The 2022 Airline Index
The best domestic and international airlines in the US
Ready to book your next vacation? Looking for a hassle-free journey, where you arrive where you want and when you want?
Your choice of an airline can have a significant impact on your overall flight experience. That’s why we have revealed the best and worst international and domestic airlines for flying in and out of the US for 2022.
Ranking 62 of the biggest airlines in the world on their on-time arrival and cancelation records, customer ratings, and free luggage allowance, this report ranks domestic and international airlines to see which airline leaves customers smiling.
The highest-ranked international airlines
1. Singapore Airlines, Singapore - 7.69/10
Singapore Airlines ranks as the best international airline. Singapore Airlines recorded one of the lowest cancelation rates over 2021 at just 0.19%, paired with a solid on-time arrival rate of 86.04%. In addition, Singapore Airlines is one of only five airlines on this list to record 4/5 and above across meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service. The cherry on top is free checked baggage allowance of up to 30kg on domestic and international flights.
2. All Nippon Airways, Japan - 7.48/10
The runner-up for the highest ranked international airline is All Nippon Airways (ANA), based in Japan. ANA has an exceptional on-time arrival rate of 89.14% and scores a triumphant 5/5 for staff service (alongside 4/5s for meals, entertainment, and seat comfort). ANA also offers the largest free checked baggage allowance of all airlines on this list at 46kg for international flights.
ANA's international travel network connects passengers to major destinations such as China, Southeast Asia, the United States, and Western Europe.
3. Korean Air, Republic of Korea - 7.19/10
Offering solid on-time arrival and cancelation rates, 84.33% and 0.92% respectively, is Korean Air, ranked as the third best international airline. Korean Air scores 4/5 across meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service alongside offering a free carry-on allowance of 12kg.
Korean Air runs two very popular routes from South Korea to America. Over the summer, the airline ran 14 flights a week (twice daily) from Incheon to Los Angeles and 14 flights per week from Incheon to New York.
The lowest-ranked international airlines
1. Lion Air, Indonesia - 0.72/10
Ranking as the worst airline on this list is Lion Air, based in Indonesia. Lion Air recorded a disappointing 42.27% on-time arrival rate paired with a shocking 34.43% cancelation rate. This means that one-third of Lion Air flights were canceled over the last year. Lion Air scores just 1/5 on meals and inflight entertainment and 2/5 on seat comfort and staff service.
2. Wings Air, Indonesia - 1.11/10
Another Indonesian-based airline ranks as one of the worst international airlines on this list. Wings Air has poor on-time arrival and cancelation rates which are not much better than Lion Air; 49.78% and 20.63% respectively. In addition, Wings Air received 1/5 ratings for meals and entertainment and 2/5 ratings for seat comfort and staff service.
3. Flydubai, United Arab Emirates - 1.18/10
Flydubai’s on-time arrival and cancelation rates are not as poor as the previous two lowest-ranked airlines, at 79.05% and 6.17% respectively. However, Flydubai earns its spot as the third-worst international airline with poor ratings of 2/5 for meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service. The airline also provides no free baggage allowances.
The highest-ranked domestic airlines
1. Hawaiian Airlines - 5.64/10
The best airline in the US is Hawaiian Airlines. The airline has an exceptional reputation for punctuality, with on-time arrival rates reaching 90.28% for 2021. Only 0.09% of Hawaiian Airlines flights were canceled last year too. Hawaiian offers passengers free carry-on baggage of up to 11kg. Hawaiian scored 3/5 across meals, seat comfort, and staff service.
Hawaiian Airlines fly passengers to Hawaii from destinations covering North America, Asia, and the South Pacific. Hawaiian also offers services to every major Hawaiian island, including the island chain’s capital city, Honolulu.
2. Alaska Airlines - 5.18/10
Runner-up for best US airline is Alaska Airlines which is one of few US-based airlines to offer free checked baggage (only on domestic flights, however). Passengers benefit from 10kg of carry-on baggage and 23kg of checked baggage free on Alaska Airlines. This airline likewise records solid rates for on-time arrivals and cancelations, at 82.55% and 1.76%.
Alaska Airlines run flights from Alaska to 120 destinations across the US, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The most popular route (and the route with the most seats available for each flight) is Seattle to Anchorage.
3. Southwest Airlines - 5.0/10
Southwest Airlines records positive on-time arrival rates of 74.31% and cancelation rates of 2.39%. Southwest Airlines score highly across meals, seat comfort, and staff service, earning 3/5 ratings across the board. This airline also offers free 10kg of carry-on luggage and a whopping 46kg of free checked baggage for both domestic and international flights.
Southwest Airlines serve over 100 domestic destinations and cater to 15 international destinations across 12 countries. One of Southwest’s most popular routes is from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, which passengers can fly in just 1 hour and 11 minutes.
The lowest-ranked domestic airlines
1. Spirit Airlines - 0.73/10
Ranking as the worst airline in the US on this list is Spirit Airlines. Spirit Airlines saw a massive 3,522 complaints in 2021. Paired with low ratings of meals and entertainment, at 1/5, and comfort and service, at 2/5, this gives Spirit Airlines the lowest ranking on this list.
2. Allegiant Air - 1/10
Allegiant Air ranks as the second lowest-ranked airline in the US. Allegiant Air recorded low rates for on-time arrivals and cancelations, 68.68% and 3.39% respectively, alongside low ratings of 1/5 and 2/5 across meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service.
3. United Airlines - 1.64/10
Ranking as the third worst domestic airline is United Airlines. This airline saw a shocking 3,580 customer complaints in 2021, the second highest of US airlines on this list. United likewise scored poorly across ratings for meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service.
2021 vs 2022 Results
Last year, All Nippon Airways ranked as the best international airline. This year, ANA falls to second place, knocked off the top spot by Singapore Airlines, which ranked as the second best airline in 2021. Korean Air maintains its third place position in the international tables.
Delta Airlines ranked as the best domestic airline last year, however, it has been knocked out of the top three for 2022. Hawaiian, last year’s second-best domestic airway, takes the top spot this year, followed by Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines, both debuting in the top 3.
An initial seed list of the largest 50 worldwide and 12 US-based airlines in the world (by departures) was created from flightsfrom.com. Any airline without complete data from the following factors was excluded.
Note: this report considers 62 of the largest airlines in the world (by departures). There are over 5,000 airlines registered with ICAO codes across the world.
On-time arrives % and cancelation % were recorded from OAG.com. Data was calculated by averaging the monthly data across 2021 (no data was recorded for January 2021).
Meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, and staff service ratings are rated out of 5 and recorded from Skytrax.com.
Please note exact baggage weights for each airline vary depending on ticket class and destination. The figures recorded are for basic economy fares. Weights were taken directly from each airline's website or alternativeairlines.com. Where carry-on weight was not specified but bags must fit under a seat, baggage was recorded as 10kg.
For US airlines, complaint numbers for June 2021 were recorded from The Office Of Aviation Consumer Protection.