Only one U.S. airline cracked the list of the 10 safest carriers in 2021 (2022)

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Discussions around the safety of flying are now dominated by the global pandemic, but the "Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2021" list compiled by airline website AirlineRatings.com doesn't have anything to do with Covid-19.

Released this week, the list analyzes crash records and safety compliance to highlight airlines that it claims are leading air travel safety.

The top 10 list

AirlineRatings.com analyzed crash and serious incident histories, fleet ages, and audits of 385 airlines performed by governments and aviation associations.

It used that analysis to name the 10 safest airlines for 2021 as:

1. Qantas
2. Qatar Airways
3. Air New Zealand
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Emirates
6. Eva Air
7. Etihad Airways
8. Alaska Airlines
9. Cathay Pacific
10. British Airways

Qantas, Australia's flag carrier, was named the world's safest airline for the third year in a row by the website.

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Qantas holds the distinction of being the only airline that Dustin Hoffman's character in the 1988 movie "Rain Man" would fly because it had "never crashed." The airline suffered fatal crashes of small aircraft prior to 1951, but has had no fatalities in the 70 years since.

Qantas has had no passenger fatalities since the dawn of the "jet era" in the 1950s.

Scott Barbour | Getty Images News | Getty Images

"Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the pure jet era," said Geoffrey Thomas, the website's editor-in-chief. "But Qantas is not alone. Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era."

In addition to Air New Zealand and British Airways, the remainder of the list is dominated by the "Middle East Three" — as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways are collectively known — and Asian airlines such as Taiwan's Eva Air and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific.

Alaska Airlines is the only U.S. carrier named among the 10 safest airlines in the world.

The list: 11-20

U.S. and European airlines figure more prominently in the second half of the list, which includes:

11. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
12. Hawaiian Airlines
13. Southwest Airlines
14. Delta Air Lines
15. American Airlines
16. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
17. Finnair
18. Lufthansa
19. KLM
20. United Airlines

U.S. airlines had a particularly positive showing in the overall top 20. Only two of the six American carriers on the 2021 list — Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines — were included on last year's list.

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Alaska Airlines has been named among the world's safest airlines for the past six consecutive years.

Robert Alexander | Archive Photos | Getty Images

Thomas said that overall, there is little real difference in terms of safety among the 20 airlines named to the list: "They are all standouts."

Safest low-cost airlines for 2021

In response to public interest, AirlineRatings.com announced the 10 safest and "best" low-cost airlines on Monday as well.

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In alphabetical order, they are: Air Arabia, Allegiant Air, EasyJet, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Jetstar, Ryanair, Vietjet Air, WestJet and Wizz Air.

Safest airlines for Covid

Separately, the airline rating website on Monday announced the top 20 airlines for Covid-19 safety compliance.

Those carriers are AirBaltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Qatar Airways and WestJet.

Singapore Airlines was named among the world's safest and most Covid-compliant airlines in 2021.

GOH CHAI HIN | AFP | Getty Images

The website added a Covid-19 check to its airline safety comparison charts.

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Airlines are awarded a compliance "star" for instituting four of the following six criteria: Covid-19 website information, social distancing while boarding and during the flight, nightly deep cleaning of aircraft, the provision of passenger face masks, personal protection equipment (PPE) for cabin crew, and changes to meal services.

Thomas said 119 airlines achieve the highest Covid-19 rating.

"But it is disappointing to see that 117 get a zero for compliance or have no information for the public on their Covid policies on their website," he said.

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FAQs

Only one U.S. airline cracked the list of the 10 safest carriers in 2021?

Alaska Airlines

What is the best US airline in 2021?

Delta Air Lines

Just like The Wall Street Journal, WalletHub named Delta the best airline in the US. The Atlanta-based carrier is the most reliable airline and came in second for comfort, tying Alaska, Southwest, and United.

What is the safest US domestic airline?

US-based United Airlines jumped one spot in 2022's safest airline list after barely making the top 20 in 2021. The airline is one of the world's largest carriers after merging with Continental Airlines in 2010 and operates a strong domestic and international network to over 120 destinations worldwide.

Which airline is best for Covid?

Winner: Delta

Delta led the pack in two of the three categories we considered and finished near the top in the third category. Put simply: Delta is the best U.S. airline to fly during the pandemic. Alaska, United and JetBlue all performed above average, and Spirit Airlines performed worst of all.

