Alaska Airlines acquires Hawaiian Airlines

Top 20 Airlines: Hawaiian + Alaska Only Two U.S. Carriers

Late today, respected airline review site put out their annual Worlds Best Airlines For 2022. We dove right in to see which of the airlines flying to Hawaii had made the cut and found that there were only two. No other U.S. airline  made their top 20 rankings for 2022.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines came in at number 17 in the ranking.

Safety rating 7/7

Product rating 6/7

Covid rating 7/7

Hawaiian flies to Honolulu, Big Island, Kauai, and Maui from Austin, Boston, Las Vegas, Long Beach Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. They also fly interisland using a dedicated fleet.

Hawaiian flies wide-body A330 and will be adding Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Hawaiian also flies narrow-body Airbus A321neo aircraft to and from the west coast.

Hawaiian was for years the only U.S. airline offering complimentary meals in coach, although others have joined. They are the champion of on-time awards. First/business-class offers lie-flat seating on wide-body flights.

Alaska Airlines came in at number 19 in the ranking.

Safety rating 7/7

Product rating 3.5/7

Covid rating 7/7

Alaska flies to Honolulu, Big Island, Kauai, and Maui from Anchorage (seasonally), Oakland, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle. They also provide connecting flights to the islands from across the U.S.

Alaska flies B737-800, B737MAX, and A320 aircraft to Hawaii. They are also regularly ranked highly among the top U.S. airlines. Alaska too has a good reputation for on-time flights.

BOH’s take on the report.

With a top score of 7, both Hawaii-centric airlines scored top in safety. The primary differentiation we see is that in business class, Hawaiian offers lie-flat beds on wide-body flights, whereas Alaska does not. Otherwise, they compare favorably, based on our own experiences using both airlines for many years.

How did Airline Ratings arrive at these ratings?

1. Airline Rating’s safety rating is based on crashes, pilot-related incidents, safety audits, and Covid-19 standards.

2. Airline Ratings product rating is based on the following: seat pitch, in-flight entertainment, website information, beds (if avail. in business class), meals, and blankets/pillows.

3. Airline Ratings Covid rating is based on the following: website information and instructions, social distancing on boarding, flight attendant personal protection equipment, face masks compulsory, meal service modified, passenger sanitizer kit, and deep clean of aircraft. (Note: these appear to be out of date to us).

What are your thoughts about how these two Hawaii-centric airlines ranked and why no other U.S. airline is included?

9 thoughts on “Top 20 Airlines: Hawaiian + Alaska Only Two U.S. Carriers”

  1. I have only flown Hawaiian airlines which is wonderful. Excellent service with snacks and meals. Also good selection of entertainment. Always on time and super friendly staff.

  2. I’m so pleased to hear about my favorite airline. (Hawaiian) I fly from Maui to Oahu every week for my job and agree I get treated well however I would like to know how I can see the others that were in the readings? Thank you,. Aloha

    1. Hi Zsuzsi.

      We’re not sure what you’re asking about. If you want to find other comments, they are on TikTok and the link to the video will lead you to those.


  3. …because more competition in the U.S. domestic flight market is exactly what is needed these days. The current travel experience offered by the overwhelming majority of U.S. domestic carriers is …..underwhelming…at best (and that is as generous as I can be on that measure).

    It should also be noted that JetBlue was mentioned in the excellence in long haul travel for the Americas. We have yet to fly JetBlue as it does not offer service in our area but we will definitely consider it if future travel needs mesh with their routes.

    But a conclusion that most U.S. domestic carrier need to significantly improve their service and flight experience is very evident.

  4. After reading the linked article, one thing jumped out – the primary shareholders of Qatar and Air New Zealand are those country’s respective governments so any comparison to domestic airlines in the U.S. is not an apples to apples comparison. After those airlines, more private carriers enter the ratings but nowhere in this article is price (affordability) mentioned. I’m sure the experiences on many of these airlines are wonderful – but how many people can afford them?

    It should be noted the linked article Does mention Southwest as the best low cost airline of the Americas.

    All of this being said, one wonders when airlines like Qatar and Air New Zealand might attempt to meaningfully enter and compete in the U.S. domestic market…

    1. SWA is for sure the best of the so called budget airlines. That said this is about Hawaii and SWA has been a questionable fit for Hawaii and a bit rude. Saw their CEO on the morning news last week and it was embarrassing. As he slouched (cocky disrespectful body language) in his chair telling Howard Dicus that this was his first time ever in Hawaii and even though he has only been here 24 hours he felt that SWA was a perfect fit for Hawaii. He sounded like someone who moves here and starts speaking pidgin after 6 mos.


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