WalletHub releases study of the Best Airlines for 2019
Traveling by plane costs an average of $363 per trip. And choosing the wrong airline has the potential to take even more from us. For instance, 10 animals died during air transportation in 2018, and four 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 cheapest 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 three regional carriers, across 15 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.
2019’s Best Airlines
Below, you can see where each major airline ranks, based on overall WalletHub Score.
|Delta Air Lines||59.69|
Most Reliable Airline: Delta Air Lines has the lowest rate of cancelations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings.
|Delta Air Lines||26.35||25.65||25.05||27.61|
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.
|Delta Air Lines||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.63|
Cheapest Airline: Frontier and Spirit are the best airlines for budget flyers.
|Delta Air Lines||$13.2||$12.42||$12.37||$12.91|
Most Pet-Friendly: Two airlines tied for being most pet-friendly, ExpressJet and Envoy, with no incidents.
|Delta Air Lines||3.84||3.84||3.85|
Most Satisfactory Airline: Southwest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines had the industry’s lowest consumer-complaint rate in 2018.
|Delta Air Lines||0.74||0.68||0.92||0.65|
Safest Airline: Alaska Airlines was the safest in 2018. The safety runner-up is Spirit Airlines.
|Delta Air Lines||13.25|
(1) Regional airlines that serve other major airlines. There are more regional carriers serving the national airlines, but these are the only ones required to report to the DOT and that have at least 1 percent of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenues.
(2) As a regional airline, ExpressJet does not control baggage handling or bookings. These are handled by the main airline served.
(3) Depending on the major airline served, flights from this airline may or may not provide the service. Please see Methodology for scoring.
(4) There may be discrepancies caused by variations in how airlines code the delay data that they report to the DOT.
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