News

There's a New Best Airline in the U.S.

While pretty much all flying sucks, picking your airline correctly can go a long way toward mitigating that suckiness. When it comes to Amerian carriers, flying Delta reportedly sucks the least -- at least according to this study.

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While pretty much all flying sucks, picking your airline correctly can go a long way toward mitigating that suckiness. When it comes to Amerian carriers, flying Delta reportedly sucks the least -- at least according to this study. 

That's the long-running Airline Quality Rating (AQR), which just named Delta as the top airline in the US for quality. This report from Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is in its 29th year and was put together using 2018 data from the US Transportation Department. The evaluations were made based on four main categories: "mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings." 

Here's the full ranking

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

The study found that all US airlines are improving when it comes to how they treat baggage, handle overcrowded flights, and the number of complaints received. Only the number of flights arriving late rose, which is being attributed to computer glitches and weather. NBC 5 Chicago points out that the industry decreased the number of passengers involuntarily bumped from flights in part by offering better perks to those who voluntarily drop off an overbooked one.

Delta was the only carrier that improved in all four categories, which led to its rise from second place to first. Alaska Airlines dropped all the way from first to fourth. Also, Southwest had the lowest customer complaints, which makes sense because they're kind of famous for that

Spirit had the best baggage-handling rating, so if you're the kind of person who obsessively (and understandably) worries over what the airline is going to do with your bags, that's the way to go. 


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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.