NEW YORK (CBS Newspath) – For the fourth year in a row, Delta Air Lines is the number one airline, according to the sixth annual “Best Airlines” report from “The Points Guy.”
“We actually put some weight this year on family travel and the airlines that are nice to families,” Brian Kelly, the CEO and Founder of “The Points Guy” said.
“Delta now actually has family seating, so that got them a little extra love.”
Kelly appeared on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday, to discuss how his company ranked the top ten:
- American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
Kelly said there are four main factors that go into the ranking: reliability, the overall experience, cost and reach, and loyalty perks.
“The funny thing is Delta didn’t actually come in number one in any of those categories, but they posted really strong,” Kelly said.
He added, “They’re also the most expensive airline. So, I think that’s interesting, and they’re profitable, so consumers are willing to pay to be treated like humans. I think that’s the key theme we’re seeing.”
Hawaiian Airlines ranked the highest in reliability, with more than 90% of its flights arriving on time, which may not be surprising considering the airline doesn’t fly to many cold weather destinations where snowstorms can be an issue. Delta came in second place, with just 1.25 complaints for every 100,000 passengers.
Southwest ranked number one in terms of cost and number of destinations, while United scored the highest among frequent fliers.
“I book for reliability, comfort, points also,” Deborah Jones, a traveler at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York said.
The ranking comes during a difficult year for air travelers. U.S.-based airlines canceled more than 120-thousand flights from January through July. But experts say there are ways travelers can make their trips smoother.
“Always check to see where your aircraft is coming in from, you can set alerts for your flight. Always get the airline app,” Kelly said.
He adds, if you’re delayed and need to get a hotel room, airlines usually won’t cover that, but there are credit cards that offer flight delay and interruption coverage.