When it comes to booking flights, the first thing that comes to mind is which airline to choose. There are numerous factors that influence a traveler’s choice of airline. If you’re wondering which airline is the best in the United States, this is the blog for you. We have shortlisted a few airlines based on the customer experience, which includes everything from flight booking and web check-in to staff behaviour and onboard meals.
Delta Air Lines is the most successful American airline. It has one of the world’s largest fleets, with over 5,400 daily flights to 325 different destinations in 52 countries. The airline is also a major reason that Atlanta Hartfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), Delta’s main hub, is the world’s busiest airport.
Aside from a large network, Delta excels at airport lounge access, cabin features, and, most importantly, dependability. Delta has fewer delays and cancellations, so passengers can rely on the airline to get them where they need to go. Delta also received excellent ratings in the 2021 survey for its handling of COVID-19 and passenger safety.
Delta ranks poorly in terms of affordability, but the higher prices come with better service.
Delta SkyMiles is partnered with American Express and comes with several travel benefits. When you fly with Delta, you already have a large selection of destinations to choose from.
For many years, the name JetBlue has been synonymous with comfortable air travel. The Queens-based carrier is America’s second-highest-rated airline. JetBlue is the airline to beat when it comes to in-flight services. All JetBlue flights include “Fly-Fi” internet access, allowing you to stay connected even at 35,000 feet. JetBlue also has an agreement with Amazon through which passengers can access the entire library of films and TV shows on Amazon Prime. If you want to treat yourself to business class—dubbed “Mint” on JetBlue—you can expect fully reclining seats and on-demand food service.
Another reason travellers love JetBlue is that it is the industry leader in reducing its environmental impact.
Whilst it comes to rewards, the TrueBlue programme allows up to seven travellers to pool their points in order to earn awards faster. If you reach an annual spending threshold within a calendar year, you’ll be eligible for Mint seating on future flights.
Despite its name, Alaska is much more than just the state of the Last Frontier. What began as a charter plane service to transport people around Alaska has grown into one of America’s largest airlines, particularly since purchasing San Francisco-based Virgin America in April 2016.
The airline’s premium class is a comfortable step up from economy but much less expensive than first class, allowing you to enjoy benefits such as extra legroom and free alcoholic beverages without having to pay for a first-class ticket.
The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the few reward programmes that still awards miles based on the number of miles flown (most mileage programmes today award points based on how much you spend).
Despite the fact that Alaska’s network is more limited than that of other major carriers, you can redeem your miles with a long list of partners around the world, including all of the airlines in the Oneworld alliance, such as American Airlines, Qantas, and British Airways.
United Airlines has a very broad scope. Aside from its main hub at Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD), United has seven other hubs across the country for seamless travel with few layovers, including San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), and Newark (EWR). United also flies to over 110 international destinations, which are further expanded by the Star Alliance group, of which United is a founding member.
Basic Economy seating is the most affordable, but even a small upgrade to standard Economy brings some worthwhile benefits, such as the ability to choose your own seat and bring a carry-on bag.
Because United and its partners have such a large network, joining the United MileagePlus rewards programme allows you to use miles to fly almost anywhere in the world. One common complaint about flying with United is that there are numerous additional fees for checking a bag or changing your itinerary, but you can avoid these fees by becoming an elite rewards member.
It’s no surprise that Hawaii has its own airline, given that flying is the only practical way to get there.
Hawaiian Airlines serves as a gateway to Asia and Oceania, with direct flights to Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and other Pacific Islands.
You probably have little to complain about when flying to Hawaii. Nonetheless, Hawaiian has some of the best records in the United States for on-time departures, fewest cancellations, and baggage handling. It’s also one of the few airlines that still serves full meals to economy class passengers, with the option to upgrade to a more expensive meal for an additional fee. The menu emphasises Hawaiian cuisine, and the meals are sourced from Hawaiian businesses.
If you collect enough miles in a calendar year—which isn’t difficult for a destination as remote as Hawaii—you’ll achieve Pualiani Elite status and all of the associated perks, such as free checked bags and seat upgrades.
American Airlines is the world’s largest airline in terms of fleet size and passenger capacity. No airline’s network is more extensive than American’s, with flights to nearly 350 different domestic and international destinations.
Because American’s AAdvantage rewards programme can be used to fly almost anywhere in the world, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular frequent flier programmes. When you have a Citibank AAdvantage credit card, you can easily earn points on everyday purchases that can later be redeemed not only on American Airlines flights but on all carriers in the Oneworld alliance.
You can use your phone, tablet, or laptop to watch free movies and shows from Apple TV+, as well as language-learning apps to prepare for your international trip. However, because most American flights lack a seatback television screen, passengers must rely on their own devices to access the entertainment system.
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