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The Best and Worst Airlines for 2021, Ranked

SmarterTravel

If you’ve ever sat in an even smaller than normal coach seat, had the same flight canceled/rescheduled multiple times, or fought with a rude customer service agent—then you know that the airline you fly on can make a huge difference in the pleasantness of your trip.

Improve your chances of having a good flight by choosing one of the airlines ranked as the best in the U.S.—and think twice before booking a ticket on one of the airlines that came in last.

Luggage storage site Bounce analyzed domestic and international airlines operating in the U.S. and scored them on seven factors: On-time arrivals, seat comfort, maximum free baggage allowance, staff service, meals, in-flight entertainment, and number of complaints to determine the best and worst airlines in the country.

The Best Domestic and Worst U.S. Airlines for 2021

Delta was rated as the best airline in the country by the study, thanks to a higher-than average percentage of on-time arrivals and a low number of customer service complaints. 

Screenshot showing airline rankings from Bounce
Bounce

Spirit Airlines continued to live up to its bad reputation, with the budget carrier coming in last place in the survey. United Airlines rounded out the bottom three, thanks to its shockingly high number of customer service complaints.

The Best International Airlines

Headed out of the country? Book a ticket on Japan’s Ana All Nippon Airways, which only received 34 complaints during the first half of 2021, earning it the top spot on the list of best international airlines. 

Screenshot showing airline rankings from Bounce
Bounce

You’ll likely want to avoid budget airline VivaColombia, which ranked last in the survey due to limited free amenities and uncomfortable seats onboard. 

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