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Flying can be a hassle: Shrinking seats, delayed departures, and confusing terminals come together to make travel days less of an adventure and more of a headache. But as with any industry, the company you do business with can make all the difference.
Fortunately, the air-travel experts at thepointsguy.com made a comprehensive list of the best—and worst—U.S. airlines of 2018. The airline with the best performance was Alaska, which also came first in the website’s 2017 ranking. Hawaiian Airlines came in last.
To make the list, experts evaluated the nine largest airlines in America, as measured by the number of domestic passengers, on price (airfare, baggage, and change fees), convenience (on-time performance, the size of the airline’s route network, and cabin comfort), extras (lounges and frequent flier miles), and headaches (lost bags, customer service, involuntary bumps). Here’s the full list:
- American Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
Southwest jumped to the number two spot from number six in the 2017 study. It was boosted by this year’s lower fares and an increase in the size of its route network. The airline also won points for its non-existent baggage and change fees. Here’s how to get the best possible seat on Southwest.
JetBlue saw the biggest drop in rank, going from number four to number eight. It ranked last for on-time arrivals and scored lower for customer satisfaction, airfares, and baggage fees.
So what’s Hawaiian doing wrong? According to the writers, it’s not truly the airline’s fault. The smaller carrier received a low score for its network size and airfares, two categories the study weighted heavily. It did, however, score well in both on-time arrivals and avoiding involuntary bumps.
Now that you know which airlines you’ll want to fly, check out these 16 secrets to get the best airfare possible.