These Are the Best and Worst Airlines of 2023 So Far, According to a New Report A new study by WalletHub ranked 11 U.S. airlines across a slew of categories.

By Emily Rella

Getty Images
A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 passenger jet arrives at Midway International Airport (MDW) in Chicago, Illinois.

It's been quite the year for airline drama. Most major carriers have been hit with extensive delays, cancelations, staffing issues, and a spate of onboard disturbances as the industry tries to bounce back from pandemic disruptions.

But some have rebounded better than others.

A new study by WalletHub ranked the top 11 U.S. airlines (the nine largest domestic and two regional carriers) across a multitude of metrics, such as rates of cancelations and delays, comfort, affordability, in-flight amenities, and more.

Related: Man Emotionally Reunites With Luggage After Southwest Disaster

The worst of the bunch? Southwest Airlines, which received an overall score of 23.39 out of 100.

The ranking isn't all that surprising as Southwest has faced a series of recent mishaps, including a holiday travel disaster where 70% of the airline's flights were canceled just before Christmas. The display was so bad it prompted a probe by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent, where Southwest is the largest carrier in 23 of the top 25 travel markets in the U.S.," Southwest reps said in a company statement at the time. "These operational conditions forced daily changes to our flight schedule at a volume and magnitude that still has the tools our teams use to recover the airline operating at capacity."

Related: Delta Flight Attendant Goes Viral Helping Nervous Passenger

The airline reported its Q1 2023 results on Thursday; a $159 million quarterly loss — a result of the mass cancelations in December that cost the company roughly $325 in revenue.

On the other end of the spectrum was Delta Airlines, which ranked as the No. 1 airline for 2023 with a score of 66.79 out of 100. Delta also clinched the title for Most Reliable Airline and tied for Best Airline for Pets, which it shared with Skywest Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

A Delta flight attendant went viral earlier this year after a video surfaced of him holding hands and comforting a nervous passenger through turbulence.

"We are touched by the kindness shown by this flight attendant, working on a Delta Connection flight, and proud that this humanity is displayed by our people every day," the company told Entrepreneur following the incident.

The top five airlines in WalletHub's study were rounded out by Spirit Airlines coming in second place (66.23), followed by Skywest Airlines (63.71), United Airlines (62.83), and Alaska Airlines (59.03).

Southwest Airlines was down just over 36% year-over-year as of Thursday afternoon.

See the full list, here.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Growing a Business

Want to Sound Smarter? This Stanford Professor's Simple 3-Point Technique Will Help

With a little structure, you can impress audiences with your ad-libbing all day.

Business News

Katy Perry Is Fighting the Founder of 1-800-Flowers for a $15 Million California Mansion He Doesn't Want to Sell Her

The eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom estate sits on nearly nine acres in the Santa Ynez foothills in Montecito.

Business News

Tech CEO, 26, Found Dead in Suspected Murder

Pava LaPere founded EcoMap Technologies in December 2018.


The 8 Things Franchise Investors Want to See in Your Business

If you're looking for investors, these are the 8 things they are looking for in your franchise business.