May 31, 2023

Americans don’t feel the Spirit in the air.

In an anonymous survey conducted May 1, travel resource site The Vacationer asked more than 1,000 Americans which of the 10 major US-based airlines they don’t fly with.

And Spirit Airlines had the dubious honor of coming out on top with 21%.

Allegiant Air finished second with 16.36% and American Airlines rounded out the top three with 14.40%. Frontier Airlines followed closely behind with 14.30%.

“Lack of communication and poor customer service are two big reasons people stop flying with an airline,” Eric Jones of Vacationer told USA Today.

It was not a good year for Spirit Airlines customer feedback. They were voted the lowest passenger satisfaction in the 2023 American Customer Satisfaction Index, which collected data from April 2022 to March 2023.

The low-cost airline received a score of 64 out of 100, which was the last of 11 domestic airlines.

Spirit Airlines passengers check in to their flights.
Spirit Airlines is the airline that avoids travel the most, according to a new survey.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Surprisingly, Southwest fared well by comparison.

They came in at number eight with 10.28%, despite their debacle in December when they canceled more than 2,500 flights, stranding thousands of passengers over the holiday season.

“Southwest Airlines has recovered quickly from last year’s Christmas crisis. While the airline reported a loss in the first quarter, bookings in March were higher than last year,” said Jones.

An Allegiant aircraft on the runway.
Allegiant finished second in the survey.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

He said they credited their quick recovery to the airline allowing two free checked bags, no change fees on some tickets and being relatively affordable compared to other airlines.

Spirit was also the most shunned airline for any age group, according to the site.

The list below lists the airlines from most avoided to least avoided, and the percentages reflect how often travelers did or did not choose that particular airline.

  1. Spirit Airlines – 21.06%
  2. Allegiant Air – 16.36%
  3. US Airlines – 14.40%
  4. Border Airlines – 14.30%
  5. Delta Airlines – 12.63%
  6. Jet Blue – 12.63%
  7. Alaska Airlines – 10.68%
  8. Southwest Airlines – 10.28%
  9. United Airlines – 7.64%
  10. Hawaiian Airlines – 5.48%

Nearly half of respondents said they are not avoiding specific airlines, but are more concerned about flight costs, dates and time.