Delta Was Just Rated Best Airline for Its Coronavirus Response

They're probably your best ticket for necessary air travel during the pandemic.


Traveling remains a precarious activity amid the coronavirus pandemic, but if you need to fly somewhere, Delta might just be your safest route. In a new study conducted by The Points Guy, the Atlanta-based carrier earned the top spot for its response to the global health crisis.

The ranking was scored based on new safety and sanitation procedures, frequent flyer programs, and most generous refund policies, with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, and American Airlines trailing behind Delta on the list.

"As Americans debate when they will return to the skies and the travel industry deals with its worst crisis in a generation, we decided to take a different path with our annual best airlines study," Scott Mayerowitz, executive editorial director for The Points Guy said in a statement. "We decided it was necessary to provide a comprehensive comparison on how airlines are operating during a global pandemic, weighing everything from ticketing and refund policies to cleaning and social distancing procedures."

Here's the full list:

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

Delta's above-and-beyond cleaning practices (which includes electrostatic spraying with disinfectant, as well as deep cleaning of gate areas and jet bridges) helped it score that coveted No. 1 spot. The carrier was also the first to start boarding back to front and is continuing to restrict its passenger capacity through at least September 30. 

"Air travel dramatically changed overnight," Mayerowitz said. "All the airlines are making changes as we try to stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of the changes are meaningful while others appear to be nothing more than public relations optics. Our report helps guide flyers through the new world of flying and enables them to make better travel decisions."

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.
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