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Delta, Alaska, and Allegiant Top WSJ’s Best Airline List

While Delta remains the top carrier, an ultra-low-cost airline made the top three in this year’s edition of The Wall Street Journal’s annual rankings.
While Delta Air Lines remains the top-ranked carrier by The Wall Street Journal, the rankings were shaken up with the arrival of Allegiant Air.


The newspaper revealed their annual list on Thursday, February 1, 2024.


Airlines Rated on On-Time Performance, Luggage, and Complaints

Each year, The Wall Street Journal rates the nine biggest air carriers in the United States across several different metrics, including on-time performance and mishandled luggage. For the third consecutive year, Delta was rated the best carrier on the list.


Delta earned the top spot for their commitment to the customer experience. The carrier received the lowest number of complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with the lowest rate of flyers involuntarily denied boarding. Delta also had an industry-leading on-time arrival rate of 83%. This reflects an increase compared to 2022 but is lower than pre-pandemic numbers.


Coming in second was Alaska Airlines, which did not lose standing for the blown out door plug incident aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. Alaska joined Delta as the only other airline to have an on-time arrival rate over 80%, beating the industry average of 77.6%. The Seattle-based airline also had the lowest cancellation rate at under 1%.


In a surprise jump up two spots, ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air was ranked third among all the carriers. The discount airline mishandled the lowest amount of luggage, with only 1.72 bags delayed per 1,000 loaded. The airline also earned high marks for having zero flyers involuntarily denied boarding, and a flight cancellation rate below 1%.


Rounding out the top five were Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. JetBlue was rated as the lowest performing airline for the third consecutive year, while Frontier Airlines dropped two spots to eighth place. Spirit Airlines moved up one spot, but was still the third lowest-performing airline among major carriers in the U.S.