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Top 10 U.S. airlines of 2013

Posting in Transportation

In general, the airline industry is not well liked in the United States.

Fortunately, for the airlines, there are rankings in which one of them has to rise to the top. In this case, the airfare deals website Airfarewatchdog.com has determined the top 10 U.S. airlines for the year based on five performance areas — canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, denied boardings, and customer satisfaction -- using U.S. Department of Transportation statistics. And yes, one airline did indeed top the list.

Here's the top 10:

  1. Frontier
  2. Virgin America
  3. JetBlue
  4. Alaska
  5. Southwest
  6. Delta
  7. AirTran
  8. U.S. Airways
  9. American
  10. United

Frontier rises from fifth in last year's ranking to top Virgin America. Frontier was able to top the ranking with strong performances in these categories: the fewest cancelled flights, on-time arrivals, and fewest mishandled bags categories (though it didn't top any of the sub-categories). Virgin America lead the way in two sub-categories -- fewest cancelled flights and fewest mishandled bags -- as did JetBlue with the fewest number of denied boardings and best customer satisfaction. Alaska was the leader in on-time arrivals. Still, it's Frontier that performed best across the board.

Meanwhile, the company is going through a transition period as Indigo Partners buys Frontier from Republic Airways Holdings. We'll see if that has an impact on their performance next year.

More rankings of the sub-categories here.

Photo: Flickr/InSapphoWeTrust

— By on November 8, 2013, 1:57 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure