Sign up for your free account    Sign Up Now
From the Experts at

The Best Domestic Airlines in North America

Advertiser Disclosure

joyful young woman with headphones listening music and feeling happy about her vacation.looking on the window and enjoying her trip.

[UPDATE:  Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners once they become available in our credit card marketplace.]

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below]

With shrinking seat sizes and leg room, plus extra fees for pretty much everything beyond putting your rump in a seat, it might be hard to believe, but overall satisfaction with the airline industry is actually up.

That’s according to the most recent J.D. Power and Associates’ North American Airline Satisfaction Study among 10,000 passengers. Each year, they rank airlines on a 1,000-point scale, looking at everything from costs and fees, in-flight services and boarding/deplaning/baggage, to flight crews, check-ins and reservations.

The increased satisfaction among these carriers is a direct result of some of the investments made by the airlines over the last several years, according to the study, because it has resulted in better on-time arrivals, reduced frequency of lost luggage, plus enhancements to in-flight services such as food, Wi-Fi and entertainment. Of course, growing customer tolerance for extra fees hasn’t hurt, either.

Below are some of the best-regarded North American carriers, broken into two categories: traditional and discount.

Best Traditional Carriers

  • Alaska Airlines: 751

Not only does Alaska Airlines stand out when it comes to customer satisfaction (the Alaska Air Group’s carrier has been ranked No. 1 among traditional carriers for nearly a decade), they also have some great rewards credit cards for frequent flyers, which can make your flying experience even better.

  • Delta Air Lines: 725
  • American Airlines/US Airways: 693
  • Air Canada: 681
  • United Airlines: 675

Recommended Travel Rewards Card

Best Discount Carriers

  • JetBlue Airways: 790

JetBlue has been a darling among frugal travelers since it took off back in 2000. JetBlue’s trio of branded credit cards can make frequent fliers’ travel all that more special. The Jetblue Plus Card, for instance, offers cardholders 30,000 bonus points after they spend $1,000 in the first three months. There are also no blackout dates or seat restrictions.

  • Southwest Airlines: 789
  • WestJet: 723
  • Frontier Airlines: 662

Remember, if you’re a frequent flier, a travel rewards card or one of the best airline miles credit cards can help you get the most out of all those hours in the air. But before you begin researching which card might be best for your needs, it’s a good idea to know where your credit stands first. You can get your two free credit scores along with a snapshot of your credit report details at Checking your scores will not harm them in any way.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Sign up for your free account. Learn More

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on News & Advice may also be offered through product pages, and will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.