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The Best and Worst Airlines in America, Ranked

If you’ve ever sat in an even smaller than usual coach seat, had your flight canceled, or fought with a rude customer service agent—you know the airline you fly 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 for customer satisfaction—and think twice before booking a ticket on one of the airlines that came in last. 

J.D. Power just released its annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study, which measures customer satisfaction with carriers across seven categories: 

  • Airline staff
  • Digital tools
  • Ease of travel
  • Level of trust 
  • On-board experience
  • Pre/post-flight experience
  • Value for price paid

“There are many aspects to the overall air travel experience that airlines cannot control, but one area in which they can profoundly influence is the positive effect that airline staff has on passengers,” said Michael Taylor, senior managing director of travel, hospitality, retail and customer service. “The big takeaway from this year’s study is the power of people to positively influence the overall flight experience. Airlines that are investing in staff training and recruitment are finding ways to overcome the negative effects of crowded gates and planes simply by being nice to their customers.”

J.D. Power surveyed 9,582 passengers who had flown on a major North American airline within the past month from March 2023 through March 2024 to determine the airline satisfaction rankings. 

The study measures passenger satisfaction in three segments—first/business, premium economy, and economy/basic economy. 

The Best North American Airlines for Economy

Based on J.D. Power’s overall customer satisfaction index ranking, these are the best airlines for flying economy or basic economy:

  1. Southwest Airlines
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. Allegiant Air
  4. Alaska Airlines
  5. JetBlue Airways

The Worst North American Airlines for Economy 

Customer satisfaction was the lowest for passengers flying in economy on these airlines:

  1. Frontier Airlines 
  2. Spirit Airlines
  3. Air Canada
  4. United Airlines
  5. WestJet
JD Power

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