Which US airline has the least crashes?

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has not reported a fatality in its operating history, according to the Consumer Warning Network, making it the safest major airline in the world. Southwest ranks at number two on ABC's safest airline list as well, with a 0.0000203 percent chance of an incident on its flights.

What is the most unsafe airline in the US?

Most Dangerous Airlines – USA
  • Alaska Airlines: 1 accident.
  • American Airlines: 11 accidents.
  • Delta Airlines: 2 accidents.
  • Horizon Air: 1 accident.
  • Southwest Airlines: 3 accidents.
  • United Airlines: 7 accidents.
Apr 1, 2022

What is the most reliable airline right now?

After totaling points from each category, Delta Air Lines came out on top as the overall best airline with a score of 70.48 out of 100. Southwest Airlines on the other hand, came in last with a score of 30.60 points earned out of 100.

What is the best US airline to fly?

A new J.D. Power report ranks the top airlines in the U.S. ... [+] Drilling down on the numbers, JetBlue won the first/business segment with a score of 878. Alaska Airlines came in second with a score of 876, while Delta Air Lines was third with a score of 862.

What airlines has the best safety record?

World's Safest Airlines
  • Qantas.
  • Qatar Airways.
  • Air New Zealand.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • Emirates.
  • EVA Air.
  • Etihad Airways.
  • Alaska Airlines.
Aug 23, 2021

Is American Airlines safer than United?

Of the three largest U.S. carriers, Delta is the safest to fly, followed closely by American Airlines, then United. If flying a budget airline, Spirit and Silver Airways are the least safe, whereas Frontier, Allegiant and Sun Country are the safest.

Which is better United or American Airlines?

In the competition of United Airlines versus American Airlines, we'll take United, especially if you avoid basic economy seats and live near a hub. Though its flight redemptions are overpriced, its credit card perks, more legroom in economy plus and luxurious Polaris class put it a (small) notch above American.

Which is better Delta or United?

The quick answer is that Delta is the superior airline in terms of customer service, free flight changes, and overall experience. United is the more budget-friendly option, depending on what extras you need. Both airlines are enormous and have tons of flights around the world.

Which airline is better Delta or American?

When comparing the experience between Delta Air Lines versus American Airlines, Delta is a clear winner. Although it doesn't have as many flight routes as American Airlines, Delta makes up for it with its superior in-flight experience and useful SkyMiles credit card benefits.

Is American Airlines Safe 2021?

As a pioneering legacy major air carrier, American Airlines has a demonstrated record of many decades of safe and efficient flight operations. The airline safely transports literally hundreds of millions of passengers each year, on over two million flights annually across the globe, with very few incidents.

Which airline has never had a crash?

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian has been flying planes since 1929 and never once had a fatal accident, making it, if our stats stand up, the longest functioning carrier to have never lost a passenger.

Which airline has the most deaths?

What Airline Has Had the Most Plane Crash Deaths?
  • American Airlines: 858 fatalities.
  • China Airlines: 760 fatalities.
  • Korean Air: 586 fatalities.
  • Air India: 542 fatalities.
  • Malaysia Airlines: 537 fatalities.
  • Japan Airlines: 520 fatalities.
  • Ethiopian Airlines: 407 fatalities.
  • Air France: 347 fatalities.
Apr 1, 2022

What are the worst airlines to fly in the US?

Delta Air Lines claimed the top spot on the list, followed by Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
...
This is the worst airline in the U.S., according to a new ranking — and it's not Spirit or Frontier
  • Delta Air Lines.
  • Alaska Airlines.
  • Southwest Airlines.
  • United Airlines.
  • Allegiant Air.
  • Spirit Airlines.
  • JetBlue Airways.
Feb 6, 2022

How safe is United Airlines?

In an AirlineRatings.com 2021 analysis of the safest airlines in the world, United ranked among the top 20 airlines out of 385 carriers.

What airline has the most accidents in the United States?

"Frontier has the highest share of canceled flights and the largest number of involuntary denied boardings," says Gonzalez. "Additionally, the airline has the highest number of aviation incidents and accidents per total number of flight operations."

What is the best airline to fly for as a pilot?

