This week, The Points Guy released its annual ranking of the best domestic airlines.
The report ranked the major US airlines from January 2021 to December 2021 based on cost and reach, customer loyalty, reliability and customer experience.
Delta topped the list for the fourth year in a row. And while the other airlines like JetBlue and Spirit didn’t take first place on the overall list, they did win titles in categories like reliability, experience and cost.
Hawaiian Airlines ranked sixth on the list but topped the ranking of top US airlines for reliability. According to The Points Guy report, over 90% of Hawaiian flights arrived on time and didn’t drop passengers.
JetBlue ranked seventh but won the award for Best US Airline for Customer Experience for offering each passenger free Wi-Fi and seatback TV screens.
Spirit Airlines was at the bottom of the list but won the title of Best US Airline for Cost.
“All categories are important, but ultimately we prioritized reliability a little more than others,” Nick Ewen, director of content at The Points Guy, told CNBC Make It.
“It doesn’t matter if an airline has a great inflight product, fantastic lounges or a lucrative frequent flyer program,” he said. If the airline can’t reliably get you (and your luggage) to a destination on time, it can negate one of those other elements.”
The Best US Airline of 2022: Delta
According to The Points Guy’s report, Delta scored 70.43/100, with the highest scores coming from customer satisfaction, lounges, and involuntary bumps. The only category where Delta missed a high score was affordability.
“The consistency that Delta offers is one of the greatest things. While they’ve had some operational challenges over the past few years, these have often been isolated incidents as they regularly score in the top three,” said Ewen. “It has very prestigious lounges and solid inflight features, and often scores well on customer satisfaction, ancillary fees and loyalty.”
Southwest came in second, with the top-performing categories being Baggage/Change Fees, Award Availability, and Customer Satisfaction. It was also the leader in rewards availability due to its Rapid Rewards program. Among the underperforming areas were on-time performance and cancellations.