Top 10 Best United States Airlines With Reliable Reviews

This summer of 2023, United States airlines are experiencing unprecedented popularity. Nearly 3 million people took to the skies, surpassing the previous 2019 record.

We all know the usual challenges of air travel: longer queues and higher fees during peak seasons. Therefore, we often seek airline reviews on the Internet before choosing one. But with over 60 airlines available, which one should you pick?

This article will highlight the best United States airlines that stand out from the rest. From outstanding service to exceptional amenities, these airlines have earned their spot at the top. Let's jump right in!

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. Spirit Airlines
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. Alaska Airlines
  5. United Airlines
  6. JetBlue Airways
  7. Allegiant Airlines
  8. American Airlines
  9. Hawaiian Airlines
  10. Frontier Airlines.

If you want the cream of the crop: 

  • Delta Air Lines.
  • American Airlines.

If you want affordability:

  • Spirit Airlines.
  • Allegiant Airlines.

If you want good baggage allowance:

  • Southwest Airlines.
  • Alaska Airlines.

If you value punctuality:

  • United Airlines.

The Big Three

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, known as the "Big Three United Airlines", are the three largest and most important airlines here. They have the most extensive networks, operate the most flights, and significantly impact the airline industry as a whole. Just like how we have favourite sports teams, these airlines are the favourites for flying.

1. Delta Air Lines

Best United States Airlines - Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is the oldest airline in the United States. Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Flights: 4,000+ per day
  • Route Network: 1,389 routes to 57 countries

Delta Airlines is a standout carrier in the United States and beyond. They have an impressive record of on-time arrivals, with over 81% of their flights being punctual in 2022 - a higher rate than any other US airline considered.

Delta is also a legacy carrier, having been around for a long time. In fact, they're one of the oldest airlines still in operation. But it's not just the numbers that make Delta great. They also offer many perks to make your travel experience more enjoyable.

For example, they've recently introduced free WiFi on most domestic flights, and the rest of their domestic fleet will follow suit later in the year. Plus, their in-flight entertainment options are pretty fantastic, with over 1,000 hours of movies, TV, and music to keep you entertained.

It's no wonder that Delta has received numerous accolades for its service. In 2023, they were named the Best Airline in North America at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for three years running. Their staff has earned the top spot for Best Airline Staff Service in North America for two years in a row.

2. American Airlines

Best United States Airlines - American Airlines
American Airlines values integrity, honesty, and a commitment to ethical decision-making. Photo by Damian Hutter on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
  • Flights: 6,000+ per day
  • Route Network: 361 destinations in 48 countries

American Airlines is considered one of the best United States airlines due to its range of fare classes, flying to more than 350 destinations, and frequent flyer program.

It’s also a very safe airline to boost. According to, the carrier received a 7/7 rating, a perfect score. Furthermore, the company offers wifi almost on their flights. While their management may not be perfect, their attitude towards giving an honest answer is something many people praise.

The airline also received a great rating for legroom. You can find the exact seat pitch and width by looking up your plane type on their website or using sites like SeatGuru.

3. United Airlines

Best United States Airlines - United Airlines

United Airlines currently has over 700 mainline aircraft in operation and is the founder of Star Alliance. Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Flights: 5,000+ per day
  • Route Network: 330 destinations

Founded in 1931, United Airlines has established itself as one of the best and most reputable airlines in the United States, consistently ranking among the Big Three Airlines here. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline served over 100 million people per year, a testament to its popularity and wide-reaching network.

United Airlines is in the process of modernising its narrow body cabins, with 10" personal televisions at all seats, high-speed Wi-Fi, AC and USB power, and even Bluetooth audio, ultimately enhancing the in-flight experience for passengers. 

The airline also has one of the best same-day flight change policies of any airline, which can be helpful if your plans change at the last minute or you're looking to find the cheapest fare and change your flight later.

MileagePlus elite members can make the change for free, and you can even change your connecting city when making such a change. Meanwhile, non-elite passengers will need to pay $75 for any changes.

For international flights, United Airlines can be a good choice for those looking to save money. The airline also offers great Polaris Business Class perks and pretty good in-flight amenities, such as personal device entertainment, snack and beverage service, and meals for in-flight purchases.

Mid-tier US airlines

Mid-tier US airlines like Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, and Spirit can be good options to fly with. They often offer competitive prices and a range of destinations, making travel more accessible. While they might not have all the frills of larger airlines, they can provide reliable and affordable travel experiences.

4. Southwest Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Southwest Airlines

Why is Southwest Airlines a reliable name to trust? Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
  • Flights: 4,000+ per day
  • Route Network: 121 destinations

Southwest Airlines is listed among the best United States airlines for its low fares and lack of extra charges, such as fees for switching or cancelling flights. Passengers can check two bags for free, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travellers.

While Southwest doesn't assign seats to passengers, families with young children can board the plane early to ensure they can sit together. The airline's boarding order is based on when passengers check in, and travellers are free to choose their seats upon boarding.

Southwest also offers a Companion Pass that allows a person of your choice to fly for (almost) free for the rest of the year, in which you earn the pass and the following year.

You can earn a Southwest Companion Pass by earning 135,000 qualifying points or flying 100 one-way flights in a calendar year. Alternatively, you can get a big point boost by being approved for a Southwest credit card, which can help you reach the qualifying threshold more easily.

Also, downloading the Southwest app allows you to watch free movies and on-demand videos, use iMessage and WhatsApp for free, watch live TV for free, and listen to music for free. Wi-Fi is normally $8 per device on each flight but is complimentary for A-List Preferred Members. 

On the other hand, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card grants its cardholders Wi-Fi credits worth $8 each to be utilised toward the cost of using Wi-Fi on Southwest flights.

5. Alaska Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Alaska
Alaska Airlines serve more than 46 million travellers per year. Photo Y S by on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: SeaTac, Washington
  • Flights: 1000+ per day
  • Route network: 115 destinations in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico

Alaska Airlines has certainly earned a reputation as one of the best United States airlines, with its superior pet policies, Mileage Plan program, and range of destinations.

Alaska's low-fare calendar view, which displays the cheapest fares three days before and after your search date, or a full month of the lowest fares, is an excellent feature for budget-conscious travellers.

The airline's fare classes, including Saver, Main, and First Class, offer varying levels of perks and benefits, with Mileage Plan elite members receiving bonus miles, priority boarding, check-in benefits, and baggage allowance.

It also offers inflight refreshments, including meals and snack boxes, beer, wine, and cocktails. Passengers can reserve food in advance using the Alaska Airlines app. Holding an Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card can also provide significant savings on checked baggage fees and inflight purchases. It may offer an annual travel/airline credit to help offset excess fees.

Alaska has earned numerous awards, including Newsweek's 2023 America's Best Customer Service and FlyerTalk's 2020 Best Rewards Program. The airline's commitment to providing top-notch customer service and value has certainly paid off.

6. JetBlue Airways

Best United States Airlines - Jetblue Air

JetBlue Airways is successful thanks to its low prices and no-frills approach. Photo by Sachin Amjhad on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Long Island, New York
  • Flights: 1,000+ per day
  • Route Network: 593 routes to 33 countries.

JetBlue Airlines is one of the best United States airlines that offers budget-friendly flights. The airline is well-known for its excellent in-cabin amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi across its entire fleet, seatback TVs, and the largest economy seats in the U.S. 

JetBlue's Mint Suite on-plane apartments come complete with lie-down beds, making the experience even more comfortable for passengers. Most modern aircraft are equipped with USB ports to keep passengers connected and entertained, and some even feature in-seat electricity.

JetBlue's in-flight entertainment is a standout feature, with all seats on its aircraft equipped with a TV screen on the back of them. Passengers can watch a movie or listen to music using their wired earphones or buy earphones on board. 

JetBlue now partners with Amazon to provide in-flight entertainment, but in the spring of 2023, they will begin an exclusive collaboration with Peacock, NBC Universal's streaming service. This will allow passengers to watch blockbuster movies, TV shows, live sports, Peacock originals, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation movies.

Finally, the free change and cancellation policy for almost all fare classes except Blue Basic is another attractive feature for travellers. Passengers can opt for the JetBlue Same Day Switch, which allows them to switch their flight to another flight on the same day for only $75 if they know they're going to miss their flight.

Low-cost US airlines

While some of the above airlines are usually a good pick, sometimes you want to save some cash. Then, low-cost airlines appear as a suitable option. These airlines focus on providing no-frills services, which means they might charge extra for things like baggage or in-flight meals. 

7. Spirit Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Spirit

Spirit Airlines is an attractive budget-friendly option. Photo by Forsaken Films on Unsplash

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Miramar, Florida
  • Flights: 500+ per day
  • Route Network: 633 routes to 17 countries

Spirit Airlines offers several features and policies demonstrating the best United States airline reputation. For one, they provide a good safety rating as there has never been a fatality associated with a Spirit Airlines flight in the company's 30-year history. 