United Airlines Has Excellent Pilot Reviews

The pay for new pilots is highest with United Airlines, and they also enjoy excellent medical insurance, free flights, adoption assistance services, and many other attractive benefits that draw them in and keep them satisfied throughout their careers.

Which airline has most comfortable seats?

Jet Blue and Air Canada are leading the race for most comfortable airline seats, but you'll also find a pretty cozy airline seat on Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines, and American Airlines– among a few international airlines.

Is JetBlue or United better?

In my opinion, JetBlue food is far better than United Airlines food. United just can't compete when it comes to food in all classes of service. United has a far more substantial route network than JetBlue does (both domestic and abroad). United has lounges in many major airports across the US, but JetBlue has none.

What is the best airline in 2022?

Southwest, JetBlue named best airlines in 2022 by customers.

Are Delta Air Lines Safe?

Delta Is A Safe Airline

As you can see in the screenshot from AirFleetRatings, safety is at the top of the pack, and shows that customers feel safe when flying with Delta. And according to Safe Travel Barometer, Delta ranked the highest of the full-service carriers for safety.

Is United the worst airline?

American Airlines

The carrier registered even more complaints than United—American's 1,490 complaints are the most of any carrier on the list—as well as a worse on-time percentage of 71.2 percent.

What is the top 10 safest airline?

AirlineRatings.com's safest airlines for 2022:
  1. Air New Zealand.
  2. Etihad Airways.
  3. Qatar Airways.
  4. Singapore Airlines.
  5. TAP Air Portugal.
  6. SAS.
  7. Qantas.
  8. Alaska Airlines.
Jan 5, 2022

Is Airbus safer than Boeing?

What about Boeing and Airbus' safety record? According to Airfleets.net, Airbus has suffered 86 total crashes or accidents between its models – fewer than just the 147 suffered by Boeing's 737 alone.

What is the least safe airline?

The 10 least safe were Batik Air, Bluewing Airlines, Citilink, Kal-Star Aviation, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, TrnsNusa, Trigana Air Service, Wings Air and Xpress Air, according to AirlineRatings.com.

Is spirit better than American Airlines?

Spirit Airlines's brand is ranked #- in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Spirit Airlines.
...
American Airlines vs Spirit Airlines.
55%Promoters
16%Passive
29%Detractors

What US airline has the most international flights?

American Airlines – 364 destinations

By every measurement, American Airlines is the world's largest airline. It has the biggest airplane fleet, carries the most passengers and flies to the most destinations at 364 with 126 of those being to international airports in 64 different countries.

Which flight is the best in the world?

Delta Air Lines won the title of best North American airline, while Japan Airlines ranked as the world's best economy class.
...
Here are Skytrax's top 10 airlines of 2021, by overall rating:
  • Qatar Airways.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • ANA All Nippon Airways.
  • Emirates.
  • Japan Airlines.
  • Cathay Pacific Airways.
  • EVA Air.
  • Qantas Airways.
Sep 29, 2021

Who is more reliable Delta or United?

Both airlines offer chef-curated meals and sommelier-picked wines, but United has teamed with the prestigious Trotter Project toques to design its menus. Delta ranks higher than United overall in The Wall Street Journal's well-regarded annual airline scorecard and is more reliable—and slightly more post—overall.

Which airline is more comfortable Delta or United?

Based on our comparative analysis on the key features important to Economy Class customers, Delta offers an overall superior service than United. Result: Delta for overall better experience.

Who is bigger Delta or United?

As of 2019, American Airlines Group is the largest by fleet size, passengers carried and revenue passenger mile. Delta Air Lines is the largest by revenue, assets value and market capitalization.
...
By company revenue.
Rank1
AirlineDelta Air Lines
CountryUnited States
Revenue(US$ billions)44.9
Profit4.1
9 more columns

Is Delta or Virgin Atlantic better?

While Delta is among the best airlines in the United States, Virgin Atlantic has a stronger global reputation. In its 2019 World Airline Awards, Skytrax recognised Virgin Atlantic with the World's Best Premium Economy Class and World's Best Premium Class Seat awards.

Is Southwest better than Delta?

When you factor in earnings rates, basic economy considerations, in-flight entertainment and pet friendliness, Southwest just edges out Delta. (See our annual best airline comparison.)

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