Best Airlines to Fly in the US: Ultimate Guide for Every Travel Experience

  • Zoe Wallace
  • |
  • May 30, 2024
  • |
  • 4 minute read
  • |
Best Airlines to Fly in the US: Ultimate Guide for Every Travel Experience

Choosing the right airline can make or break your travel experience. With so many factors to consider, from comfort to reliability, it’s essential to know which airlines stand out.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the best American airlines for various aspects of air travel based on the latest rankings and customer satisfaction studies.

Key Takeaways
  • Delta Air Lines excels in first/business and premium economy cabins.
  • Southwest Airlines tops the list for economy cabin satisfaction.
  • Alaska Airlines is ranked the best U.S. airline by WalletHub.

Delta Air Lines: Leading in Premium Comfort

Delta Air Lines has reclaimed its position as the top airline for first/business class and premium economy cabins.

According to the JD Power 2024 North American Airline Satisfaction Study, Delta has outshone its competitors in providing a superior travel experience in these categories.

Delta’s first/business class is especially impressive. After being second to JetBlue Airways in 2023, the airline reclaimed the top spot. Now, JetBlue is in second place, followed by United Airlines.

Delta’s premium economy class ranks as the best for the second year in a row. Alaska Airlines is in second place, and American Airlines is in third. JetBlue, which was second last year, has dropped to fourth place.

Delta’s consistent top rankings show its dedication to improving passenger comfort and experience in its premium cabins.

Southwest Airlines: Best Economy Seats

Southwest Airlines continues to excel in economy travel. For the third year in a row, JD Power has ranked Southwest as the best in the economy/basic economy segment.

Delta follows closely in second place, with Allegiant Air moving up to third, an impressive climb from last year’s rankings.

Despite being a budget airline, Southwest’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident.

Their consistent performance in the economy segment showcases their ability to provide a reliable and comfortable travel experience at an affordable price.

Alaska Airlines: Overall Best U.S. Airline

Alaska Airlines has been named the best U.S. airline in WalletHub’s 2024 rankings, earning a score of 68.07 out of 100 points.

Alaska Airlines has a history of high rankings, holding the top spot from 2017 to 2019 and again in 2021.

Alaska Airlines is not just about comfort and reliability; it’s also affordable. It ranks as the third-most reliable and comfortable airline and the fourth-most affordable.

The airline offers unique perks like complimentary in-flight Starbucks and benefits from being a Oneworld alliance member, providing passengers with added conveniences and options.

SkyWest Airlines: Top Regional Carrier

SkyWest Airlines, a regional carrier that partners with major airlines like Alaska, Delta, United, and American, has secured the second spot in WalletHub’s rankings with a score of 65.96.

SkyWest’s impressive on-time performance and extensive network make it a reliable choice for domestic travel.

SkyWest’s ability to maintain a high on-time performance rate — 84% of its flights depart as scheduled — is also particularly impressive.

In 2023, SkyWest carried 38.6 million passengers to 237 destinations across North America, showcasing its extensive reach and dependable service.

Spirit Airlines: Best for Budget Flyers

Spirit Airlines stands out for travelers looking for the most budget-friendly options. WalletHub ranked it third overall with a score of 65.69, making it the top choice for budget-conscious flyers.

Its a la carte pricing model allows passengers to pay only for what they need, making it an economical choice for many.

While Spirit might not offer the most luxurious experience, its low-cost fares, averaging about 5.23 cents per mile, make it an attractive option for budget travelers.

However, passengers should be prepared for limited legroom and additional charges for extras like bags and in-flight snacks.

Make the Best Choice for Your Next Flight!

Choosing the right airline can transform your travel experience from good to great.

Whether you prioritize premium comfort, budget-friendly options, or excellence, knowing which airlines excel in which categories can help you make the best decision for your travel needs.

So, before booking your next flight, use this guide to choose the airline that best suits your needs and enhances your journey. Happy travels!

Zoe Wallace

Zoe Wallace

Zoe Wallace is the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and contributing Travel Author of Culture.org. She is a leading expert in recruitment and a renowned travel influencer who journeys across the globe, capturing and sharing her extraordinary experiences. She uses her expertise to help people land jobs and advance their careers. Aside from that, her vibrant visuals and engaging storytelling immerse her followers in diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes. Zoe's passion for exploration and commitment to responsible and sustainable traveling inspires many to embark on their own adventures and appreciate the world's myriad wonders.

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