Alaska Airlines named 2018’s best carrier in the United States

The airline received the highest overall score in 13 different categories

Alaska Airlines offers the best overall value out of all major carriers operating in the United States, new research made by WalletHub suggests.

Alaska Airlines was named the best US carrier for 2018 — Vacclav / Shutterstock
Alaska Airlines is the fifth largest carrier in the US and has been named the best for 2018 — Vacclav / Shutterstock

It was followed by Delta and Hawaiian Airlines in the rankings, while JetBlue was named the most comfortable with Spirit and Frontier the best for budget travellers.

WalletHub compared various factors that affect the whole air travel experience, based on 13 different categories.

“This report examines those other, overlooked aspects of air travel to help consumers make more-informed decisions,” the agency said.

“WalletHub compared the 9 largest US airlines, plus two regional carriers, in 13 important categories. They range from cancellation and delay rates to baggage mishaps and in-flight comfort.”

Out of all carriers, Alaska Airlines has the highest overall score of 74.18 out of 100, followed by Delta, with 72.57, and Hawaiian Airlines, with 69.71.

The least successful carrier was Spirit Airlines, with 53.08, and Frontier, which scored 54.84.

With the lowest rate of cancellations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings, Delta airlines was named the most reliable — Markus Mainka / Shutterstock best Aalaska Airlines
With the lowest rate of cancellations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings, Delta Air Lines was named the most reliable — Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

The ranking also names the best airlines in their specific category. With the lowest rate of cancellations, delays, mishandled luggage and denied boardings, Delta Air Lines was named the most reliable.

JetBlue is the most suitable for passengers that seek onboard comfort, as they provide the best pack of items for the in-flight experience. They offer free services such as WiFi, complimentary snacks and beverages, or extra legroom.

For budget travellers, Spirit and Frontier are the best choices as their fares are the lowest.

The agency also examined how the carriers treat pets. 1 in 10,000 animals died, got injured or were lost while transported by major US airlines in 2017 with United and American Airlines having the highest incident rates. Hawaiian Airlines, however, were named the most pet-friendly carrier.

Best US airlines for 2018

  1. Alaska Airlines – 74.18
  2. Delta Airlines – 72.57
  3. Hawaiian – 69.71
  4. SkyWest Airlines – 68.74
  5. ExpressJet Airlines – 66.43
  6. American Airlines – 62.29
  7. United Airlines – 59.14
  8. JetBlue Airways – 59.1
  9. Southwest Airlines – 57.05
  10. Frontier Airlines – 54.84
  11. Spirit Airlines – 53.0