The Best Domestic Airlines In The U.S. For 2022

Knowing the best airlines in terms of reliability, cost, loyalty, and overall experience is important for anyone planning a flight across the United States. The Points Guy has released its sixth annual Best Airlines Report, which ranks Delta Airlines #1 (for the fourth year running).

This is a top ten for US domestic routes and does not apply to any international routes these airlines may operate – the Best Global Airline of 2022 was measured differently and recently awarded to Qatar Airways.

For this report, airlines in the US were ranked from best to worst based on criteria such as customer satisfaction, cabin comfort, on-time performance records, lost baggage data and lounge quality. The rankings also reflect “the various aspects of a customer’s journey — from ticketing to baggage claim to redeeming awards for future travel.”

The top ten airlines in the US on domestic routes are:

  1. Delta Airlines
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. United Airlines
  4. American Airlines
  5. Alaska Airlines
  6. Hawaiian Airlines
  7. JetBlue Airways
  8. Frontier Airlines
  9. faithful air
  10. Spirit Airlines

Brian Kelly, Founder of The Points Guy, said: “As travel restrictions were lifted around the world and more and more people returned to travel, airlines have faced a mountain of challenges this year, from labor shortages to unfortunate delays in what made it a difficult year for aviation.”

The idea is that this list of the best US airlines should provide a guide to help travelers plan their next trip, either domestically or to help travelers arriving from overseas to transit the US.

There were some useful takeaways from the top ten:

  • There were several reasons for this delta Air Lines won first place, but mostly because of its extensive lounges and customer satisfaction – “Delta had the fewest customer complaints this year at just 1.25 complaints per 100,000 passengers. They also took just two passengers out of more than 127 million Delta aircraft in 2021, which was impressive given the overall state of the airline industry.”
  • Hawaiian The airlines took first place in reliability for the second year in a row. It has the lowest percentage of delays and cancellations – “over 90% of Hawaiian’s flights arrived on time (within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time), and only 264 of the airline’s 60,000+ flights were canceled.”
  • southwest wins for affordable fares – “While Southwest doesn’t fly to as many destinations as some other US airlines, its airfares were significantly cheaper than the three legacy carriers (American, Delta, United) – and Southwest charged the lowest surcharges for checked bags and ticket changes or cancellations.”
  • United Top Frequent Flyers – “United received the highest score thanks to a broad portfolio of co-branded credit cards and the largest number of airline partners for earning and redeeming MileagePlus miles.”

Incidentally, Delta doesn’t get the highest rankings when legroom (or seat pitch as it’s commonly measured) is taken into account – the top spot went to JetBlue (7th in The Points Guy’s list) for best airlines for legroom in 2022.

However, Southwest scored high for legroom, ranking second in The Points Guy’s list of the best US airlines.

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