In terms of seating, Spirit Airlines offers two options: standard seats and Big Front Seats. Standard ticket holders are entitled to one free personal item, while Big Front Seats provide more space and extra legroom without any middle seats, ensuring passengers an aisle or window seat. Additionally, Spirit Savers Club members (you will need to pay $69.95 annually) get a $7 discount on baggage fees.

The airline also has a favourable cancellation and change policy, with no fees for changes or cancellations made 60 days before the flight. Otherwise, you will need to pay $69 for any changes in 31 to 59 days before the scheduled flights and $99 if you want to change from 7 to 30 days before the departure time.

Although Spirit Airlines charges for all food and drinks, snacks and beverages can be purchased onboard using a credit or debit card. Moreover, Wi-Fi is available on most flights for a fee, with prices beginning at $2.99 for a "browsing" plan and $5.99 for a "streaming" plan.

8. Allegiant Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Allegiant Airlines

“Our mission is to provide high-value, low-cost travel experiences to our customers.” - Allegiant Airlines. Photo by Forsaken Films on Unsplash

A quick review: 

Allegiant Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier focusing on large and small airports in top U.S. vacation areas. The airline operates flights on specific days of the week, depending on the route's popularity.

Unfortunately, there is now no in-flight entertainment, video streaming, or Wi-Fi available with Allegiant. Allegiant exclusively offers for-purchase alcoholic beverages and snacks, and no power outlets are available for passenger or business product usage.

They offer only coach class, with no business or first-class fares. Some flights provide "Giant Seats'' and Legroom seating for an extra cost. However, even their widest seats are not the best, and no seats are with a recliner, too. So if you are willing to put up with some inconvenience in the trade of affordability, Allegiant is not a bad choice.

Although Allegiant often offers new routes at very low prices (like $39 tickets), you'll need to pay for extras, from water on the plane to a bigger carry-on bag. 

Other Airlines To Consider

Although the above airlines are often popular choices, they often face high demand during peak seasons. In this case, you still have some alternatives to consider. 

9. Hawaiian Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has just won the most favourite airlines in the US. 

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Flights: 260 per day
  • Route Network: 31 destinations

Having been in the industry for over 90 years, Hawaiian Airlines is the largest in Hawaii, with a top-notch safety record (crash-free). 

You can choose their "Extra Comfort" option if you want extra comfort. It gives you more space, better food, and other perks. And if you want to splurge, they have a "Business Class" with even more legroom, priority check-in, and access to lounges.

During your flight, you can watch movies, TV shows, and play games on the screens in the seats or tablets in the premium section. They even have a special channel with shows about Hawaii. And don't forget to check out their in-flight magazine called Hana Hou!

Furthermore, as part of its upcoming objectives, the airline is actively working towards significantly reducing life-cycle jet fuel emissions per revenue ton mile. By the year 2035, they aim to achieve a remarkable 45% decrease in these emissions. This commitment underscores their dedication to environmental sustainability and a greener aviation future.

10. Frontier Airlines

Best United States Airlines - Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is a regular choice for domestic flights.

A quick review: 

  • Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
  • Flights: 500+ per day
  • Route Network:  628 destinations

If you're looking for a low-cost airline alternative, Frontier is a fantastic choice. Their main priority is making sure their customers can afford to fly to their destinations, therefore low fares are to be expected.

As a "no frills" airline, Frontier doesn't offer many perks like complimentary meals or Internet access to its passengers. However, there is a "bundle and save" choice that provides additional benefits.

With The Works Bundle, you can bring both a carry-on and checked bag, pick your seat, change your flight if needed, get on the plane first, and even get a full refund in certain cases. The other option, The Perks Bundle, offers all those things except refunds and flight changes.

The good news is that Frontier has a really good safety record. They've been around since 1994 and have never had a fatal accident, so you can feel confident when you fly with them.

If you're someone who flies with Frontier a lot, you might want to check out their Discount Den program. You can get special rates and even free tickets for kids under 14 on certain flights by paying a yearly fee. It's definitely worth looking into if you're a frequent flyer.

Bottom Line

The U.S. airline industry offers no shortage of options for travellers. Some of the best United States airlines, like American, Delta and United, have invested heavily to improve customer experience with their extensive route networks, modern fleets and lucrative loyalty programs. Budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier focus on affordability while still providing reliability and convenience.

When selecting an airline, factors like on-time performance, customer satisfaction ratings, loyalty benefits and cabin amenities are worth considering based on your specific travel needs. Each option has trade-offs, so do your research to find the best fit.

If you found this overview helpful, please share it with others and leave a comment below. Your feedback and social shares will help spread the word and improve the content for future readers.

Ha Ngan

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