• Delta Air Lines topped The Points Guy's 2024 best US airlines list for the sixth consecutive year.
  • TPG's rankings assess four broad categories: reliability, experience, cost and reach, and loyalty.
  • Interestingly, ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air scored beat out Delta in overall reliability.

The busy summer travel season is here, and airlines are working hard to keep their planes and people moving without much headache to the customer.

However, some are better than others.

Travel website The Points Guy published its annual list of the 10 best airlines in the US on Wednesday. It used 2023 data from airlines and the federal government to analyze four broad categories: reliability, experience, cost and reach, and loyalty.

Delta Air Lines took the top spot for the sixth year in a row, followed by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines. This year, Delta carrier also earned titles from The Wall Street Journal, JD Power, and Cirium.

While Delta ranked first overall for its consistency across the four categories, TPG noted it lost points for affordability and loyalty — the latter likely resulted from its unpopular SkyMiles program changes.

Further, Delta only won in one area: timeliness. This was one of five factors under the reliability umbrella.

Interestingly, ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air won for reliability thanks to its low rate of cancellations and mishandled baggage and wheelchairs. It also tied with Delta for zero involuntary bumps.

Allegiant ranked seven out of 10 in the overall rankings due to its no-frills business model and poor delay rate. Still, it beat ULCC competitors Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, which ranked last and second-to-last, respectively.

To their credit, the ULCCs have recently moved in a more premium direction, with Frontier offering "business" class-like seats and Spirit dropping all change and cancel fees.

Sitting in the middle of the pack are American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines, which didn't see much movement to their rank from 2022.

"Overall, 2023 was a year of relative stability and continued recovery from the last of the post-coronavirus lockdown hiccups," TPG said.

Here's a closer look at TPG's airline rankings for 2024. It noted customer satisfaction data only reflects the first five months of the year due to reporting delays from the Department of Transportation.

10. Frontier Airlines

2022 Rank: 10

Best areas: Affordability

Worst areas: Timeliness, cancellations, involuntary bumps, customer satisfaction, and bag and change fees

9. Spirit Airlines

2022 Rank: 8

Best areas: Affordability

Worst areas: Mishandled baggage and mobility devices, family travel, and route network

8. Allegiant Air

2022 Rank: 8

Best areas: Involuntary bumps and mishandled baggage and mobility devices

Worst areas: Timeliness, cabin features, and family travel

7. Hawaiian Airlines

2022 Rank: 6

Best areas: Involuntary bumps

Worst areas: Route network

6. JetBlue Airways

2022 Rank: 7

Best areas: Cabin features

Worst areas: Timeliness, cancellations

5. Southwest Airlines

2022 Rank: 5

Best areas: Bags and change fees

Worst areas: Lounges

4. American Airlines

2022 Rank: 4

Best areas: Route network, award availability (flights that can be booked with points or miles)

Worst areas: Mishandled baggage and affordability

3. United Airlines

2022 Rank: 2

Best areas: Frequent flyer program, route network, involuntary bumps

Worst areas: Cancellations, affordability

2. Alaska Airlines

2022 Rank: 3

Best areas: Timeliness, cancellations, lounges, family travel, customer satisfaction

Worst areas: Mishandled baggage and mobility devices

1. Delta Air Lines

2022 Rank: 1

Best areas: Timeliness and involuntary bumps

Worst areas: Affordability

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2024-06-12T16:16:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd