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Here Are the Best & Worst Airlines in the United States

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Unless you're a world-beating super villain like Jeff Bezos who can commission private aircraft whenever you want, commercial airlines are a necessary evil. Anyone who spends a good amount of time in the sky can tell you which airlines are likely to have malfunctioning toilets, and which bury hidden fees under a mountain of fine print.

But for the rest of us languishing in economy, the airline and travel website The Points Guy released a ranking of the best and worst airlines in the country. Factoring in data points like price, convenience, extra perks, and "headaches" such as lost baggage and poor customer service, "The Best and Worst US Airlines in 2018" report might prove useful the next time you're booking a flight. 

Talking about the study, The Point Guy's Brian Kelly told CNN: "I feel very strongly that we use data behind all of these rankings and we just had to let the data speak, we didn't move people around based on our biases."

Without further ado, here's how the very apprently non-biased rankings shake out, in descending order: 

9. Hawaiian
8. JetBlue
7. Spirit
6. American Airlines
5. Frontier 
4. United
3. Delta
2. Southwest
1. Alaska 

Alaska tops the list for the second straight year, in large part because it ranked in the top three across most categories, including "airfare, on-time arrivals, baggage handling, customer satisfaction and its best-in-the-industry frequent flyer program." Southwest, which unlike most airlines doesn't have a preternatural ability to gouge customers for every conceivable micro-service, ranked second for its lax policy on extra fees.

Some outliers definitely abound, here, the most prominent of which is Spirit. Complaining about Spirit, despite its ridiculously low fares, is something of a tradition, owing to its non-refund policy and hidden fees for nearly everything onboard the flight. Oddly, though, the model has resulted in good business over the years. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.