Best Airline (2021)


Flying has become a fundamental aspect of travel for many people. While it may not be the most pleasant part of a vacation, airlines continue to improve the flyer experience with newer planes, better connectivity and improved food and entertainment. Which airline is your favorite?

  • Delta Air Lines

    Delta Air Lines

    Delta ranks among the most highly rated US-based carriers due to its on-time record (83 percent of flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled time in early 2019), extensive routes, robust frequent flyer program and excellent lounges at airports across America. Even smaller planes have seat-back TVs to keep passengers entertained on their journey.
    Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

  • JetBlue


    JetBlue caters to passengers with new planes, plentiful routes, inflight connectivity and some of the most legroom in economy for any American-based airline. The airline flies to nearly 100 cities across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, with live TV and inflight wifi available on all flights.
    Photo courtesy of JetBlue

  • Southwest Airlines

    Southwest Airlines

    While you won’t find first class seats or luxe airport lounges with Southwest, the popular American-based airline wins over fans with a host of perks, including low fares, free baggage allowance, no change or cancellation fees and spacious seats compared to their competitors. The airline has the highest customer satisfaction rating for any North American airline, according to JD Power.
    Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

  • ANA All Nippon Airways

    ANA All Nippon Airways

    ANA All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest carrier, flies to destinations like Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta from the US. This popular line has been recognized in the industry for its comfort (especially in premium classes), friendly staff and in-flight food options.
    Photo courtesy of ANA All Nippon Airways

  • Alaska Airlines

    Alaska Airlines

    Alaska Airlines, one of the best US-based airlines, has a loyal passenger base thanks to its affordable fares, on-time arrivals and excellent frequent flyer program. The airline and its regional partners fly to some 115 destinations on nearly 1,200 daily flights. Passengers enjoy perks like fast satellite wifi, free text messaging and entertainment and craft beer options in the sky.
    Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines

  • American Airlines

    American Airlines

    At full operation, American Airlines (and its regional American Eagle fleet) operates some 6,700 flights daily to more than 50 countries around the globe. This makes it the largest airline by passenger capacity in the world. It also has one of the better loyalty programs, AAdvantage, with plenty of ways to earn points (and free travel).
    Photo courtesy of American Airlines

  • United Airlines

    United Airlines

    United operates hub locations in all four of the largest cities in the US, complementing their huge global route network. They also have one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the US and a popular loyalty program. You can earn points while traveling to some 362 destinations in 61 countries and regions.
    Photo courtesy of United Airlines

  • Japan Airlines

    Japan Airlines

    Japan Airlines (JAL) has a well-deserved reputation as having excellent premium cabins. Passengers can choose from numerous routes between the United States and Japan, and economy seats feature more legroom and wider seats than competitors. Service and food are both top notch.
    Photo courtesy of Japan Airlines

  • Singapore Airlines

    Singapore Airlines

    Singapore Airlines operates a newer fleet of planes, including Airbus A380s with the latest first-class suites. Service is excellent in every cabin, and every seat enjoys some 150 days-worth of onboard entertainment. Travelers can fly non-stop to Singapore from Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
    Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines

  • Emirates


    Dubai-based Emirates has a well-earned reputation among luxury travelers as one of the world’s top carriers. Passengers travel on one of the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, with nonstop flights to 160 global destinations (12 of them American gateways). Onboard service has been compared to that of a five-star hotel.
    Photo courtesy of Emirates


The top 10 winners in the category Best Airline are as follows:

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. JetBlue
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. ANA All Nippon Airways
  5. Alaska Airlines
  6. American Airlines
  7. United Airlines
  8. Japan Airlines
  9. Singapore Airlines
  10. Emirates

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning airlines!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto

Ben Mutzabaugh

Ben Mutzabaugh

Ben Mutzabaugh

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein