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Photograph: ShutterstockDelta Air Lines

These are the best and worst airlines of 2022

Booker, beware

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Booking a flight may be as easy as clicking on the cheapest price or quickest route. But for those who have been scorned by unreasonable delays, long lost baggage or just poor customer service, booking by airline loyalty may take precedence when planning a trip. 

To help travelers make better-informed decisions before hitting the airport, The Wall Street Journal released its annual Airline Score Card, ranking airlines based on their timeliness, cancellations, delays, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping and general complaints. This is the newspaper's 15th annual scorecard ranking major U.S. air carriers, and the new 2022 edition has some valuable intel. 

In first place last year is Delta Air Lines, ranking number one overall, and receiving top scores for on-time arrivals and cancelled flights. Second place goes to Alaska Airlines, followed by Southwest, United, Allegiant, American, Spirit, Frontier, and finally, JetBlue Airways, at the bottom of the list for the second year in a row. 

Airport luggage Trolley with suitcases
Photograph: ShutterstockNo matter what airline you fly, the airport is a whole other experience

Of all nine airlines in the running, JetBlue fell in last place for its extreme delays and two-hour tarmac delays, and landed in eighth place for on-time arrivals and cancelled flights. If you are going to be stuck on the tarmac, at least JetBlue woes its passengers with DirecTV, plus unlimited WiFi and snacks.

Overall, 2022 was a rough year for flying and traveling in general. Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Ed Bastian told The Wall Street Journal that 2022 was “the most difficult operational year in our history.” Factor in staffing shortages across airports and TSA (hello, epic ground delays and tragically missed flights), a looming recession, business travel's near extinction and a dozen more factors, 2023 may be the year that travelers finally ditch flying.

Eager to get back in the sky? Check out Time Out's best places to travel in 2023. Bon voyage!

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