The Best Airlines in the U.S.: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards



Slide 1 of 6: While we all love to gripe about flying, America’s airlines must be doing something right: according to J.D. Power, overall satisfaction with the industry rose to its highest point in history last year. One reason: newly flush carriers are finally pumping their profits into what passengers care about most—new planes, better Wi-Fi, and even improving that perennial punch line, in-flight meals. While airfares remained stable, the top-scoring lines are more about delivering high value than the lowest fare. For our 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—yes, more than three decades—a record 600,000 registered voters weighed in. The impressive number of 2019 results were especially exciting for us: we’re ever curious about where you go, what you loved, and who you went with. As you continue to travel, we continue to listen: Here, the U.S. airlines you loved most this year.
Slide 2 of 6: The nation’s second-largest airline is hardly sitting still: from rebuilding New York’s aging LaGuardia Airport, to its high-tech innovations at check-in and boarding, Delta is working at making the airport experience as seamless as possible. Passengers also appreciate in-flight touches like free text messaging, the return of free meals in coach on some domestic flights, and the Delta One business class suites on its new Airbus A350 jetliners and other widebody planes. Internationally, the airline is expanding with a slew of new destinations, and through its close partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM—the Atlanta-based line literally blankets the globe.
Slide 3 of 6: What with its new flights from California to Hawaii—the longest nonstops in its vast network—Southwest continues to move beyond the geographic boundaries its name suggests.  Not only is it bringing its low fares and consumer-friendly “bags fly free” policy to the Aloha state, but it’s also expanding in Latin America where it already serves 15 airports, along with new flights to Cozumel. Newer amenities like in-flight Wi-Fi have helped smoothed the rough edges off its basic passenger experience, which on most hops consists of a free beverage and a bag of pretzels (its trademark peanuts having bit the dust due to food allergy concerns).
Slide 4 of 6: From its humble beginnings as an island puddle-jumper, Hawaiian's network now stretches over half the globe with New York-Honolulu nonstops and flights from its hub to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti.
A premium cabin with lie-flat seating is available on those ultra-long flights to the Antipodes. Readers also appreciate the welcome Mai Tais and guava cookies, as well as the airline’s punctuality—it's the most on-time carrier in the country.
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Slide 5 of 6: No longer the brash upstart from Queens, New York’s JetBlue is turning 20 next year, and to celebrate, it’s launching a new plane—a long range Airbus A321neo—to carry its passengers in style across the Atlantic starting next year. The new flights from JFK to London in 2021 will feature an expanded Mint premium section, with its spacious flat-bed sleeper seats and gourmet food catered by hip eatery Saxon & Parole. The airline also wins kudos for “Fly-Fi”, delivering one of the fastest internet connections in the skies, and it’s free—just like its trademark unlimited blue chips and snacks.
Slide 6 of 6: Alaska is an enduring favorite, or, make that two favorites—it’s retained the loyalty of many customers it acquired from its merger with Virgin America (which long held the title of best domestic airline from our readers). Now its in-flight vibe is a mashup of enduring regional touches—with Pacific Northwest favorites like Starbucks coffee and craft beer served on all flights—and Virgin America’s high style, mood-lighting and all. Alaska Airlines is now the fifth-largest airline in the U.S., and it flies to more than 100 destinations, from New York to the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

While we all love to gripe about flying, America’s airlines must be doing something right: according to J.D. Power, overall satisfaction with the industry rose to its highest point in history last year. One reason: newly flush carriers are finally pumping their profits into what passengers care about most—new planes, better Wi-Fi, and even improving that perennial punch line, in-flight meals. While airfares remained stable, the top-scoring lines are more about delivering high value than the lowest fare. For our 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—yes, more than three decades—a record 600,000 registered voters weighed in. The impressive number of 2019 results were especially exciting for us: we’re ever curious about where you go, what you loved, and who you went with. As you continue to travel, we continue to listen: Here, the U.S. airlines you loved most this year.

5. Delta Air Lines

4. Southwest Airlines

3. Hawaiian Airlines

From its humble beginnings as an island puddle-jumper, Hawaiian’s network now stretches over half the globe with New York-Honolulu nonstops and flights from its hub to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti.

A premium cabin with lie-flat seating is available on those ultra-long flights to the Antipodes. Readers also appreciate the welcome Mai Tais and guava cookies, as well as the airline’s punctuality—it’s the most on-time carrier in the country.

2. JetBlue Airways

1. Alaska Airlines

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