Lonely Planet Writer

These are the best airlines in the US, according to The Points Guy

Alaska Airlines is the best airline in the US, according to research from ThePointsGuy.com.

Aerial view of two airplanes on tarmac.
Aerial view of two airplanes on tarmac. Image by Stephan Zirwes/Getty Images

The website created a comprehensive report based on the aspects of air travel that affect how most people fly, such as airfare, route networks, cabin comfort, frequent flyer programs, lost baggage, customer satisfaction and more.

The ranking found that out of the major domestic airlines, Alaska Airlines was top of the list, while the low-cost Spirit Airlines was the lowest of the top 10 major carriers. The data used in the report came from a variety of sources, like the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Routehappy, and more.

Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines. Image by Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines earned its top spot based on its first-place role in the frequent flyer program category, while it came in second for customer satisfaction and on-time arrivals. The report notes that the airline lost points for its mediocre route network, but that is expected to improve as the Seattle-based Alaska Airlines takes over the California-based Virgin Airlines. The company announced that following the merger, customers with the airlines would have more access to major hubs in the Western USA.

United came in second overall because it has comfortable cabins and “an abundance of lounges”. Virgin America came third; however, it was at the top of the list for cabin comfort and the fact that it loses the fewest number of bags per passenger, while it lost out for having the second-worst route network, as well as pricey bag fees.

Couple waiting for luggage at baggage claim.
Couple waiting for luggage at baggage claim. Image by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Spirit came in last place, because it ranked at the very bottom for cabin comfort, customer satisfaction, frequent flyer perks and on-time arrivals. However, for people who are less concerned about those things and are more interested in cheap flights, Spirit earned a top score for its low prices. Unfortunately, it didn’t rank higher than fifth in any other categories.

The full top 10 ranking is: Alaska Airlines, United, Virgin America, JetBlue, American Airlines, Southwest, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier and Spirit. Read the full breakdown of the report here.

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