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New Study Reveals Top 7 Airlines For U.S. Travelers This Year

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If you think long and hard about it, airlines are rarely the best part of traveling. It's simply a necessity to get you where you want to go.

That being said, choosing an airline is also one of the most important aspects of booking a trip.

Although flying may not be the highlight of your travels, zooming through the clouds in an aluminum cylinder packed with crying babies, spotty wi-fi, and occasional wafts of body odor can make for a hellacious ride.

Interior of airplane with leather seats and televisions

Then, of course, there are the inevitable dreaded delays. Fortunately, the experts at WalletHub have done the research for us.

Their new study has revealed the top 7 airlines for U.S. travelers this year by thoroughly analyzing the following 4 categories:

  • Affordability
  • Reliability
  • Comfort
  • Safety

These are the top 7 airlines for U.S. travelers this year, according to WalletHub:

7) Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines plane parked between palm trees

Usually, when we think of jetting off to paradise, we automatically think we need to pack our passports.

That's not the case for the 50th State of our Union.

Transpacific flights on any airline are nerve-wracking, but Hawaiian Airlines quite literally specializes in doing just that, whether island-hopping across Hawaii or bringing in travelers from the mainland.

WalletHub found Hawaiian stands out in terms of safety and reliability with one of the newest fleets in the skies and a super low cancellation rate.

6) JetBlue Airways

Jetblue plane landing over beach in St. Maarten

Arguably America's hippest airline, rarely is there anything negative spoken about JetBlue.

The biggest surprise on the list may be how they didn't crack the top 5.

This popular East Coast-based airline flies all across the country and has incredible international destinations.

What makes them stand out the most is providing passengers with a pleasant flight experience with complimentary amenities, such as wifi, snacks, and refreshments.

And perhaps best of all, JetBlue isn't greedy with spacing, offering the most legroom of all airlines!

5) United Airlines

United Airlines plane in Milan

Now we're getting into the big dogs of the pack…

United is a behemoth, quite frankly. There are not many places this airline doesn't have pinned on their route map.

While not the most affordable, reliable, comfortable or the safest, they still squeezed into the top 5.

The way WalletHub sees it, United is in the middle of the road with its offerings, which are not quite enough to stand out more than the rest of the bunch.

With newly implemented policies, such as allowing families to sit together, and exciting new flight routes, the airline is a lot more enticing than this study presents.

4) Delta Air Lines

Delta Airlines plane taking off in Las Vegas

One of Americans' favorite airlines has been on a tear, from introducing new flight routes to being named the most punctual airline.

Flying Delta tends to be the most luxurious economy class fliers experience, without moving up behind the curtain, and that's why it's a mainstay in many itineraries across the globe.

Standing out the most in the categories of comfortability and reliability, travelers are in good hands no matter the destination.

3) Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines plane in Medellin, Colombia

Spirit?! Is this the right list? To the much-maligned airline's credit, they have taken proper steps to improve travelers' experiences, like equipping more planes with wifi, for example.

Many Spirit travelers have done a 180 on their opinions, and we have to admit they fly to some pretty incredible places, such as Medellin, Punta Cana, and a variety of Caribbean islands.

The only thing that could've potentially made flying with Spirit better is the recently failed merger with JetBlue, but for now, expect to see yellow planes amongst the clouds.

You get what you get with Spirit, but most notably, you get tons of savings. Some may be surprised this study found them to be the safest airline in the U.S.

2) Skywest Airlines

Skywest plane in the sky

Nope, that's not a ‘Southwest Airlines' typo. While Skywest flies under the radar as a partner with United, American, Delta, and Alaska, you have surely flown on a Skywest flight.

While this undercover partner may not be as known, they have made incredible improvements in recent years in terms of reliability and safety.

Check the small print when booking a flight between the big names of the industry, as Skywest can't be booked directly.

1) Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines plane taking off in Palm Springs, CA

Despite a huge safety blunder that made headlines around the country, Alaska finds themselves as #1 overall airline in the U.S. this year.

This popular airline, especially on the West Coast, has strived to take care of its customers, and it shows in the numbers.

One spot behind Spirit in terms of safety, Alaska may be the best bang for your buck just behind more traditional budget airlines, Spirit and Frontier, too.

Even with a name like Alaska, travelers can vacation in sunny destinations like San Diego, Honolulu, and some of the top getaways in Mexico, Central America.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.