Many frequent flyers in the U.S. have strong opinions about what makes an airline great-- and what can make them horrible. Now a new study has made it official-- until the next ranking comes out.
Alaska Airlines is the best domestic carrier and Spirit is the worst. That’s according to ThePointsGuy.com's annual survey.
Alaska earned the coveted recognition based on its frequent flyer program category and placed second in customer satisfaction and on-time arrivals.
“Its main drawback is a mediocre route network, but its ongoing merger with Virgin America should improve that situation, especially in popular markets such as California, New York City and Washington, D.C.,” the study said.
Low cost carrier Spirit came in the tenth slot (out of ten) “thanks to last-place rankings for cabin comfort, customer satisfaction, frequent flyer perks and on-time arrivals, plus zero lounges.” The airline didn’t rank higher than fifth in any of the other sections reviewed.
Frontier, which was in the ninth spot, ranked in the bottom portion of every classification except for airfare, where it was second best. The airline was also ranked as having some of the worst customer service among all airlines – national and international – in a study released Feb. 9.
The study weighted several factors to determine the final ranking, including airfare (25 percent), route networks (15 percent), bag and change fees (10 percent), cabin comfort (10 percent), customer satisfaction (10 percent), frequent flyer programs (10 percent), on-time arrivals (10 percent) and lost baggage (5 percent), domestic lounges (3 percent) and involuntary bumps (2 percent).
Sources utilized to determine the percentages varied from the actual airline websites to official Bureau of Transportation statistics.
Are you flying the best of the best or is it time to upgrade?
Here's The Point Guy's final list, ranked from best to worst:
1. Alaska Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Virgin America
4. JetBlue Airways
5. American Airlines
6. Southwest Airlines
7. Delta Air Lines
8. Hawaiian Airlines
9. Frontier Airlines
10. Spirit Airlines