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Delta named best U.S. airline of 2023 by The Points Guy for 5th year in a row

The Points Guy's best U.S. airlines of 2023
Best U.S. airlines of 2023 ranked in new report by The Points Guy 04:43

For the fifth consecutive year, Delta Air Lines was named the best U.S. airline of 2023 by The Points Guy, a travel information website.

The ranking takes into account factors such as reliability, affordability, loyalty programs and customer experience. Despite a slight drop in its score compared to last year, Delta remains the best-performing airline. 

The airline scored high marks in several areas, especially reliability, according to Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy.

"When you buy an airline ticket, especially an expensive one these days, you need to get where you're going and Delta shines there," Kelly said. 

United Airlines ranked second, followed by Alaska Airlines. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines claimed the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, rounding out the top five. 

Data for the report was pulled from 2022. Overall, the report found the airline industry has been struggling with increased airfares, soaring complaint rates and baggage mishandling issues.  

Staffing shortages and air traffic control problems also contributed to flight delays and cancellations.

President Biden unveiled plans earlier this month for new regulations aimed at holding airlines accountable for travel disruptions that are within their control. Under the new regulations, airlines would be obligated to provide compensation and cover expenses such as meals and hotel rooms when passengers are left stranded due to issues the airline could have prevented. Weather delays would not be covered by the new regulations if they were to go into effect. 

Kelly said that while more regulation is needed, a passenger bill of rights for all airlines is needed.

"I really do think we need that, you know, when airlines cancel flights and having these basic rules of engagement that the airlines should abide by," said Kelly. 

To address concerns about family travel, United Airlines took the lead by ensuring children 14 and under can sit with their parents without additional fees. 

Apart from reliability, the travel experience also plays a vital role in selecting an airline. JetBlue emerged as the leader in cabin features, offering complimentary Wi-Fi, seatback TVs, and spacious economy seats. Alaska Airlines stood out for its extensive lounge access and customer satisfaction.  

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