A travel rewards website released Monday what it called the most comprehensive list to date of U.S. airlines ranked based on costs, accessibility and a number of other factors often overlooked in other major industry reviews.
The report, compiled by The Points Guy, ranked Alaska Airlines as the best carrier in the U.S. It was rated highest based on 10 factors designed to expand the parameters of many aviation company surveys that have reportedly limited research to airfare and consumer feedback. Alaska Airlines received the highest rating possible for its frequent flyer program and was ranked second for customer satisfaction and on-time arrivals. It was docked points for its limited route network, but an ongoing merger with California-based Virgin America was expected to add a number of popular destinations to Alaska Airline's path, including Washington, D.C. and New York City.
United Airlines came in second on the list, ranking second in categories reviewing the space and comfort of cabins as well as number of lounges available onboard.
Virgin America followed in third with a varied performance among the 10 measures. It topped the group in cabin comfort and least amount of lost luggage, but it fell to second-worst in route network and reached third-highest in costly bag fees.
Mirroring its position in 2015's Department of Transportation review of on-time arrivals and passenger complaints, Spirit Airlines came last out of the 10 major U.S. carriers ranked by the website. The carrier, which bears the tagline "Less Money, More Go," has been routinely criticized for its poor service, despite its top ranking in affordable airfare. It fell to last in cabin comfort, customer satisfaction, frequent flyer perks and on-time arrivals. It also lost points for not having any lounges.
Frontier Airlines was second-worst with bottom-half ratings in every category except in airfare costs, where it ranked second only to Spirit Airlines.
Former Wall Street recruiter Brian Kelly started The Points Guy in 2010 after learning to "hack" the points and rewards system offered by most major airlines in the U.S. The site has since claimed 3.3 million unique visitors a month a month and has frequently posted news on travel-related topics.
The site determined the best and worst airlines based on a combination of ten weighted categories including airfare (25 percent), route networks (15 percent), bag/change fees (10 percent), cabin comfort (10 percent), customer satisfaction (10 percent), frequent flyer programs (10 percent), on-time arrivals (10 percent), lost baggage (5 percent), domestic lounges (3 percent) and involuntary bumps (2 percent).
Here is the full list of best and worst airlines in the U.S., as reported by The Points Guy:
1. Alaska Airlines
2. United Airlines
3. Virgin America
5. American Airlines
6. Southwest Airlines
7. Delta Air Lines
8. Hawaii Airlines
9. Frontier Airlines
10. Spirit Airlines
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.