlue is determined to have the best in-flight experience. This is due to having the most legroom in economy, many amenities available, and plenty of in-flight entertainment. Wi-fi is free, each passenger has a seatback screen, and a variety of snacks and beverages are offered to customers on board.
The seats are small, hard, and do not recline, much to the dismay of many passengers. There is also no form of in-flight entertainment options provided while on board.
Honorable Mention: Delta
Often coming in second to JetBlue due to not having free Wi-Fi or as much legroom, Delta is still known for its 18-inch wide seats that recline and have an abundance of padding, making the flying experience more comfortable all around.
Best: United MileagePlus
Matched with its expansive route network, United’s loyalty program offers passengers a variety of ways to earn miles and copious rewards you can spend them on. Partnering with many major hotel brands, cruise lines, and 40+ other airlines worldwide, you can travel just about anywhere with this loyalty program.
Worst: Free Spirit
This loyalty program does not offer much more in rewards than booking flights and securing magazine subscriptions with points. Additionally, points expire after 12 months, not a very long window at all to spend them in.
Honorable Mention: American Airlines AAdvantage
While this loyalty program has a large coverage area, partners with many name-brands and can be used to travel across the globe, there’s a reason we don’t list it as the best option here. Points expire after 18 months of inactivity on an account, and gaining points is based on how much you spend on flights versus the number of miles flown.
Known for its exceptional customer service, JetBlue is noted as having the lowest number of customer complaints when compared to other domestic airlines. Putting customers first as well as employees is how they have built this reputation.
Worst: American Airlines
Topping the list of US-based airline criticisms with 575 customer complaints in May 2022 alone, this massive coverage airline may need to spend some more time improving their efforts to make sure customers feel valued and heard.
Honorable Mention: Alaska
Deciding to use an omnichannel approach at customer service, this airline makes solving customer issues easy and painless when there are many ways to reach out and be heard, and representatives can help passengers more efficiently and effectively.
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