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J.D. Power survey shows the airlines people like the most (and least)

If you're curious to see how other people rank the best airlines, J.D. Power did the survey for you

A view of a Delta airplane out of an airport window.
Hanson Lu/Unsplash / Unsplash

Do you fly with the same carrier every time? Do you ping back and forth between two different ones, depending on things like the ticket price or ones that don’t have hidden fees? Was there one airline you had a horrible experience with and have never booked with again? J.D. Power did a survey about all of that and more, and we have the results for the best airlines to fly with. Have a peek if you’re curious to see where your pick landed.

What it took to be a fan favorite

How do you make it to be one of the top airlines to fly with? It surveyed people from March 2022 to March 2023, so the data is pretty recent. And it only asked about main North American airlines, so you might not see all of your low-budget or other airlines in the rankings.

What the airline needed to be good at

  • The state of the plane itself
  • Baggage fees
  • Ease of boarding
  • Those fun fees and other costs
  • The flight attendants
  • The in-flight experience
  • The reservation process

J.D. Power made sure it asked about all the pertinent things we care about when picking our top airlines. We think they asked the right questions.

But it dug deeper and broke it up by seat class, separating things by ranking basic, premium, and first-class areas. If you have a preferred way to fly, go straight to that ranking.

The winners

Basic economy

  • Southwest Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue

Premium economy

  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue
  • Alaska Airlines

First class

  • JetBlue
  • Delta Air Lines
  • United Airlines

Well, well, well, aren’t JetBlue and Delta leading the way? No matter what class you like to (or can afford to) fly, JetBlue and Delta are your safe bets to give you the most appealing experience across all categories.

A flight attendant checking on the inside of a cabin on an airplane.
Omar Prestwich / Unplash

The ones that need some work

Everyone wants to know the ones that ranked the lowest in each category. While these may not be the worst airlines to fly on, for this survey, they ranked last among the North American airlines.

Basic economy

  • Frontier Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • American Airlines

Premium economy

  • United Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines

First class

  • American Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines

Unfortunately for American Airlines, it ranked in the bottom three in each class category, so it seems it is struggling a little bit across the board. Air Canada isn’t too far behind, being in the bottom three in two out of three classes. 

In the past few years, we’ve struggled with flight cancellations, delays, rising fees, hidden fees, understaffed flights, and not being able to find a flight for the day or time we want. Customers are almost scared to book any flight in fear of how things will change from when they purchased the ticket to when they show up at the airport. We’re happy to see these airlines trying their best to meet the basics every customer looks for when flying.

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Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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