But Spirit Airlines swooped in at dead last, according to a new WalletHub analysis
These guys soar above the competition.
Alaska Airlines is the best airline overall for 2018, according to a new analysis from personal finance site WalletHub that considered in-flight comfort and cost; animal incidents; and baggage, complaints and departures. Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines rounded out the top five on the list, which compared the nine largest U.S. airlines and two regional carriers.
Spirit Airlines swooped in dead last — but still nabbed the honor of cheapest airline.
Delta is most reliable, boasting the lowest delay, cancellation, denied boarding and mishandled luggage rates. JetBlue Airways, with its complimentary drinks and snacks, free WiFi and extra legroom, is most comfortable. Southwest Airlines received the lowest rate of customer complaints in 2017, while Spirit and Frontier Airlines had the highest.
While Hawaiian is best for pets, United Airlines and American Airlines had the highest rates of animal-related incidents involving loss, injury or death, the analysis found.
More animals died on United last year than on any other airline, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, with United reporting 18 animal deaths compared to two each from American, Delta and Alaska. United, for its part, attributes the disparity to its willingness to fly higher-risk dog breeds that other airlines won’t allow on board.
The analysis also factored in costs as they related to in-flight amenities “for the sake of fairness.” “For example, it wouldn’t be right to penalize an airline that charges for drinks if its tickets are far cheaper than those from an airline with free in-flight refreshments,” the report said.
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