This Is the Best (and Worst!) Airline In the U.S.

Before you book your next flight, take note of the airlines that have been rated the best and the worst in the United States.

2022 was a challenging year for airlines and passengers alike. Now that the dust has settled and the new year is in full swing, the Wall Street Journal has released its rankings of the best and worst airlines in the United States. Before you book your next flight, you’ll definitely want to check out this list.

How Were the Airlines Ranked?

Throughout 2022, airlines were faced with terrible weather, massive crowds of travelers, overscheduling and staffing shortages. Despite these setbacks, some airlines were able to deliver better service than others.

The Wall Street Journal used a number of different criteria to determine how nine different U.S. airlines stack up against one another. Their overall rank was calculated based on the percentage of on-time arrivals, canceled flights, extreme delays, delays on the tarmac that exceed two hours, the amount of mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping and the number of customer complaints.

The ranking results may surprise you—for instance, budget airlines often placed higher than you’d expect, while airlines with more bells and whistles took lower spots on the list. Airlines known for their customer service still fell short of delivering world-class experiences in 2022, leaving many travelers disappointed. Keeping all of the turbulence of 2022 in mind, a number of these airlines have lots of opportunities to improve in order to become one of the best airlines in 2023.

What Is the Best Airline in the United States?

The Wall Street Journal ranked Delta Airlines as its best airline in the United States for 2022. Delta has been number one on the list for five out of the last six years, which is an impressive run considering the Wall Street Journal has been releasing the list for 15 consecutive years. Delta came in first place in three of the above seven categories, which though impressive, is two less than 2021.

What Is the Worst Airline in the United States?

Serious airplane aviator with thumbs down gestureDragos Condrea/Getty Images

In a turn of events that may be shocking to many loyal travelers, the Wall Street Journal ranked JetBlue Airways as the worst airline in the United States for 2022. JetBlue performed poorly compared to the rest of the airlines on the list, placing low in just about every category except the number of bumped passengers. Even though JetBlue boasts the best amenities of all of the U.S.-based airlines, passengers experienced the highest number of significant delays, including a number of tarmac delays that exceeded two hours.

The Full Rankings of Best and Worst Airlines

Here are the Wall Street Journal‘s full rankings of the Best and Worst Airlines of 2022, in order of ranking:

  • Delta Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways

2022 was a tough year for every airline, so here’s to hoping that they all can make improvements and have a better 2023. Before you book your next flight, consider this list and also take a moment to learn about all of the things you should know before you fly that airlines don’t want to tell you.


Nina Derwin
Nina Derwin is a Brooklyn-based writer with a passion for the art of storytelling who covers the latest trends in popular culture, entertainment, health and personal finance. Nina has written for a number of publications, including Beyondish, Redbook, Country Living, Esquire, Delish and Digital Trends, as well as several episodes of scripted television.