The 10 Best Domestic Airlines

The best domestic airlines, according to Travel + Leisure readers, prioritize safety and customer service.

A Hawaiian Airlines plane in flight
Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

We'll be honest — 2021 was a tough year for domestic airlines, between staff shortages, cancellations galore, and long customer-service line wait times. So when T+L readers voted on the best domestic airlines, their top choices went above and beyond to do their best by passengers. "I am not in love with any airline right now," said one voter, who praised JetBlue (No. 3) for "doing the best job they can."

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. In the airlines category, readers rated carriers on cabin comfort, in-flight service, food, customer service, and value.

It's been 12 years since we saw 10 airlines instead of five on this list, thanks to the growing number of carriers in the U.S. One of the newcomers even made the list: Breeze Airways, which only launched in May 2021, took the No. 2 spot. "Breeze Airways is very affordable. The legroom was nice and the attendants were friendly and helpful," one T+L reader said. "Very easy to book and pay for tickets online. I even accrued a few dollars to apply to my next ticket."

The addition of Breeze Airways bumped one of the regulars out of the top half of the rankings: Southwest Airlines, a WBA Hall of Fame honoree, came in at No. 6 after having claimed a top-five spot for more than a decade.

The other airlines at the top of the list include Delta (No. 5), which has held that spot since 2019; JetBlue, also a WBA Hall of Fame honoree; and at No. 1, Hawaiian Airlines, another WBA Hall of Famer.

Read on to learn why readers picked Hawaiian Airlines as the World's Best domestic airline and see the full list of winners.

1. Hawaiian Airlines

A smiling flight attendant on a Hawaiian Airlines flight
Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has ascended to the No. 1 spot on the World's Best domestic airlines list for the first time ever — despite ranking in the top five for more than a decade. "Hawaiian Airlines delivers true Hawaiian hospitality. They used to say Hawaii starts with the flight, and that is indeed true," one WBA respondent said. While most T+L readers focused their attention on Hawaiian's long-haul flights — and particularly its meals, which are even served in economy — some noted the airline's excellence on inter-island hops, too. There's only one complaint: "Serve more mainland cities," one voter implored.

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 82.04

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2. Breeze Airways

A Breeze airways plane
Courtesy of Breeze Airways

Score: 81.76

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3. JetBlue Airways

A flight attendant on board a JetBlue plane
Courtesy of JetBlue Airways

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 79.75

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4. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines planes seen from an Alaska Airlines airport lounge
Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Score: 79.23

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5. Delta Air Lines

Delta Airlines planes waiting at an airport
Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Score: 77.90

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6. Southwest Airlines

A Southwest Airlines plane after takeoff
Stephen M Keller/Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 76.20

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7. United Airlines

A United Airlines plane in flight over pink-toned clouds
Courtesy of United Airlines

Score: 68.94

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8. Sun Country Airlines

Interior of a Sun Country airlines plane
Courtesy of Sun Country

Score: 68.4368.94

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9. American Airlines

Am American Airlines pilot and gate agent
Courtesy of American Airlines

Score: 66.23

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10. Allegiant

An Allegiant airways plane on the tarmac
Courtesy of Allegiant

Score: 65.50

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