Airline ticket prices went up by 25% last year, outpacing inflation. Cost isn’t all that matters when picking what company to fly with, though; choosing the wrong airline has the potential to take even more from us. For instance, 7 animals died during air transportation in 2022, and two major U.S. airlines had at least one pet fatality.
While critical to consider, such factors often fly under the radar due to our focus on price. But finding the most affordable airfare is now quite easy for anyone with an internet connection, so this report examines those other, overlooked aspects of air travel to help consumers make more-informed decisions.
WalletHub compared the 9 largest U.S. airlines, plus two regional carriers, across 14 important metrics. They range from cancellation and delay rates to baggage mishaps and in-flight comfort. We also considered costs in relation to in-flight amenities for the sake of fairness. For example, it wouldn’t be right to penalize an airline that charges for drinks if its tickets are far cheaper than those from an airline with free in-flight refreshments.
2023’s Best Airlines
Below, you can see where each major airline ranks, based on overall WalletHub Score.
Most Reliable Airline:
Delta Air Lines has the lowest rate of cancelations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings.
Most Comfortable Airline:
JetBlue leads the pack in terms of in-flight experience, offering free amenities such as Wi-Fi, extra legroom, and complimentary snacks and beverages.
Most Affordable Airline:
Spirit Airlines is the best airline for budget flyers.
Three airlines tied for being most pet-friendly, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines and SkyWest, with no incidents.
Envoy Air is the safest in 2023. The safety runner-up is Spirit Airlines.
The tables below illustrate the number of points that each airline received based on the scoring system defined in the methodology.
National Airline Scores
Regional Airline Scores
Copyright 2023 Evolution Finance, Inc. All rights reserved. From https://wallethub.com. By Adam McCann, WalletHub Financial Writer.