Before The Trip Travel Better

How to Compare US Airlines (Southwest, Delta, American, Jet Blue, United, and Virgin)

how to compare us airlines
“One checked bag under 50 lbs is free.” “Meals are not included.” Statements like these are often heard at airports and on airplanes. The thing is, I usually fly depending on price and so I have a jumble of airlines in my head, making it difficult to remember which one had free checked bags and which one gave you snacks on the airplane (US Airways does not). I created this comparison list so you can also compare US airlines and remember who provides what!

Comparison of US Airlines:

✈ Southwest Airlines

How to compare US Airlines

Southwest is one of my favorite airlines because of its low rates and no fees for the first two checked bags! The stewardesses have always been super helpful and even provided free drink tickets when they found out it was one of Sharon and I’s friend’s birthdays. As for Wi-Fi, some plans are Wi-Fi enabled and you can purchase a 24-hour pass for $8.


how to compare US airlines

Delta is an airline I fly because there are no other options or because it’s the cheapest out of the available options. I’ve had mixed experiences with Delta because flights have been delayed for over 12 hours with no apology or compensation, they charge for each piece of baggage, and I have yet to find any of the staff particularly friendly. As for Wi-Fi, you can purchase a 24-hour pass for $16.

✈US Airways (now a part of American Airlines)

how to compare US airlines
This airline has comfortable wide seats. During the flight, they provide drinks in cups (but not the entire soda can) and they also have an additional coffee/tea/juice service. You have to pay to check bags on shorter flights (such as flights that are 2 hours long), but not 5 hour flights. There are no snacks available but they do have a menu from which you can purchase items. The staff is also pretty friendly and will try to accommodate your requests. In my experience, the flights tend to leave on time. For those of you looking to get some work done or maybe even just check your Facebook and email, you also have the option to pay $16 for a 24 hour Wi-Fi pass.

✈Jet Blue

how to compare us airlines

The seats are comfortable, the service is friendly, they give you unlimited snacks and drinks for a 2 hour flight! In this day and age, that is rare. Also, a huge plus in my book is that they offer FREE WI-FI on the plane. I have never been on another airline that does this! So kudos to Jet Blue for being so progressive. There was also free Wi-Fi at the gate at JFK, none of that “30 minutes for free” Boingo nonsense. However, I could not say the same for O’Hare Airport in Chicago, so this feature is airport-dependent.

✈United Airlines

how to compare US airlines
I haven’t flown United Airlines in a couple of years so I can’t speak much to their in-flight service. When you look at their ratings, it doesn’t help much. If you’re thinking about booking with them though, their first bag check-in fee is $25 and Wi-Fi is enabled on some flights and can be purchased.

✈Virgin Airlines

how to compare US airlines
Walking into a Virgin airplane almost feels like you’re walking into a club. Purple light softly emanates from the cabin and as you take your seat, your in-flight entertainment system “Red” greets you with an assortment of movie and music video selections. Checking bags does come with a fee of $25 and there is in-flight Wi-Fi, which is free until March 2016.


As you can see, airlines in the US offer a range of experiences. For cost and friendliness, I would recommend Southwest. For that cool, European vibe I would go with Virgin. There are always budget airlines as well. Hopefully this article has helped you better differentiate between the various airline options and can help inform your next flight purchase!

For more info on purchasing cheap flights, check out our posts on how to take advantage of Google Flights for insanely cheap deals and 8 Secrets on Buying the Cheapest Flights.

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