10 of the Worst Airlines Travelers Admit to Ever Flying With

Frequent fliers know that when it comes to airlines, finding a great one is like finding the Holy Grail. An astonishing number of airlines get consistently terrible reviews from casual travelers and frequent fliers alike. Recently, men and women converged in an online discussion to finally settle the argument once and for all: what are the worst airlines they’ve ever flown with?

1. Spirit Airlines

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Spirit Airlines Airbus A321 taking off on February 17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Spirit Airlines is an American airline with its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Markus Mainka

As an ultra-low-cost carrier, some people hate Spirit Airlines for nickel-and-diming their passengers for every basic amenity. However, one flier is upset at the airline for one excellent reason: “My assigned seat was full of puke from the last passenger,” the woman alleges. “They said, ‘take it or leave it,’ so I had a long talk with their head office after I got off the plane and had them reschedule my flight.”

2. Jet Blue 

New York City, New York – March 1, 2020: JetBlue Airbus A320 airplane at New York JFK airport (JFK) in the United States. Airbus is a European aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse, France.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Markus Mainka

I must be honest; the complaints levied against Jet Blue are consistently horrible. Travelers report an abundance of canceled flights, long waits on the runway before takeoff, and some of the worst customer service reviews of any airline. Although the in-flight experience of Jet Blue is passable, everything else about the airline gets the opposite of rave reviews.

3. United Airlines

United Airlines Boeing 737-990 aircraft taxiing along the runway at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California USA
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If you’re a frequent flier, it’s almost inevitable that you’d have negative things to say about one of the most popular airlines. “I flew for business continuously in the 1980s and 1990s and still fly regularly both for personal and business travel (although mostly personal lately),” explains one man. “United has consistently been the worst airline over all that time. I can’t estimate how often their gate personnel and customer service reps blatantly lied to my face.”

4. Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Airlines
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According to many travelers, flying Allegiant Airlines means dealing with horribly cramped seats unsuitable for long flights. Most travelers recommend any other airline for flights lasting longer than two hours — once you hit the two-hour mark, your body will immediately turn against you.

5. Frontier Airlines

Chicago, USA - March 27, 2018: Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 with the Jaguar livery approaching O'Hare International Airport.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Carlos Yudica

As one of the low-cost airlines in desperate need of a facelift, Frontier Airlines has earned the nickname “Duct Tape Airlines” from unhappy customers. According to many fliers, it’s common to see crass repairs on the exterior and interior areas of the plane. Imagine looking out the window and seeing duct tape on one of the wings — it doesn’t breed confidence in Frontier’s safety standards!

6. Air France

Air France Airbus A320-214 REG: F-GKXU at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague. From Prague to Paris. AIR FRANCE is the flag carrier of France headquartered in Tremblay-en-France.
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In many travelers’ minds, Air France makes this list for having some of the worst flight attendants in the industry. “I turned on my attendant light and, instead of coming over like any other airline I’ve ever been on in my whole life, they just never turned up,” reports one woman. “I was so thirsty I went looking for them and found four of them sitting in the galley. They looked bothered when I interrupted their little conversation, and when I asked for water, one of them gave me a bottle and said, ‘Cups are over there.’ Terrible service on a 14-hour flight.”

7. RyanAir

Ryanair aircraft at the airport. Captain pilot greetings. Boeing 737-800. Ryanair airline. Low fares airline. Low cost airline. Europe travel.
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As one of Europe’s most inexpensive airlines, RyanAir’s affordability for millions of travelers means they must fly with zero amenities and zero creature comforts. Don’t expect stellar customer service either — RyanAir’s proven business model shows that sometimes, people would rather pay $10 to fly than experience excellent service. 

8. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines
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Like many legacy U.S.-based airlines, Delta’s reputation has decreased recently. One frequent flier isn’t afraid of putting Delta’s decline in a manner any consumer can understand. “Delta used to be a great airline,” he confesses. “Now it’s the WalMart of air travel.”

9. Southwest Airlines

Atlanta, Georgia - 06/17/2018: Southwest Airlines B737 Departing
Image Credit: Shutterstock/
Felipe I Santiago

Although Southwest generally receives rave reviews across the board, many people hate that the airline doesn’t have assigned seating. According to these people, unclear seating policies lead to a free-for-all with families saving seats for each other, causing drama between passengers. Business travelers also lament the lack of first-class seating options.

10. American Airlines

American Airlines Airbus A319 aircraft taxiing along the runway upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California USA
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Many travelers only fly American as a last resort; they claim the airline has some of the worst amenities in the industry. From spotty in-flight Wi-Fi to terrible food options, countless people express disbelief that American has the audacity to charge sky-high prices for such minimal services and creature comforts.

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flight attendant using oxygen mask on airplane
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woman with red suitcase frustrated at airport
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upset woman on plane
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worried woman
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt
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