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By Nelson Oliveira
/ CBS News
For the fourth year in a row, Delta Air Lines topped The Points Guy’s annual list of the best U.S. airlines, the travel website announced Wednesday on “CBS Mornings.”
Brian Kelly, the site’s founder and CEO, said the Atlanta-based carrier came out on top after scoring big for reliability, family travel and loyalty. Delta’s lowest-performing category was affordability, according to the report.
“I do think Delta goes a step above and beyond,” Kelly said. “They’re also the most expensive airline, and they’re profitable. So consumers are willing to pay to be treated as humans. I think that’s the key theme we’re seeing.”
Southwest Airlines came in second place and United Airlines ranked third. Rounding out the top 5 were American Airlines in fourth place and Alaska Airlines in fifth.
The sixth annual report covers the 12-month period from January through December 2021 — before the current crisis affecting U.S. airlines. 
Amid widespread flight cancellations, delays and lost bags, some are calling this “the summer of travel hell.” U.S.-based airlines canceled more than 120,000 flights between January and July this year, partly because of a pilot shortage and increased demand.
Kelly said there are signs “things will get better” in the coming months. On Tuesday, he said, only 92 flights were canceled in the U.S.
The Points Guy’s report uses data from four broad sections. Reliability, accounting for 30% of the score, is based on timeliness, cancellations, baggage handling and other factors. Experience, making up 25% of the score, includes data from customer complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as information on lounges, cabin features and other amenities. 
The “costs and reach” category accounts for 20% of the score and covers airlines’ route networks and affordability. Loyalty, making up the remaining 25%, is based on frequent flyer programs and award availability.
Here is The Points Guy’s full ranking for 2022:
First published on August 17, 2022 / 11:27 AM
© 2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright ©2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

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