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The Best Airline in America

Updated on September 22, 2015

The Playing Field Isn't Level

Let's say this off the bat: Virgin America is the best airline in the United States. That's not my opinion. That's what the voters say in just about every single poll!

But here's the twist: It really doesn't matter to most of America that Virgin America is the best! I reside in the southern metropolis of Atlanta, GA. Do you know how many daily Virgin America flights make it to Atlanta? Absolutely None! I'd love to experience why Virgin America is so great, but I simply can't.

So let's talk about three airlines, serving different parts of the market. These three airlines succeed in their individual category.

Best Low Cost Carrier: Frontier Airlines

Frontier often offers the most cost effective solutions on the American Air Travel Market. Low cost carriers cut a lot of frills out of the travel experience when you fly in order to provide you with that substantially lower cost. For Frontiers' efforts to give you a low price, while not making you feel like nothing more than cargo, I give two thumbs up to this carrier.

Why They're Great:

  • Unheard of Deals - Frontier is known for doing crazy promotionals that save passengers huge cash (Look at this)
  • Modern Fleet
  • Huge Route Network - You can get around all of America with Frontier with no problem!

What Isn't So Great:

  • They Charge for All Cary-Ons and Checked Bags
  • Charges for Picking Your Seat
  • They Are a Low-Cost Carrier - There's a reason low-cost carriers have their own subsection. Compared to other airlines, this is really a drag experience. But, you won't see Delta offering a $1.00 fare from New York to Atlanta!

Best Legacy Carrier: American Airlines

This used to be a huge category of America's most well-known players! But, in the past 20 years, the competition has essentially been cut to a quarter of its original size. Really, the only airlines that fit into this category now are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. American pulls a lead in this mainly due to Americans' loyalty program, which leads the nation!

Why They're Great:

  • Great Loyalty Program - Rewards based on how far you've flown...unlike Delta and United, who's reward system is now based on how much you spend. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
  • Extensive Global Coverage - By means of their strategic codeshares and alliances, you can use American Airlines to help you get anywhere in the world, even Antarctica!
  • Brand-Spanking New Airplanes - "One new plane a week." It's so incredible, it's even become a slogan for American Airlines
  • Airline Clubs All Across America
  • Fantastic Customer Service on the Phone and on Social Media

What Isn't So Great:

  • A lot of complaints - With such a big airline, things are bound to fall into the cracks. One glance at the comments visitors post on the AA Facebook will paint the picture for you
  • Delta Is More On-Time
  • They Have US Airways In Their Blood - Lets face it: American merged with one of the worst carriers in terms of customer experience. Time will tell what will happen with that move.

Best Overall: Virgin America

Last, but by no means the least, the overall best airline in America is Virgin America! If you've ever been on Virgin America, I'm not even sure why you clicked on this article, because there is nothing that comes close to beating the satisfaction of Virgin America!

Why They're Great:

  • Cabin Lighting - It's like Boeing's Sky Interior Lighting, but way better!
  • On-Board On-Demand Enterainment
  • On-Demand Snacks
  • Wi-Fi On Every Plane
  • Unbeatable Entertainment System

What Isn't So Great:

  • It's Not All-Included - If you're not in first, the on-demand snacks, drinks, movies, programming, and other perks are not free!
  • Limited Routes - Virgin America seems to be expanding slowly. They are serving the busiest cities only and I feel that is how they intend to keep it, really.
  • Not Many Virgin America Clubs/Lounges Out There

The Wrap-Up

If you're like me you probably think Virgin America has got it going on, but you can't make practical use of it. So you may consider some alternatives like runner-up JetBlue (Who doesn't fly to Atlanta either). I bank on the legacy carriers, because they take me where I need to go the fastest.

United, Delta, and American Airlines all have some great strong-points. I hate the old worn-out planes that Delta offers it's passengers, and I will always opt for American Airlines over Delta if I can. American Airlines is my personal choice for flights! Don't get me wrong: if Virgin America suddenly popped into town, I think we all know who I'd be flying next!

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