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Alaska, Spirit and Southwest Earn Top Marks in New Report

Alaska, Spirit and Southwest Earn Top Marks in New Report
Joe Cortez

Alaska Airlines is once again given top honors in another airline survey. WalletHub announced Alaska as the top overall airline for 2021, while giving honors to Spirit Airlines as the cheapest overall and Southwest Airlines for the most reliable airline.

Alaska Airlines is once again earning top honors in another survey as the best domestic carrier flying. In WalletHub’s 2021 Best Airlines analysis, the Seattle-based carrier earned the top overall spot, as well as honors for the best airline for pets and safest airline.

Alaska Among Several Earning Honors in WalletHub Research

The research scored and ranked airlines on several metrics, including cancelled or delayed flights, mishandled bags, denied boarding and safety issues. Passenger experience issues were also considered, including leg room, wi-fi availability on flights and entertainment options.

Although all of the carriers fell fall short of a perfect score (on a scale of 100, no airline scored over 60), Alaska narrowly edged out Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines and Southwest airlines for the top spot. The newest member of the Oneworld alliance scored well for having a young fleet and good safety record.

Other airlines exceeded in single categories, where they are already well established. Spirit edged out Frontier Airlines for the cheapest carrier with an average cost of $3.57 per mile, while Southwest was named the most reliable airline for having the fewest cancellations, delays, and mishandled baggage reports. With free wi-fi access and in-flight entertainment, JetBlue took the top spot for the most comfortable airline, while regional carrier Envoy Air was the least complained about airline.

Data for the report was collected from the airlines, reporting from the U.S. Department of Transportation and “easily accessible price comparison tools.” Scores for the two regional carriers on the report – SkyWest Airlines and Envoy Air – were calculated as an average of the airlines they operate under.

Alaska Airlines a Favorite Among FlyerTalkers as Well

It’s not just WalletHub that finds Alaska to be a top airline. In the 2020 FlyerTalk Awards, FlyerTalkers named Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan the best rewards program in the U.S. for the second time in three years.

View Comments (5)


  1. rylan

    April 22, 2021 at 7:32 am

    I’m not sure if being cheapest is really considered an honor…

  2. DBCubix

    April 22, 2021 at 9:21 am

    $3.57 a mile is the cheapest? Assuming a flight from Miami to Seattle of 2700 miles, the average ticket cost would be near $10,000. That number doesn’t seem right to me.

  3. edgewood49

    April 23, 2021 at 7:25 am

    as a AS MM’er I can tell you they earn it everyday.

  4. Dr.Ells

    April 26, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Just sick, no honor in being the airline of last resort, southworst or nospirit.

  5. Orange County Commuter

    April 28, 2021 at 5:27 am

    Sprit wins for anything but “worst customer service” proves this is a joke.

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